Straight from a Hopeful Heart
By Lisa Elliott
Happy New Year! I don’t know about you but as I usher in the New Year I’m still trying to process, and if I’m completely honest, recover from last year. So, before plunging into this New Year, I felt it necessary to take inventory of where I’ve been and what I’ve done in hopes of gaining some perspective. Jeremiah has provided the perfect outline in Lamentations 3:21-23—verses that have threaded and woven their way into and throughout my life.
This I call to mind:
This past year presented itself with a myriad of activity, ministry, heartache, blessings, and opportunity. Bear with me as I take the liberty of processing it all with you.
- I had the privilege of taking part in launching an exciting Canadian initiative of Women Together with four godly women
- I gave birth to a new book, Dancing in the Rain; One Family’s Journey through Grief and Loss
- I appeared on 100 Huntley Street
- I was interviewed on Faith FM Christian Radio
- I said “good-bye” to my father-in-law
- Of course, the ultimate highlight of my year was welcoming my first grandchild into the world during the anniversary week of my son’s death six years earlier!
- Then, I made three trips to Winnipeg to help my daughter and son-in-law through a very traumatic and life-threatening start to parenthood
- I attended a Grieving Parents Respite in Nashville, TN with the prospects of bringing such a ministry back to Canada
- I taught a series of Adult Sunday School Lessons on nurturing a personal relationship with the Lord
- I was involved in a wide variety of church-related ministries alongside my husband
- I co-led two thirteen week sessions of a GriefShare program amounting to more than ten sessions over the past five years
- I carried out a full schedule speaking God’s truth into lives “Straight from the Heart”
- I conceived and began to compute two potential new books
- I slept in more beds than I can count
- I adapted to a new time zone on average about once every two weeks
- I provided hospitality and hosted multiple gatherings in my home
- And I even found time to keep up with writing this monthly blog! …
Therefore I have hope
It’s in recalling all of the things I’ve listed above that I find hope. Hope? You ask. Sounds more like a recipe for a heart-attack! With all the emotional acrobatics and somersaulting, back-flipping, tightrope walking, lion taming, trapeze swinging, and fire-eating I’ve rehearsed, I’ve considered joining Cirque de Soleil this coming year. LOL All kidding aside, As I recall, reflect, and remind myself of all that has transpired in my life over the last year, it has become clear that God’s strength and grace have, yet again, proven to be enough and that gives me a hope for the future! How could I believe otherwise? I can attest to Scriptural principles and promises such as, “Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.” (Isaiah 39) “Hope does not disappoint.” (Romans 5:5) “‘For I know the plans I have for you’, declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope’.” (Jeremiah 29:11) “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” (Hebrews 11:1) “We have this hope as an anchor.” (Hebrews 6:19)
“Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning;
The fact that I’m writing this blog is proof enough that I have not been consumed by all that’s unfolded in my life. His love and compassions have certainly not failed me. And as I anticipate another year, there is no doubt in my mind that His compassions will not fail me again. Inevitably, it will be a year full of: new challenges, new blessings, new obstacles, new relationships, new demands, and new opportunities. However, I’m assured that amid all that this New Year brings with it, God’s mercies are also new. In fact, they are new every morning!
Great is His faithfulness!
Throughout this past year the Lord has been faithful to protect, guide, comfort, provide, instruct, chide, reprove, test, and sustain me. And the good news is that His faithfulness is great! Present tense! My hope and my prayer as I embark on and anticipate all that God has in store for me on this next step of my journey with Him is that I will continue to be faithful to love and serve Him however my life unfolds. How about you?
Why don’t you take some time right now to reflect on your last year? Take note of how God’s faithfulness has been woven into it. As this New Year unfolds, keep record of all the ways that the Lord shows up. It’s bound to give you a renewed sense of hope!
Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:21-24)
About this Contributor:
Lisa Elliott is an inspirational speaker and award-winning author of The Ben Ripple and Dancing in the Rain. Additionally, she has written articles for Just Between Us Magazine and devotionals for theStory. She and her pastor-husband, David, have four children (3 on earth, 1 in heaven) and serve the Lord together in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
To book Lisa for a weekend retreat or day conference contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org