My Prayer for 2019 – How To Hope For Things That Feel Hopeless

It was that dreaded sound —the sound of hope giving way to defeat. The ache right in the center of your chest when a dream flies away before your eyes and no amount of chasing can bring it back within your grasp.  

Sometimes it is easier to give up hope than to hold on to something that brings with it such pain and uncertainty.  It seems easier to let it go, to let life go and accept defeat.  We wonder why we hope anyway?  But at times when hope seems like a cruel joke meant to terrorize the tender shoots of vision, of vulnerability, of boldness struggling to find some light, hope reminds me that there is no cruelty here.  The gift of hope becomes rain poured over cracked, broken dreams, that somehow forces life to break through the soil and find their way towards the sun.

Hope is an anchor

Hope keeps me anchored and rooted, not to my dreams, but to Him.  Though my dreams can be uncertain and faithful, He alone is faithful.  The goals for my life cannot provide peace or strength or sustenance on this sometimes desolate journey.  Only God can provide any semblance of peace. Strength. 

Hope alone calms me, calls me, reminds me of my core identity as Lisa, the Beloved of her Father. Hope holds all things —my tears, my sorrows, my deepest cravings for things I feel I cannot live without. Hope holds my past, my present, and my future.  

So when your hope has run dry, when the mountain ahead seems insurmountable, go ahead, jump in the game, climb on His back.  He’s got this big old thing called life.  Yeah, He’s got it right in the palm of his hands.

I’ve tried it so many times without Him.  There have been days that I sat and told Him, yes I looked Him right in the eyes and told Him I wanted to do things my way.  But my way has always led me right back here.  Usually exhausted.  Defeated. Hope-less.

So where is there left to run to?  I’m either all-in this “hope thing” or I’m all-out.  And I’ve got to be in.  

The truth is, none of us knows what lies ahead.  We don’t know if or when we’re going to see the tiny visions we’ve carried for so long in our hearts burst forth and see the light of day.  We don’t.  In this life there are no guarantees.  Like my daddy used to tell me, the only thing that’s guaranteed is death and taxes.  I didn’t know then how right he was.

Hope would be easier to hold if it had a date on our calendar or a place on the map.  Easier to believe if someone whispered the answer in your ears. But hope isn’t a location, I’ve come to learn the hard way. Hope isn’t a destination —Hope is a person.  

We can keep telling ourselves that hope will come tomorrow, or we can start living with Hope today. Choosing Hope right here, right now. Wherever you are.  Whatever you face.

Choosing Hope

What are you choosing today? Are you choosing doubt, despair, fear, paralysis?  Are you choosing isolation, loneliness?

Or are you choosing Hope? Will you leave behind the cynical voice inside your head that tells you that nothing good happens for you?  Will you uncross the arms of distance that keeps you safe from stepping into your future and taking the risk of going all-in —no safety net underneath you, no guarantees for success?  

Will you open your heart and remember that Hope isn’t some elusive thing out there.  Hope is right here —inside your heart.  Hope is the place you start from, not the place you end. Hope hopes —in all things, for all things.  Because Hope hung on a cross and died for our wounds, our transgressions, our most broken places….Hope endures, comes alive, is a promise for all of us.

Hope isn’t some elusive thing out there.  Hope is right here —inside your heart.  Hope is the place you start from, not the place you end. Hope hopes —in all things, for all things.  Because Hope hung on a cross and died for our wounds, our transgressions, our most broken places….Hope endures, comes alive, is a promise for all of us.

But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.  Isaiah 40:31 (NIV)

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Romans 15:13 (NIV)

Yeah, I heard that dreaded sound.  I felt that familiar ache in my chest. And I chose Hope anyway.

What will you choose?

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About This Community

Don’t we all want a little peace?  My heart for this community is to provide just that – a needed refuge from all the burdens that weigh us down, some encouragement and inspiration to keep us weary travelers moving forward on our journeys, and some practical advice to help each of us navigate the challenges of life and relationships.  Whether in our parenting, our marriages, our faith, or the broken places in our hearts, this place is for anyone who dares to reach beyond the hopelessness that surrounds us and embrace a lifestyle of emotional abundance and peace!  


About Peace for a Lifetime

In my book, Peace for a Lifetime, I share the keys to cultivating a life that’s deeply rooted, overflowing, and abundant, the fruit of which is peace. Through personal and professional experience as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, I’ve discovered how to take the broken pieces of life and find indestructible peace with myself, God and with others. Through my story and other’s stories you’ll realize that you can experience the life for which you long. You can experience abundance beyond anything you can imagine. You can experience peace, not just for today, not just for tomorrow. You can experience peace —for a lifetime!

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21 Comments

  1. I am finally starting to feel hope again. laurensparks.net

  2. Beautiful! Thank you for the encouragement.

    Your questions are probing, particularly “Will you leave behind the cynical voice inside your head that tells you that nothing good happens for you? Will you uncross the arms of distance that keeps you safe from stepping into your future and taking the risk of going all-in —no safety net underneath you, no guarantees for success? ”

    My answers, Yes! Yes! Thank you for the push forward!

  3. Love this, I also wrote an article for another publication about peace. Not choosing to engage in arguments ,having healthy boundaries etc

  4. I just love that hope in God will never disappoint us. While hope in this world or even the people in this world will always let us down, God never will!

  5. Yes! “In Christ alone my hope is found!” During a long season of suffering, when it seemed there was no hope left, I learned about “the hope that does not disappoint”. When our situation is impossible and there is no human solution, there is still hope in Christ! Without Him, I have no idea how I could have survived. How grateful I am for His Word and His faithfulness – even when we can’t see it, He is there and He is always at work.

  6. I’m finishing up a book that tells the story of someone who prayed for someone else for years. This praying someone was feeling so discouraged and beginning to think the cause was a lost one.

    And then Abby Johnson, Director of a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic in Texas, came to his office crying and telling her story–how she needed to follow God out of abortion.

    Hope. Never give up.

    God bless!

  7. All our Hope needs to be anchored in Christ. Everything in the world is temporary and will fail us in times of trouble. Jesus is the source for our strength to get through the troubled times.

  8. I struggled for a long time to understand what it meant to have our hope anchored in Christ. I think I’m still trying to understand, honestly.

    You say it well – it’s not about putting our hope in our own desires – it’s not that we can tether ourselves to the outcomes of our lives – but just to Christ. He is and always will be with and for us. That is our anchor.

    Thank you 🙂

  9. Hope is not something we manufacture, but a gift from him. Sometimes I forget this. Try and manufacture my own hope. But truly it comes from him. Such a gift he has given us.

  10. I needed to hear this today! Thanks for sharing.

  11. Powerful post. I wanted to call my daughter Hope – such a huge concept that gets us through and if we have faith so much the better. This post really spoke to me after ongoing and more recent events here #ThatFridayLinky

  12. Hope is very powerful good luck for 2019 Thanks for linking to #Thatfridaylinky hope to see you next week

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