Lost hope

I reside within the eternal hope of my salvation in Jesus Christ.

And yet some days are laced with difficult, can-barely-get-out-of-bed experiences. I have coined these “hard days,” which are meant to be lived fully inhabiting the pain and sorrow deep within. Such days seem hand-crafted for tears to fall down my face and for my heart to feel utterly and irrevocably broken.

Though I love my Savior–trust my Savior–I have experienced my fair share of days like that in the past, the present and there are some yet to come. “In this world, you will have troubles,” He said all those years ago, “But take heart, for I have overcome the world.”

On those days, I struggle to heed His words and take heart. The best my battered soul seems able to do is to rest within my Savior’s embrace, crying until my eyes are red and bloodshot. Strangely, there is a sweetness in those unhinged moments. A wild sense of trust that rises up amid circumstances that have long stopped making sense. An understanding dawns in the core of my being that I am loved desperately by the Savior, though the happenings around seem to deny that truth.

Such moments, though, are mostly remembered not sweetly. They are hard, painful and long–days one hopes and prays not to see too often.

For years, I tried to deny them. I stuffed the pain and heartache into a tight bottle and placed it within the context of Romans 8:28. That was, I thought, how a Christian trusted his or her Savior amid hurt.

But the gracious love of others and God would not let me stay in such repressed misery. And at last, in the midst of yet another such day, I head the Savior whispering: “Some days will just be hard, Daughter.”

As a Christian, it is difficult to accept or understand a hurt that cuts so deeply it must become a part of you in order for you to survive. But sometimes, on this side, there will never be full relief. Sometimes, nothing will ever be the same. Sometimes, you are shattered and cannot be put back together. Sometimes, you have lost a limb or gained a scar, and it will remain in this wisp of earthly life. And so, there will be hard days.

So I must embrace those hard days, allowing myself to feel and cry and break. I can find hope in the tears that trail down my face. Because there is a whisper within that I will survive. And there is the realization that accepting I am in pain does not mean I am denying the hope of Christ. When comes the morning, I will awaken with my Savior. His power will sustain me, even when it feels like it cannot.

So now, I lean into hard days. On hard days, I will remember. I will feel the fullness of pain, grief and sorrow. No longer does that make me less of a Christian; it simply makes me who I have become. My hard days will be, but they are not hopeless. They just are, a product of life in the world in which we live.

So I will mourn while clinging to the hope of Christ.

And in that hope, I can trust that my Savior is good. I can see and sense His goodness, although the storm around seems all-encompassing. I can trust that His love remains, even when everything in my life seems to contradict that statement. I can lean into the hard days and embrace the whisper of hope that one day, all will be made right–even if that day is not today.

So there will likely be hard days yet to come, but I will no longer fear them, nor run from them.

I will reside within the eternal hope of my salvation in Jesus Christ–even when all hope seems lost.

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