[Fasting and praying on Mondays for God to show up and surprise us by giving the gift of marriage to those who desire it, showing us where we need to change, and empowering men to live into their God-given purpose and identity.]
Exactly a year ago today, ten great girlfriends and I headed to the beach for a weekend of enjoying the sun, walking an empty boardwalk and sharing our journeys as single Christian women. After that wonderful weekend, I wrote this post: (Not) Afraid to Hope.
If I had to imagine what a year later would look like…well, it’s somehow simultaneously better and worse than I would have imagined. A new job in a new industry. Delayed (but soon!) graduation. Wonderful new friendships. Roommate’s impending engagement. Dates but no dating. Growth and failure co-existing in every corner of my life. Blah blah blah. So here I am. Asking questions to which I know I can’t get answers. Wondering if I missed the turn for “The Life of Really Amazing Nonstop Closeness with God and also World-Changing Adventures We will have Along the Way.”
I recently found the history of one of my favorite hymns: O Love that Will Not Let Me Go. (Accounts vary a bit but the gist is the same.) The author, George Matheson, didn’t have an easy path: early blindness, a career cut short, and a painful broken engagement. He relied on his sister for help in pastoring a large church and, since she was getting married, he was faced with the prospect of life without her help as well. He wrote the hymn lyrics in five minutes the evening before her wedding.
The thing that really caught my attention was the author’s honest-but-inspiring description of his own life:
an obstructed life, a circumscribed life…but a life of quenchless hopefulness, a life which has beaten persistently against the cage of circumstance, and which even at the time of abandoned work has said not ‘Good night’ but ‘Good morning.’
And right there I decided that quenchless hopefulness is what I want to be about too. In this season, it’s about singleness. But as seasons change, the question stays the same: do I trust Him? Trust Him when things are bright and sunny at the beach? Trust Him when clouds make everything gray and lifeless? Trust Him when present realities do not seem to match His promises? Matheson’s words provide a clear answer:
O Joy that seekest me through pain,
I cannot close my heart to thee;
I trace the rainbow through the rain,
And feel the promise is not vain,
That morn shall tearless be.
Praying with you this Monday that such God-anchored hope overwhelms our doubts, our anxieties, and our circumstances with its persistence and certainty!
In His Grace,