Saturday, January 10, 2009

A Thrill of Hope

I saw that title for a post on one of the sidebars of someone's blog that I read, but true to Kendra form, I must have saw something pretty or shiny and got distracted and never clicked on it to read. And I can't for the life of me find it again. So if that was you, please post a comment or email me so I can give you the credit. I am morally opposed to any type of bloggy plagiarism.
I saw the title around Christmas time, and immediately recognized it as a part of a lyric to a popular Christmas carol "A thrill of Hope, the weary world rejoices...". Funny how I have sung that song a hundred times, but never really thought about the words.

A thrill of hope.

Since glancing at these words, this phrase has come to the forefront of my mind several times in the last few weeks, and I began to ask the Lord about it. What exactly does it mean??
I then began to think about that rush that sometimes overcomes you when you are suddenly filled with hope about something...

I thought about the feeling you get when you are expecting a package or present in the mail, and you walk out to the mailbox, filled with anticipation, wondering if it's waiting for you or not.

I thought back to being a kid on Christmas morning (or being 27, on Christmas morning=-)) and running downstairs, felling full of excitement and hope at what Santa may have left for you under the tree.

My mind made its way to the night that David proposed, how I saw the note on the door to his apartment that clued me in to what was waiting inside...I remember my heart started beating at a rapid pace, my palms got sweaty, and my face flushed with excitement. I was so hopeful that this was the night.
It was a rush of emotions, a rush of hope.

One might say I was thrilled.

I thought about the night my niece was born. I thought about how beyond terrified I was that labor had begun at 26 weeks. And I remember David and I being on our knees, begging the Lord to show mercy and to spare this sweet little soul we hadn't met yet. And then the phone rang, and Natalie's sweet voice said the words "you have a niece, she weighs one pound, 11 ounces, and she looks like she is going to make it"
I remember a flood of hope just washed over me.
I was beyond thrilled with this new found hope.

I talked with the Lord about this for awhile...the idea of being thrilled with hope. I shared with Him all that has been on my heart lately - I know He already knows it all, but it is helpful in any relationship to talk things out, and my relationship with Christ is no different.
I talked to Him about my fears and doubts about our family plans. I shared with Him my concerns about what this year holds for us...a new job for David, a possible move (to who knows where), and plenty of heavy decisions to make....all the things that burden me daily. I asked Him to help me cast my cares upon Him, and help me to trust Him with my life.
This is a daily prayer of mine.
Then I asked for something else...

I asked Him to thrill me.

To thrill me with Hope.

I figured, why not?? After all, the Bible says "Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!" Isaiah 30:18

And let me tell you... He did.

He thrilled me in such a way that I literally could not stop grinning! I left the house to run errands and when I came back home I burst through the front door and bounded up to David and gave him the biggest hug. He was a little taken aback (and a little thrown off balance, I usually yell out a warning cry of "brace yourself!" before I bound like that) and he asked (with a grin on his face) "What's gotten into you?" And I proceeded to - excitedly- tell him "do you know how many opportunities we have in front of us? Do you realize how many options we have?? Can you even BEGIN to fathom ALL of the amazing things God can do with our life?? The possibilities are endless, just endless!!!"

It was as if almost every fear I carry about our future and upcoming decisions had all of a sudden been turned into amazing opportunities. My outlook had changed in a simple afternoon.
It is an undesired habit of mine to become consumed with the gripping fear of the unknown. I am a planner, and it throws me completely outta whack when things don't go as planned. I have been known a time or two (or seven, or eight, or a hundred) to shake my finger at God and say "This isn't how things were supposed to go! This wasn't the plan!!"
And I can picture Him, just looking down at me, with a Father's love in His eyes and saying "Oh child, you have no idea what my plan is..."
I was reminded He can do anything.

He changed my vision, my way of looking at things. Instead of feeling stuck, standing blindly before too many options and feeling pressured to make uneducated, unconvinced choices, I felt like we had the whole world before us...and it was a good thing.

He reminded me that although things are not going like I had so perfectly planned out, He is not surprised by anything. He has known from the beginning of my life where I would be in January of 2009, and He knows where I will be this time next year. And the year after that, and after that, and so on.

He thrilled me with the reminder of the endless possibilities that exist through Him.

And I am grateful.

And hopeful.

And now I pray I have faith enough to make it last, to keep these thoughts in the forefront of my mind.

A Thrill of Hope - ask and you shall receive.


:) said...

I stumbled upon your blog, from another blog. I was so amazed at your writing. I just wanted to keep reading more! You are an amazing writer and I'm definitely going to keep stopping by your blog! It's so uplifting and nice. I'm a "planner" too, and this sure makes me see things in a different light :)
Jennifer (Las Vegas)

Jenna said...

Kendra, I LOVED this!! Thank you so much for sharing it!! I just love your heart and know God is going to bless you so much in whatever ya'll's future plans may hold. :-)

Vanessa's Dad said...

I'm undone...

And, it's a nice feeling.

I also feel a bit better knowing that I'm not the only person in our family who stays up WAY too late. ;)


Krysta said...

Isn't it great when things like that happen? I recently let go of my fear too and it felt so good! I'm also a huge planner. I think He does this just so that we can be reminded that we aren't in control!

Heather said...

I love this so much!!! The thrill of hope.....such a wonderful feeling. May it last forever for you...and me....and all of us!
Thanks for sharing this- it meant a lot to me!

Kelly said...

I love this. It is exactly what I needed to read. Thank you for sharing this with us.

Heather said...

I just had to pop back in over here and tell you that I CRACKED UP when I remembered about Joey speaking French! Hilarious! "Come on....French it up!!!" You make me laugh so hard, and I love that we are friends with "Friends" in common! Love ya!

Lacy said...

This was beautifully written Kendra!! Very encouraging. I am going to work on turning my "lemons into lemonade". I am praying that he will "thrill me with hope" too!! Thank you for posting this!

Faith said...

Kendra this is an incredibly awesome post. Thank you SO much for sharing your sweet heart for the Lord.

Praying for you!

Amanda said...

Such an overlooked concept in a wonderful song. I, too, have never really pondered the lyrics. What a truly magical experience a "thrill of hope" is. A surge of giddiness that if I'm honest with myself, yeah, I get that rush too at times when I check the mailbox and it might rival the feelings I got when I realized Noah was proposing. (What is it with us Brown Girl's and mail? I guess at least it can be said that we enjoy simple pleasures...)Thank you for sharing your thoughts and pausing me to reflect on the hope and joy that He has great endless possibilities in store for my future too. I pray that I will allow Him to lead and Wow Me on His time and His path, not mine.