Every year we countdown. Every year we set resolutions. Every year we have renewed hope for the year ahead. This will be THE year. The year for ________.
We always look ahead with hope. Which I think God loves. But what are we hoping in? Hope for more money? To lose weight? To raise a credit score? To find love? All of these are great goals but God tells us that our hope is found in Him. Unless we are looking to Him as our source of hope, then all of those accomplishments are in vain.
I believe it is human nature to enter into a time of reflection as chapters come to a close. Last year on this same day, Dec. 31st. I posted on Facebook that 2017 had been good to me but that 2018 would be even better. I was both extremely correct and extremely wrong. It was both the best and worst year of my life.
It was the year of expectation. I was expecting a wedding to take place, I was expecting a wonderful honeymoon to happen, I was expecting a child to be born, I had high hopes. Hope in things that would make it a joyous, celebratory year.
Some of those things did happen. None of them happened in the way I had believed or hoped they would.
I did have my wedding on a beautiful day in January. It was perfect weather, I was surrounded with loved ones, I was pampered with hair and makeup, I loved my dress and my venue. And most of all I was marrying my best friend and absolute love of my life. (Okay, let’s be 100% honest here, we were married the previous October but this was our wedding day.)
I walked down the aisle towards my husband as nervous as I had ever been. Nervous that I would trip and fall, nervous that so many people were staring at me, nervous that I looked pregnant in my dress (because technically I was). Nervous that I would bleed out at any moment. Because while I was pregnant, I had just been told 5 days prior that I was miscarrying. I spent my wedding day praying that I would make it through the day without ending up on the bathroom floor doubled over in pain.
It wasn’t all bad. I had fun with my bridesmaids, sang karaoke, danced with my husband and father, had the best cake of my life, took pictures in the photo-booth, and made memories that will last forever. But the fact remains that I was grieving.
The honeymoon that was hoped for was exchanged for surgery and days of recovery. The baby that should have joined us in August was no longer growing inside me.
This is how 2018 began for me.
However, it is ending with me being pregnant for a second time with a healthy baby boy. And in God’s amazing way of doing things we found out we were pregnant in August. The same month that I had expected life to come forth, it did, just in a slightly different way.
This time of my life reminds me that something can be both beautiful and sorrowful. The things I had put my hope in gave me both great happiness and even greater disappointment.
God promises us that in this life there will be trouble. I think one of the biggest downfalls we have as Christians is focusing too heavily on the “blessings” of God. Thinking that blessings only come in the form of happiness. I don’t believe this is true. I believe God blesses us in our sorrows just as much as He does in our happy times, if not more.
As we look toward this new year and lay out our hopes and dreams, I pray we all remember that there may also be some moments of sorrow or disappointment. But if our faith and hope is in Christ then we will ultimately find our peace in Him, no matter the outcome or circumstance. God can and will bless you in your disappointment. He can and will bless you in your sorrow. But we must remember that our hope is in Christ and not in the things of this world. Not in our wedding days, not in our weight loss goals, not in our financial successes. Our hope and peace comes from Christ Jesus alone.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33