Oh, I know the feeling. The heavy soul that feels like rain, dark and downcast. The heart that feels like a burden of bricks on your chest.
This life lets us down all the time, doesn’t it? Something exciting comes along and gets us excited and then boom – the other shoe drops. Rejection. Jealousy. Insecurity. Failure.
I have debated a lot in my life whether I should let myself get my hopes up. Is it even healthy? Is it worth the let down that could potentially come? For the small chance, the tiny glimmer, that there is something to be excited about.
I’ve never reached a verdict on that – other than that hope always seems to return – it is like a beautiful whack-a-mole that you don’t want to get rid of. Hope never dies; it is the most persistent friend.
Even here, in this moment, when I want to write to you about the doom and gloom and how I get how awful it is – even here, I cannot seem to stay away from hope.
Romans 5:5 tells us: “Hope does not put us to shame…” which is a miracle because shame is often what I feel when I am disappointed.
Let me tell you friend, to recent disappointments in my life, I have had to say, “No – you do not get to take up space in my mind and heart without earning it. I say no to you. I say I will give you my mind when you’ve damn well earned it. And today is not that day.
Suck on that, shame. Because you are the one who really is the worst. You make me question myself right when I start to believe and be brave. Right when I start to apply that “be loved fully” thing – you come in with your crappy self and try to make me question everything. I don’t really want you in my circle, shame. Brave space has no tolerance for shame.”
To accept the invitation to bravery is to leave shame back home.
Hope doesn’t lead us to shame. The devil leads us to shame. And he doesn’t have the power to make us feel anything unless we give him permission.
Because friend? I totally get it. I’ve been right there one hundred times. I get my hopes up about a dream, a relationship, all kinds of things – and rejection and no’s and let-downs happen. Sometimes they are orchestrated by God and sometimes He just allows them. Sometimes for a very specific purpose and sometimes to help us grow in trust and Christ-likeness.
I have been left out a million times, criticized, rejected, disliked, etc. I can give you specific examples in my life right now.
But here is the thing – we are in control of our emotions. We are allowed to feel sad or scared or whatever else. But things like shame? No. We say no to that.
“Hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” Romans 5:5
So we keep on hoping – it sometimes can feel like the cause, but really it is the cure for our hurting hearts. Hope leads us to Jesus again and again. Hope never puts us to shame.
Hope is His promise to us – so yes, hope! Have so much hope! Don’t just hope a little – hope A LOT. Romans 15:13 tells us to abound in hope.
Friend, hold onto nothing else but the hope of the Lord. Hope in humans and in this world will fail you. It will disappoint. But we can hope in the Lord without fear of rejection or disappointment. He is working all things together. He is orchestrating the beautiful life He has designed for you. He gives good gifts.
Don’t give the devil any power in your life; don’t let shame have the final word. You, my friend, are a painter of hope, spreading JOY and peace with every brushstroke of your life.
I love you.
Hearts and Hope,