2020 Vision with a Heap of Hope

2020 visionIt’s funny how I always pick a word for the year and then God seems to change it right before the new year starts. I love being open to see what He might have in store for me. I first started picking a word for the year back in 2017.

  • 2017 Intentional
  • 2018 Pray & Finish (finished my PhD this year!!)
  • 2019 Release (picked consistent but God kept putting the word release on my heart)
  • 2020 Vision with a Heap of Hope

I wanted to pick the word Hope because I wanted to understand this word more. I was going to say a dash of hope but it’s going to be more than a dash. These are the things I hope (should I be using this word here?:p) to dwell on this coming year and see God shows me.

  • What does the word hope actually mean?
  • What is the difference between hope and expectation?
  • What is the difference between hope and faith?
  • How can you hope for things if you don’t know if it’s God’s will- God’s best?
  • Should I show and share my hopes boldly and vocally?
  • And if so, which ones?
  • And if so, what if they don’t come true? I know God is a good God but I worry about hurting other peoples’ faith sometimes and that’s something I would never want to do.
  • What if I hope for something and then feel disappointed?
  • What should I hope for?
  • Should I hope for specific things? Broad things?
  • Can I be too specific? Too broad?
  • Is it possible to hope for things I shouldn’t?
  • And if so, what are those things?
  • What if I hope for things that aren’t necessarily bad?
  • What if I don’t know what to hope for?
  • Is it okay to not hope for things at all? If you don’t set expectations, you’ll never be disappointed… But…
  • I may be too scared to hope.
  • Why does it feel easier to have hope for others more than myself at times?
  • List all the verses with the word hope.
  • Write the word hope in other languages.

Now you can see why I wanted hope to be part of my word for the year. But the word Vision also came to mind… for obvious reasons:) And then I was talking to a pastor about the word vision and how he was going to do a sermon related to how 2020 vision doesn’t necessarily mean you have perfect vision, rather you have the right focus. And I really just want to have the right focus- on God. I want 2020 vision to see God clearly, who He is, in all His beauty, power, and love. And in turn, I want to see people the way God sees them. I feel so many of the things I struggle with would improve if I was able to see people the way God does. Perhaps be more patient, loving, forgiving, compassionate, understanding, I could go on. But I think as I grow more in my relationship with God and see clearly, He will allow me to see others the way He does. And that’s really what I want.

From a practical standpoint, there are a few things I am doing this year to help with this journey.

Throughout my journey of scripture and prayer, my goal is to pursue Christ more intimately and fall in love with Him even more. This is really all I could want. All that really matters.

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The familiarity of your flaws

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I wanted to go back to you. Even though I knew you weren’t good for me, I had convinced myself that something was better than nothing. That dysfunctional love, which in reality was hate, was somehow better than being alone.

Another break-up and I’m left comparing. Left alone. Left to wonder.

Your flaws, I started to excuse them. Was I asking too much? Was I being too picky? Maybe you weren’t that controlling, I did enjoy flirting. Maybe your anger was justified, because I did mess up at times. Maybe you weren’t that negative, you were under a lot of pressure at work. Maybe you really did love me, even though I knew you didn’t.

A lot of maybes in a world of uncertainty. A lot of excuses because I craved any hint of love.

For some reason I’ve always remembered the good times, the bad times seem to have been erased from my memory. My journal reminds me of the pain when my mind seeks to deceive me. It’s not in an effort to hold onto bitterness but rather to live in reality.

But ‘what ifs’ come flooding in. What if we were at a different place in life? What if our parents hadn’t been so involved? What if we hadn’t rushed everything? What ifs can send us down an alternate reality that steals the blessings God has placed right in front of us. What ifs symbolize things that didn’t happen. Things we perhaps wish would have. Things we think would have made everything better.

But these didn’t happen moments are what brought us to where we are today. Thankfully, my desire to go back to you was met with my desire to believe I deserved something more. My desire to trust God more than myself. To trust He had something better than my limited view could see.

The familiarity of your flaws led me to believe I was somehow safe. But the truth is, I never felt safe with you. What is safe about the predictability of unpredictability? And while it’s sometimes scary in a world of unknown flaws, I am left with one thing I never had with you- hope.

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photo credit: Βethan 08-06-10 II And You’re Running Away via photopin (license)