Ever felt hopeless and heartsick? The two are very closely related. Matter of fact, I submit to you that when we feel heartsick, it’s BECAUSE we are hopeless. We are afraid our circumstances won’t get better than they are in this moment, and that thought is almost too much to bear.
Hope is a wonderful thing. Without it, we are all doomed to live a life full of depression and anxiety. When you have hope, you can accomplish anything! You can get up, suit up and show up and work at whatever task is at hand. When we feel hopeless, it’s hard to find the motivation to do much of anything.
There is a time and place to say, “Don’t give up hope! Keep trying!” Sometimes you need to keep going to that dead end job because you’re learning life lessons, building your resume. Don’t quit school even though it’s hard! Don’t give up on your marriage when the road is bumpy!
But I say there’s another side to that coin. When you continue to hope for something that is NOT going to happen, praying for a situation that is NEVER going to get better, THAT is when you become hopeless, depressed, full of anxiety and fear. Sometimes it’s okay to walk away from a bad situation.
Proverbs 13:12 says,
Hope deferred makes the heart sick.
In other words, not getting what you want for what seems like forever makes you feel sick. Hopelessness affects you not just emotionally and psychologically, but also physically and spiritually.
You don’t have to be living in complete anxiety and fear to be hopeless. Maybe your life is less than what you want it to be. Maybe you’re watching your dreams go by, you’re stuck in a dead end job, you want something more, but you don’t think you can have it. You want to go back to school, change careers, but you’re afraid you’re too old or you can’t do it.
You can be hopeless in mediocrity, even if you’re not in complete misery.
To encourage you, I’ll share a story about our oldest daughter, Lindsey and her husband, Daniel.
One night Todd and I were taking them to dinner. All during the meal, Lindsey and Dan both were talking about how unhappy they were living here in central NC. It was just plain depressing for them. They love the mountains, they hate the heat, they miss his brother, sister in law and nieces who live in Alaska. They had visited them a while back, and they loved it, and Lindsey has wonderful memories of us living there when she was little. She actually LOVES cold weather (hard to believe she’s mine, isn’t it?!?!).
Todd finally said, “Then why do you live here? You’re young. You have no house payment, no kids yet. You’re a nurse, Lindsey, and you can work anywhere. Dan, you want to be a PA and if there is a good PA school in Alaska, then why don’t you go? Live where you want to live! Be happy!”
A couple of days later, Lindsey called me and said, “Mom, Dan and I really believe the Holy Spirit spoke to us through Todd. We want to move to Alaska!”
And with that, the wheels were set in motion. Within a couple months, they were packed up and made an amazing memory, camping all the way to Palmer, Alaska, seeing sights most of us only see in pictures. They both got fantastic jobs in their fields and they’ve living an adventure every minute! What a blessing to go live their dreams!
I suppose most Mamas would have kicked Todd under the table — are you kidding me?! You’re encouraging our daughter to move 5000 miles away from us!?!? But I agreed with him, as much as it hurt me to see them go. I love them enough to want them to be happy. I had a good cry saying goodbye, but I never doubted once this was the right path for them.
They need to be where they will prosper and thrive. What Mama wouldn’t be thrilled to see her children as happy as Lindsey and Dan are now?
We’ve told all our kids that same thing. Live your dreams! Go where you want to go! See what you want to see! Live where you want to live! Enjoy life to the FULL! Don’t waste it doing what you don’t want to do every day!
My goodness, people, God isn’t mean! He doesn’t get pleasure out of watching us let our dreams die and fade away!
Here’s some good advice for you if you’ve got a dream of something better, or at least different, than what you’re living now. Ask God to help you bring that dream to pass, show you what doors to knock on, what path to take, and the strength to not give up until it happens!
OR, and this is a huge OR, if it’s NOT God’s best for you, if He has something better or different than what you have in mind, ask Him to take it out of your heart.
Now that I think of it, I need to pray that prayer myself! So why don’t we pray it together? As I always say when I ask people to pray with me, Jesus said when two or more agree according to His will, He grants their requests!
Lord Jesus, God of all hope, we believe You have mighty, wonderful and amazing plans for us. Plans to make our joy complete. We ask that our hearts and plans be in line with Yours, because we know that Yours are better than we could ever ask or imagine! If there is any dream in our hearts that isn’t Your best for us, that isn’t in Your plan and Your will, please help us let it go. Simply take it out our our hearts. We give all our hopes, dreams, and plans to You, knowing that You and You alone can bring the best to pass. Give us the direction and help us walk in the right path, to chase dreams You have placed in our hearts! We believe in You, Lord. Help our unbelief. Fill our hearts with Your hope! And when people see us living prosperous and joy filled lives, may we be careful to give You all the glory!
In the mighty and powerful Name of Jesus we pray, amen and amen!