Yellow and white daffodil in the garden at spring time

Are You Willing to Hold onto Hope?

by | #TellHisStory | 11 comments

My niece loves to share daily weather reports with me. Jokingly, I tell her I don’t want to hear them unless she’s telling me the day is going to be warm and sunny. If she tells me about pending snow, rain, or cold temperatures, I feign disappointment that it’s not going to be a bright and sunny day. I can even handle the cold better if I know the sun will be making an appearance. Even when a foot of snow mounded in my front yard. You see, I’m holding onto hope.

Dormant Hope

Holding onto hope isn’t always easy, especially when it involves more than a weather report. During yesterday’s quiet time with God, I listened to a brief devotional about when hope is hard. The narrator talked about dormant hope. That phrase really caught my attention because, if we’re being truthful, each one of us has had times of dormant hope.

Dormant means temporarily inactive. During the winter, a lot of animals hibernate. Their bodily functions slow down as they enter a period of deep sleep.

Seasons of Winter

I’ve had hibernating hope as I’ve gone through “seasons of winter” as my friend Jo called them. You know what I mean, right? Those seasons of trials and discouragement when you feel like you’ve been blasted with one storm after another.

I’ve referenced this before in previous posts, but I share it often because it was so life-changing for me. My family endured a two-year “season of winter” a number of years ago when both my husband and I lost our fathers, my mother had a second heart attack, our boys went through some life-alternating experiences, and I was diagnosed with an autoimmune issue brought on by the combined trauma of those experiences.

Grief, pain, fear, betrayal, and anxiety are common triggers that ravage our hope and faith like a January blizzard, freezing our hearts and blanketing us in a tundra of discouragement and disbelief.

How many times have we asked, “Why me, God?”

Metal rail road trestle in winter over a river. Snow on tree limbs

New Growth

One of the most pivotal times in my life didn’t come from church or any sort of Christian event. It came as I sat by my son’s side in the ICU while he fought for his life. While sitting in a recliner next to his bed for ten days as a virus systematically shut down his organs, I prayed harder than I had ever done in my life, begging my friends on social media to pray as well. Prayers stormed Heaven’s gate from around the world. Then, one morning, I awoke at 4:00 a.m. and simply breathed out, “God.” I had no words left.

Then, warmth and peace enveloped me in such a way that I knew without a doubt it was the Holy Spirit’s presence. At that moment, my frozen heart began to thaw. My dormant hope sprouted new growth. No matter what happened, I knew God was with me, with my family. As my son healed and was released from the hospital on Father’s Day of that year, we celebrated his recovery. He wasn’t the only one being healed.

Lilac buds in spring

Our earthly circumstances may take us through periods of shaky faith, feeling like God put us on hold. Or even worse—He abandoned us. However, the more time we spend in His Word and lean into Him during these trials and challenges, the stronger we can hold onto Hope.

Our earthly circumstances may take us through periods of shaky faith, feeling like God put us on hold. Or even worse—He abandoned us. #TellHisStory #Hope #ChristianLiving Click To Tweet

That 4 a.m. moment ignited my personal journey of realizing the impacting power of prayer.

Here’s the truth—no one wants to go through those trials because none of us want the pain that goes along with the loss, the change, the disrupted life. We’re so happy in our comfort zones, aren’t we?

But you know what? In order to allow God to work in our lives, we need to be willing to step out of our comfort zones and lean into Him as we talk together through those struggles.

Learning to Trust

Since that two-year season of winter, I’ve had had to relearn what it meant to trust God. For quite a while, I had an apprehensive heart, fearfully waiting for the proverbial “shoe to drop.”

God remained patient and gentle as He worked in my broken heart and weary mind, reminding me of His constant presence. He put people in my life who spoke life-affirming prayers and offered spiritual truth and love to help me heal and grow. As time progressed, I moved from surviving to thriving.

I love God’s promise in Joshua 1:9: Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

As winter fades into spring, purple, yellow, and white crocuses emerge through the melting snow, alerting us to the promises of spring and regrowth.

Purple, yellow, white crocuses in spring

God does the same with us. He warms our emotionally frozen souls and whispers hope to thaw our hearts. No matter what trials and challenges we are facing, we need to retain the joy of holding onto hope. God is with us through those cold seasons. It’s up to us to trust Him before the thaw—to hold onto that Hope. When we turn our faces to His Son, He shines down on us, warming us and allowing that dormant hope to re-emerge with renewed growth and promises of hope and a future.

What about you? Are you willing to hold onto hope? Even when it’s hard?

He warms our emotionally frozen souls and whispers hope to thaw our hearts. #tellhisstory #holdingontohope #faith Click To Tweet

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  1. Joanne Viola

    Lisa, it is amazing what God births in us during the cold and lonely hours of winter. Even more amazing to me is the hope that fills our hearts and souls at the mere mention of His Name. May we keep our faces turned towards Him so He keeps our hearts tender to receive all that He has for us – in every season.

  2. Anita Ojeda

    It’s not always easy to trust when things look dark—but I’ve been at the point of only being able to pray tears a time or two. And God is faithful. He promised to be WITH me, so I could handle whatever the outcome might be.

  3. Michele Morin

    Spring is as near as God’s warm welcome to our frozen souls.
    Thanks for sharing your own stories and struggles.

  4. Barbara Harper

    I like that phrase “dormant hope.” I can identify with that “waiting for the other shoe to drop” feeling, too. C. S. Lewis said, “We are not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be.” But even then, we can trust He has a reason for what He allows and will give us grace to get through it. Even when we don’t “feel” it, we know God loves us and will hear and answer us.

  5. Jerralea Winn Miller

    I saw the first crocuses the other day as I was driving to church. It was a bright beacon of hope surrounded by a carpet of old brown leaves and tree trunks and branches strippped naked waiting for their spring finery. Spring always comes; but I’m glad we don’t have to wait for the presence of the Lord. As you quoted in Joshua 1:9 – He is there!

  6. Donna

    Lisa how beautiful to think of Hope lying dormant during those winter seasons of our lives. Like the spring bulbs under the earth, it seems gone yet it only awaits the warmth of spring sunshine to reveal it was there all along.

  7. Linda Stoll

    Good morning, Lisa. When I read your title, this verse came into my mind – ‘and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.’

    Sometimes hope is all we have. We let her hold us close …

  8. Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

    Sure, I will hold on to hope
    as long as long may be
    and as long as I can cope,
    but will hope hold to me?
    I want to see the other side
    of this awful storm.
    I want to see fair hope abide
    and be by night reborn,
    but, dear God, they hurt so much
    the tumours in my failing chest
    that faith seems to be a crutch
    and it seems it may be the best
    to stand at end, here, tall and straight
    and with wide eyes accept my fate.

  9. Tea With Jennifer

    “God’s promise in Joshua 1:9: Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

    I too love that promise Lisa!

  10. Debbie Wilson

    Lisa, your post reminded me of Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 1: 9. “In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead.” We don’t like the trials. But oh what joy comes from learning to rely on Him.

  11. Lois Flowers

    I can relate to so much of what you say here, Lisa. Those winter seasons can be brutal, and it takes a while to get back to living normally (a.k.a. without fear of what the next day or phone call might bring). When the thaw comes, it’s tempting to forget it all and move on. But reflecting on God’s faithfulness in the past, as you have done here so beautifully, builds hope for the future.