I wrote these words on our kitchen wall months ago after reading the phrase somewhere. It has stayed there because I've often relied on it to "buck up". Whenever I feel anxious, I try to calm myself with these words.
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Like for many people, 2016 has been extremely tough for me. My dream job (or anything close) has yet to materialize and I've been out of work for five plus months. My efforts to find a new career at 40 that doesn't focus on B2B marketing or selling widgets have fallen short. I often wonder where the sweet spot is between "letting go and letting God" and pounding the shit out of the pavement.
I truly believe that I'm being broken open and prepared for something great, but unsure of my role in this process. I cycle between hearing God say, "Slow down and sit with Me. Wait in My Presence and in My time" and "Do your best and I will do the rest." So what does this mean exactly? I think I'm doing my best. I think I'm trusting God. I think I'm slowing down, but how much is too much when I'm supposed to be doing my best? A former A-type personality knows only two speeds: Go fast and Stop.
It's easy when I give in to fear to miss the "good old days". Before I was diagnosed and ever knew what an MRI was. When I was making good money in a job that gave me a lot of confidence. When I had no concern for my memory or cognitive abilities. When Tad and I could have long, uninterrupted conversations about everything and nothing because we had the time and energy. When my life was organized by the work week and weekend, and days didn't run together without any difference.
But I keep coming back to, Trust your hopes, Kim. Not your fears.
This morning, I was both devastated and delighted by separate pieces of news. The election results stunned and scared me. I prayed for God's will to be done and He has answered. So I accept that. Not to say I don't grieve my own will. But I'm human and we all need to grieve our losses.
The delightful news is that my MRI on Monday was stable (Hallelujah!) and I don't have to go back for my next MRI for another 6 months! I was going every 3 months, so this cuts the "scan-xiety", needle pricks, IVs, MRI radiation, and hospital bills in half. Woo-to-the-freakin'-Hoo! Thank you, Jesus!
So as this emotional morning turns into afternoon, I want to share what these words do for me:
When I trust my hopes and not my fears, I can be more optimistic. Let's face it, watching the news can be terrorizing. Yes, bad things are happening out there that we shouldn't ignore. But maybe the good that can come from it is how we respond.
When I trust my hopes and not my fears, I can be more present. Living in the moment is super hard right now. But when I do, I can experience the pure joy that God has set before me. Thanks Molly for reminding me of that recently!
When I trust my hopes and not my fears, I can be vulnerable and face my truth. Like it or not, we all have shit in our lives that we can deal with or avoid. I've been a professional avoider/people pleaser for most of my life. After reading Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton, I learned that I was really good at deflecting, running from my pain and distracting myself with things that made me feel better. Trusting my hopes and not my fears, sometimes, means facing the pain, sitting with it, allowing myself to feel it and remaining hopeful.
And when I trust my hopes and not my fears, I can be more faith-filled. I can accept that the Lord has a plan and we all going to be OK. Even if it doesn't feel like it now. It may not be our way, in our time, or how we'd like it. But He will bring comfort to our confusion and pain, and light to our path forward.