I sat in a women’s Bible study with fresh tears and a weary heart on a winter day in 2003. Our family had moved across the country one year earlier, from Denver, Colorado, to Fort Wayne, Indiana. Now, my husband had resigned from his new job because of poor management. The future looked as bleak as the past year had felt. Our marriage was a brittle rubber band, stretched to almost breaking. My faith was withering under the stress (click the link to read more).
Donna sat next to me in that group of women. Suddenly, she pulled off her bracelet and thrust it into my hand while we prayed. I opened my eyes and saw the blue, glass beads strung on elastic with a pewter charm imprinted “Romans 15:13.” She said, “I felt like God was saying, ‘Take off your bracelet and give it to Jayne.'” Later, I looked up the verse imprinted on the charm:
“I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.” (NLT)
No one really knew how difficult that year was. No one, except Jesus. My dry and withering soul clung to the idea of hope, but I felt despair.
By the next spring, 2004, both Dave and I had found jobs, but life remained difficult. Between recovering from financial loss, working full-time, and raising our three young children, life offered little hope.
Then, one morning in late March, when I turned out of my driveway, I noticed green shoots poking through the snow on the side of the road. Each day, those green shoots grew until they burst into bloom, bright yellow daffodils. In that moment, a voice whispered, “Seasons change.” Hope sprouted in my heart. I knew that just as the seasons change, my circumstances would change also.
Every spring, I’m reminded of that whisper. Hope spills out of God’s heart to us (click to read more about trusting Him). Hope can take root and sprout in our hearts because Jesus lives in us.
“Oh! May the God of green hope fill you up with joy, fill you up with peace, so that your believing lives, filled with the life-giving energy of the Holy Spirit, will brim over with hope!” (Romans 15:13 MSG)
“Hope” is the thing with feathers –That perches in the soul –And sings the tune without the words –And never stops – at all –-Emily Dickinson