"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11
A few years back the girls and I were talking about dreams and desires we had for our lives and how in the moment we were nowhere near them it seemed.
I remember sharing with the girls that struggle of balancing SURRENDER to what is the present moment but HOPING for the future with hopes and dreams that are closest to my heart.
As we talked more about what it means to hope and surrender, Christine said, "You know, even if this is our life forever and it's not what we wanted or had hoped for, still it's the hope of the possibility that IT COULD come about that keeps us going one more day."
I'm writing this and realizing that may not make sense, but I believe the reason that verse from Jeremiah is so powerful is because it's so easy to lose hope. Hope that the Father DOES have a beautiful plan for our lives and hope that it's good. That HE is good. Hope that even if we are in a dark season that it won't last forever, that He is moving, working and orchestrating something beautiful in our lives. Hope that each moment, everything that happens matters and has value. Hope that He is working behind the scenes and in the scenes even when it doesn't look or feel like it.
I wonder how Our Lady felt as she looked at the pieces of her life and the dreams that she had for herself and how different it was as it played itself out within the Father's plans. I wonder how many times her heart sank or experienced moments of fear or confusion during that time when she was young, unmarried, pregnant...What a scandal especially in that day and age. Also, later when she and Joseph found out they had to travel to Bethlehem while far along in her pregnancy and to top it off... when they arrive they don't even have a place to stay.
I wonder how many times Joseph struggled with faith and hope in the Father's plans for his life. His betrothed is pregnant, and not by him. He's supposed to marry her anyway. Then with a pregnant wife he has to take her on a long, uncomfortable journey but when they arrive he can't even provide for her how he would like to.
I wonder if together they would remind each other to trust. I wonder if they would express acts of faith and hope in the midst of numerous situations that weren't in their plans. Yet, it was because of God's incredible grace and beautiful plan that Mary and Joseph's hope, trust, and fiat to the Lord literally changed the course of history. Their 'yes' helped bring about the salvation that had been hoped and prayed for for so long. Their 'yes' to being His instruments brought a tangible HOPE to the entire world.
As I ponder this, I pray for each of you that no matter where you are in your life, what you're going through in this season of Advent, that we can believe those words of our Father. That He DOES have a HOPE and a FUTURE for us. And it's GOOD.
Please pray for us as we also hold you all near to our hearts and lift you up to the Heart of Jesus and Mary during this precious Season of Hope.