As I write, there are two hours left of Easter Day.  Family has come and gone, the house is quiet, and I find myself considering what it means to live “in hope,” which is much different than to live “hoping for.”   It took losing it–hope–for me to understand the distinction.

It’s been almost a decade now, but when I think of that dark season my pulse quickens and I can almost feel the panic rising again.  Almost.

I wrote a little book about it then, but shared it with only a handful of people.  I was too prideful to admit to most that for a time, I was a mess.  I didn’t have it all together.  I looked away from God because I thought he’d looked away from me.  Yes, I did.

But today is Easter–a very good day, I think, to share a personal storybook of the hope that I once lost and the story of how God gently handed it back to me.

the end.

It isn’t easy for me read this little book again.  It makes me sad to remember who I was for a

time–a person with such small faith. I shudder

at the possibility that a future circumstance might take me there again, though I believe myself to be stronger in my faith now.  As I sit here on Easter night, I am not without questions and concerns and disappointments.   But mostly, I’m better at laying them down, trusting that God doesn’t leave us treading water in the middle of our sea of desperation.

I know this to be true.

Rather, he urges us to live “in hope” with him.  To walk in and out of storms fearlessly.  I’m grateful that he didn’t let me leave him.

He stayed with me.

He sought me out.  He wouldn’t quit following me and urging me to live in hope.

And after some time, I did.  That is where I landed.  There is rest here…where all things, even the ones that hurt, are made new again.

And so it is well with my soul and I can rejoice.

Happy, blessed Easter.