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  • Writer's pictureLauren Mitchell

Driving into Hope

We are about two weeks into school and this morning I drove the boys to Kindergarten and Fourth grade. (It’s not my week to drive the middle school girls, so I get the quiet ride.) I dropped them off and went about heading to Publix, my next stop of the morning. I started talking to little man (Caleb, my Kinder), and then mid-sentence realized he wasn’t there. Tears. I’ve been trying so hard to handle my oldest going to middle school and my youngest to Kindergarten with trust and confidence in God’s plan for them that I didn’t let myself grieve the end of a season of our lives. Changes in season come whether we are ready for them or not. Empty booster seats and quiet mornings are the new norm, even if I’m not sure I’m ready for it. I can’t fence time, only God holds its rhythm. Because I trust Him with confidence in this new season, doesn’t mean I can’t take a minute to mourn the passing of the last season. God has compassion on my heart and doesn’t ask me to stop feeling my emotion. But here’s the key, I can’t let my emotion eventually cloud my view of the next season. There is a time to mourn, but there is also a time to dance. I can let myself fully feel the pain, but then I have to let myself fully take the joy. God has plans in this next season to bring us hope and joy. If I let Satan steal my joy because I am so focused on what has passed, it will taint the blessing of the next season. I will miss the expectation and hope of what’s coming around the corner. If I am constantly looking backwards at my last season, I will miss the things right in front of me.

I rarely appreciate things in their season, it takes a change of season for me to see clearly. With the change comes perspective, and that perspective helps me cherish the gifts as they come. It takes the first of the falling leaves and cool breeze, the first snowflake, or the last day lily of summer for me to get that perspective. I have been known to cry over that last day lily (my nine-year old son is rolling his eyes at me somewhere and I hear his voice, “Mom, are you crying over flowers?”). They are so beautiful and beauty always gets me. Day lilies are so appropriately named; each flower only lasts one day. This speaks to my soul about cherishing my moments. I am forever bringing the flowers inside because I secretly hope that if I dote on them, they will last just a little longer, but they don’t. Things don’t last longer than they are intended because God knows we will take them for granted.

We are called to have Hope. It’s okay to grieve the end of a season, for a time, and it’s always good to be honest with God because He has compassion on us, and He always takes time to sit with us in our sadness and count our tears. We also need to make sure we are listening and obedient when He says, “okay enough, now it’s time to get up and walk”. I have a whole new season ahead of me, and so do my children. I can’t imagine all the places God is going to take them, but I can expect it. That’s what having hope means. I’m expecting that this new season will be packed with gifts, and I’m expecting answers to prayers in it. Having hope in God’s plan means investing my prayers in the next season. I want to plant things that are going to produce fruit in time. Prayer does that like nothing else because it allows us to get out desires aligned with God’s. When our hearts meet in prayer, He can influence our soul with the Holy Spirit to mesh our thoughts with His intentions for us. When I place my hope in God it has to delight His heart. When I tell God, “your plans, not mine” it opens up an avenue of blessing. “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope” (Romans 15:13 ES

V). He is the God of hope. When we believe Him, we get joy and peace and then we abound, literally bubble over with hope. I can’t seem to get over this verse; it has been the theme of my song for the last several months. It’s God calling me to hope. He’s calling us to hope because He is the God of hope. He in fact is our hope in every season, in every day, in every moment.

I can’t go forward while looking backward. I’ve tried it in life and it always ends with me hurt. My husband could tell you a hilarious story about me walking into a pole at target, but we’ll save that for his blog post, which will never happen, so I’m safe. There is a day coming when all my seasons on earth will be over, I refuse to let Satan steal any of my joy because I’m not watching where I am going. If I place my hope in heaven where it belongs, then I am always looking forward. “Therefore do not throw away your confidence which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised (Hebrews 10:35).

Don’t throw away your confidence! Don’t let Satan take an ounce of the joy and peace God intends for you on this earth by getting you to focus behind you at what’s past. Believe in the God of hope and the Holy Spirit will fill you with everything you need to abound in hope in the season where God has currently positioned you. Stop and thank God for the change that brings perspective and then cherish those new moments. Squeeze the life out of them.

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