My general rule of thumb is that I can put up my Christmas tree on or after my birthday (November 21). But this year, after all that this year brought, I couldn’t wait to start the festivities of celebrating hope, so my tree has been up since November 14 or so.
It’s been one of the most exhilarating years of my life. I stepped into an exciting new job that I love with NewThing network, a global church planting organization. I have been able to have some great adventures, and work alongside some of the most incredible humans I’ve ever met. Most days I can’t believe that I get to do what I do.
But this year has also been one of the most broken years of my life. Grief, sorrow, and a broken heart have been war-zones of my soul. The enemy has come at me with audacious lies about who I am and what I’m worth. There have been so many days when I have had doubts about my faith, disbelief about God’s love for me personally.
As the smoldering dust clouds of my heart have settled, and glimmers of a new dawn break through, the word I’ve heard God whisper over and over to me has been “hope.” I’ve been holding fast to the promise found in the book of Hebrews: “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul.” God’s love and faithfulness keep me steady when everything inside of me is unsure. My hope is secure and not in vain.
And so as we move into the Advent season, I am ready to celebrate the thrill of hope; the hope that Jesus has come for us. That He still comes for us. Emmanuel. God with us. Now and always. In the brokenness, in the messiness, in our fears and doubts, He is our hope. He is the one who breathes life into dead things; the one who makes rivers in wastelands.
My tired soul is thrilled that my hope has come. Hope is the anthem of my soul.
My heart is beating like a blown speaker
The spirit is willing but the flesh is weaker
A distortion pedal and a pair of wings
And an anthem played on broken strings
My heartbeat, my oxygen
My banner, my home
My freedom, my song
Hope is the anthem of my soul