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  • Writer's pictureHope Stuart

Lost in HOPE, Found in LOVE

If you are an Air Supply fan, you are probably wondering if I mixed up the title of this post. Yes, I know the title of the popular Air Supply song is Lost in Love, however, I have been feeling lost in HOPE for the most part of 2021. I know… how ironic… a person named HOPE can feel… umm… HOPELESS. Yup… absolutely! God loves irony; however, from my point of view, this state of mind feels anything but ironic. If you had the opportunity to read my previous post on drifting, perhaps the title of this current post DOES, in fact, make sense.

You see, when the pandemic began and we were in lockdown, I forged ahead with a focus on my family and my home. I made sure my son kept up with his studies and checked in with my husband daily to see how he was handling his new job culture and expectations. We made it through one round of furloughs and felt blessed when we weren’t affected by the second round. As “my boys” acclimated to their new normal, I kept myself busy with household projects… I built a barn door, painted our porch and lattice, discovered a new way to spread mulch (message me about the wonders of newspaper!), and planted our garden. I even started the HOPE in the HUDDLE blog. I felt productive… I felt… ESSENTIAL.

When I was able to return to organizing, it felt good to return to some type of normal… even if the new normal meant masking up and finding places outside my clients’ homes to drink water and eat my protein bar for lunch. My file folder organizer was replaced with a cooler for my water and lunch while containing hand sanitizer, masks, and gloves. Still, it felt good to connect with my clients again. It felt good to connect with other humans again. It felt good to have a purpose… again. The new normal felt productive and I felt… ESSENTIAL.

With the holidays over and the waning HOPE of this pandemic ending any time soon, I have struggled; drifting in my faith and losing HOPE. I have found myself struggling with my purpose as my “bestie” clients’ pandemic projects continue to dry up. Fewer projects... less income... while the bills magically arrive on time. And while I have stretched my professional repertoire to include painting kitchen cabinets, I can’t help but feel… lost. Yes… I am lost in HOPE… feeling anything but ESSENTIAL.

ESSENTIAL… this word may go down as the word of the decade. Honestly, I don’t think ESSENTIAL was ever a “go-to” word for me. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have an issue with the word at all. It just seems like it holds more meaning in this new normal we are in, especially when your work is not determined to be ESSENTIAL. I fear I am struggling with my identity amidst a word that has taken on new meaning. In fact, I have found myself feeling beyond NON-ESSENTIAL; entering the world of INSIGNIFICANT.

INSIGNIFICANT… now, that’s a word… a word I never associated with myself or my purpose… ever. Be that as it may, it’s the only word that seems to match the lack of “pandemic purpose” I am currently feeling. When your identity has been associated with HOPE… ever since you were born… the feeling of being INSIGNIFICANT brings on a whole new level of… SIGNIFICANCE.

In my INSIGNIFICANCE, I remind myself that I must surrender to my SIGNIFICANT God because I am SIGNIFICANT to Him. He chose me before the foundation of the world. I am in His heart and in His mind. I am unconditionally loved and have been chosen to be a Child of The King. Ephesians 1:4 summarizes my thoughts best: "Even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes." In my INSIGNIFICANCE, God finds me SIGNIFICANT. He finds me SIGNIFICANT, not because of my work or even my purpose, but because He SIGNIFICANTLY loves me… for me. My soul is a priceless treasure to God. I am cherished by Him, important to Him, and found SIGNIFICANT by Him.

When trials, struggles, and challenges threaten my faith, I have to cling to Him with the understanding that He uses ALL situations for a higher purpose… to restore, establish and strengthen me. In my brokenness, I am strong. He meets me in my weaknesses. He withholds no good thing and will NEVER leave or forsake me. He loves me with a love that is beyond this worldly realm… a realm that doesn’t adhere to the same standards of this world. Therefore, I must forge ahead with a laser-like focus on the eternal realm… a place beyond what I can only begin to comprehend. And when I focus on the eternal, my SIGNIFICANCE is defined by an entirely new meaning and treasured by a new set of standards.

God doesn’t make mistakes, He makes masterpieces. God doesn’t create people who are INSIGNIFICANT, He creates SIGNIFICANT people… people with a SIGNIFICANT purpose… people with God-Given Gifts; enhancing this world while touching the Heavens. There is no one INSIGNIFICANT to God. He sees all people with the utmost of SIGNIFICANCE. We are SIGNIFICANT to Him because He SIGNIFICANTLY loves us. I will end with a SIGNIFICANTLY appropriate quote from Adrian Rogers: God doesn’t change us in order to love us. He loves us in order to change us. It is my HOPE you feel God’s SIGNIFICANT LOVE for you in order to find SIGNIFICANT HOPE in yourself.

NOTE: This devotional arrived on the day before I published this post…

I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow - not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. Romans 8:38 (God’s clock, God’s plan… God’s LOVE.)

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