Three days ago I wrote a blog post on a research education blog I have slowly been cultivating over the last year or so. It is a space for me to reflect on my reading and research for my PhD. I rarely connect The Jester Flys with this humble little 7mouths2feed because I know my audience is quite different. But today as I sat in Church, I was overwhelmed by the connection between my life and that blog post.
I had written about hope, the hope that teachers hold close.
“Hope that we can make a difference. Hope to support young people on their learning journey. Hope that they will understand. Hope that they will grow in independence and knowledge. Hope that will unlock something and that it will usher in a lifetime of learning.”
There it was … hope. I realised that I needed to see and remember and recall the hope I have in faith in God. The assurance of His Love, the peace that I experience in this life, the comfort, the hope in future grace. But to say I got there because of something that happened in church alone would be inaccurate. I share this now because I have connected the dots and want to be frank about the way I see God at work, in spite of my hard heart and incapacity to hope.
In the last week, in the midst of busyness, flu and a house full of sick kids my man and I watched this talk from Tim Keller about identity.
It offered me a new framework for thinking about my life, my purpose and my identity.
Then an overdue phone call from a close friend reminded me of my need to be in relationship with people who will encourage me, support me, challenge in my faith. Not in how I will spend my money, how I will advance my career or what Netflix series I should watch. But how I should live my life and be real. I needed more of God’s word in my life.
I then flicked through my Shereadstruth app and was reminded of Proverbs 1:7 – the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.
Finally, my man shared with me a great presentation from The Austin Stone Community Church. The Stone’s teaching has been a source of regular encouragement for us, but their home and their missional life is far away in Texas. You can get a sense of these stories here.
I was moved by people sharing their story, sharing their hope in the midst of pain and loss and suffering. This story in particular. I was moved by the way people responded to those needs. They offered hope, they showed love and they served.
Reminding myself that I was a part of something bigger than me and that God had a plan for me that was larger than anything I could ever imagine, reminded me that there is hope. Hope in a future in which I am loved, assured and forgiven.
I see Hope in a new light today. Hope underpins all that I do, all that I am. As a wife, mother, daughter and friend; in my role as educator, researcher, coach and counselor. Hope is something I want to hold on to. Hope.