To my surprise, I’ve felt more “settled in” to life (for lack of a better term) this month perhaps more than I have all year. God has been doing new things in me & around me and I couldn’t feel better about it. My August adventure started with a trip to Wilmington & continued into a 60th birthday party for my dad. My investment has been in my word of the year: HOPE!
As a bit of a continuation of some things I mentioned in last month’s blog, I decided to spend a week in my college town of Wilmington, NC at the beginning of the month to spend some time with my sweet friends living there. I was able to stay with my best friend/freshman year roommate Brooke, catch up with my friends June, Shelby, & Chetna over drinks/dinner, & hang out with one of my sorority littles Reilly every day I was there! Not only did I get to unwind in good company, but I also spent some much-needed time alone working at coffee shops & lounging on Wrightsville Beach. As social as I am, I’m an introvert who needs her time away from it all, so this time was the perfect way for me to reset & prepare for the busyness of the month ahead as I began my new job with Yelp Hampton Roads & a new semester of classes.
It was truly a privilege to plan a 60th birthday celebration for my dad! He is more deserving than anyone to have a day all about him. His siblings were able to make the trip to visit us in North Carolina from all over: New York, Georgia, & Florida. He also had plenty of other long-time loved ones celebrate with us at our home where we had a huge cookout & party. I could go on and on about how awesome this day was for everyone, but for me it was an event planning adventure that couldn’t have meant more!
Hope is something I’d struggled to keep at the forefront of my mind in the last couple of years, on & off. I’ve let lots of discouragements, disappointments, & letdowns get the best of me to the point where it actually hurt to keep hoping in something. But God has shown me a better way to handle these emotions through the hope I can have in Him. While I knew I’ve been called to meditate on the word “hope” in 2019, it hasn’t always been easy. From the first day of August, this month had seemed to promise a lot to be hopeful about. A new job I had been prayerful about for months, the clean slate of a new semester after (somehow) crushing my summer sessions, & a few weeks of down time before heading full force into it all. Even when I became overwhelmed with stress & anxiety, I was as intentional as possible to change my mindset toward a life-giving perspective on whatever situation faced me.
Having hope in things unseen can be scary–I had to let go of that fear. Having hope can be unnerving–I had to be brave. Having hope meant that I had to trust God to take care of me no matter the outcome. And let me tell you: God completely & unexpectedly blew me away with His love & favor this month in more ways than I’ll even share right now. A simple decision to remain hopeful in the face of uncertainty allows God the opportunity to exceed our expectations & calm all of our fears in the process.
That’s what I did this August & I refuse to quit as the year continues.
“Now may God, the inspiration and fountain of hope, fill you to overflowing with uncontainable joy and perfect peace as you trust in him. And may the power of the Holy Spirit continually surround your life with his super-abundance until you radiate with hope!” Romans 15:13