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When Your Hopes for the New Year Already Fail You

2016 has already found me in a funk.

Crabby. Tired. Discouraged. Defeated. Stuck.

I think some of it is a result of two weeks of no schedule and little order. It’s been a GREAT two weeks. Though we missed not being with family during Christmas, it was truly perfect to have our little family alone yet together as we continue to create our own Christmas traditions. But there has been a ton of laziness and trying to get back into get-it-done mode has been harder than usual.

Most people feel a sense of newness, excitement, and motivation for the new year ahead. That is usually me: recharged with motivation and a deep hope for change, growth, and all the possibilities a new year holds. But this year, instead of hope I feel pressure. Dread. Overwhelm.

And feeling overwhelmed robs me of everyday hope. My mind turns to all that is undone and not right in my life and I begin to feel as if I must act NOW, and fix it all as soon as possible. But before I even attempt a step in the right direction, the sheer volume of all the areas that need work brings a crushing blow to any fire for change that was present.

Read more to the kids, be more patient, figure out a better laundry and chore system, write more blog posts, promote my new studies without being self-centered and pushy, keep my husband a priority, coordinate church ministry details, love and disciple the women God has placed in my life . . . the list goes on and the ideals and goals and resolutions for 2016 are already off to a really bad start.

Some may want to make the case that I have too much on my plate. I take that very full plate to the Lord almost daily, asking Him what I can/should let go of. My husband and I have regular conversations about it and for now, I fully trust it is how it should be.

As I step back from it all, the problem is not any specific item on the plate, or even the multitude of responsibilities piled high. The overwhelm stems from the weight of something different. The dread and discouragement comes not from the daily responsibilities or the resolutions for development. The paralysis stems from taking my eyes off the Gospel of Christ.

Because, it doesn’t take long for me to suffocate under the pressure of not being enough for every person and capable enough for every job. I will never be completely capable. I will never be perfectly prepared. I am not organized enough or kind enough or wise enough or savvy enough to do all God has called me to do. I am weak, selfish, and all-too under qualified for what God has called me to.

But what I keep forgetting to preach to myself is this: I don’t need to be fully qualified, perfectly caring, or altogether strong. Christ is all those things, and more, on my behalf.

The role the Gospel plays in our everyday life

This is the hope of the Gospel: I am not enough, but Jesus is. I am weak, He is strong. I am messed-up, fed-up, and marked-up with the weight of all my imperfections. But in Christ, there is freedom, forgiveness, and hope for my future. All of which is independant of my behavior and performance.

My prayer is that this post will encourage others who are feeling as I am. But, honestly, this is a selfish post. A self-preaching post. A post to affirm what I know to be true but often struggle to believe.

Though I am not commanded to have hope as if it were a verb, I am to hold fast to hope. I cannot hold on to something I don’t realize is there. So we must regularly take a good, hearty look at the hope we have in Christ. It is from this position, standing on the foundation of God’s grace and with a firm belief that I am justified before Him, that I can hold fast to my treasured hope.

The gospel is my everything. My only hope.

{God, keep me in continual clinging to your grace. Through Christ alone I have a living, heavenly hope. For that I am eternally grateful.}

Everyday Hope study excerpt

On a scale of 1 to 10, where is your grip on the hope of the Gospel today?


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7 replies
  1. Valerie
    Valerie says:

    We are starting off this year with the same thoughts, attitude and heart. Thank you for being so honest about it. Your blog validates me and redirects me back to Him. Happy New Year!!

    Reply
  2. Racheal
    Racheal says:

    I love your transparency, so I always have. Thank you for making every mother, wife, daughter, and friend normal. Miss you!

    Reply

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