A little bit of hope goes a long way
I like to think that all my friends are loved to pieces by their families, spoiled by their spouses, and successful in their lives. When I discover that's not always true, it hurts my heart. Maybe that's because I've got some wounds of my own. But, don't we all have wounds? At times, don't we all need hope to carry us to another day? I sure do.
My story is filled with broken pieces due to deep wounds, betrayal (that after decades still takes my breath away), terrible losses, and poor choices. But my story is also filled with beautiful relationships, delightful accomplishments, promising dreams, peace in my soul, and a deep faith that has always sustained me.
If you've known me for more than 10 minutes, you know that I refer to myself as a prisoner of hope. I've clung to that identity for nearly a quarter of a century.
At the time of my great heartache, these verses became my anchor: I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the Lord! Psalm 27:13-14
I made a decision to believe that I would see the goodness of the Lord. And of course, I have. Many times. I've been overwhelmingly blessed.
It's always been my intent to cling to hope. Over the years, I've discovered that a little bit of hope can go a long way. At times, as I've limped along in life, just a small spark of hope has made all the difference. And many times, that spark comes at just the right time. Sometimes hope has come from encouragement or an opportunity to connect with other writers. Sometimes my heart just lightens. That's when I think I've been prodded by God to keep on the journey.
I've been on my publishing journey since 2000. That's a long time. But I've had two books published by an amazing publishing house and I've connected with some brilliant and generous writers and publishing professionals. It's been wonderful.
I stepped away from publishing shortly after my books were released, and about seven years ago decided to try for another contract. Since then, several full novels have been written and rejected. But you know what? My heart is full of hope. I truly believe this is the path God wants me to walk.
Here's the thing—I'm not sure that my vision of success looks like what God's planned for me. For the longest time, that concept chilled my heart.
Maybe I'm finally maturing because I don't feel anxious about what comes next, professionally. I'm a creative soul and I'll always be creative, even if I never traditionally publish another novel.
I'm trusting in God's plan and clinging to the hope that whatever my next season looks like, it will be beautiful and satisfying. Maybe because I've trained myself to look for hope, I can be confident in the future. And most importantly, I have my solid, beautiful, consoling, loving, faith in God.
My prayer for you, friends, is that when you need the spark of hope, it bursts into flame for you. Or if not a flame, a flicker so you can see your way forward. That's the way it goes.
As for me, I'm straining to look forward and move ahead on my path as well as I can. If along the way I can help you, I'm happy to do that. Or cheer you on. I like seeing friends reach their dreams.
As we move into the season of perpetual hope, I wish you sparks of hope that will sustain you and direct your path. Have faith. Don't lose heart.