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Living With Hope

As resurrection people, we long to sustain the hopefulness and promise of new life. While we profess and proclaim hope, practicing it in daily life can be difficult. The pandemics of COVID-19 and racism have challenged each of us to trust and maintain hope as we walk through this season of grief, fear, and loneliness. These pandemics have awakened us to crumbling systems and created a sense of uncertainty. I have heard more than once, “I didn’t sign up for this,” or “I don’t know how to respond.”

“Hopefulness is not a commodity we find;
it is something we become.”

— Julie Neraas

Now is the time to draw upon God’s giftedness. Step back and consider your strengths, those gifts that come naturally to you. Invite others to share their gifts, too, so together we can find ways to walk with each other in this extraordinary time.

Now, more than ever, take care of yourself. Remember, you can’t serve from an empty reservoir. Attend to your physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. When you feel exhausted and fearful, reflect on your thought patterns that feed hopelessness. Rest when you are tired. Fuel your body with healthy foods and regular movement. Find time for activities that feed your soul. Nurture your relationship with God. Seek the support you need. Identify who will accompany, listen to, and encourage you.

Living in a time of transition, we often have one foot in the past, and a foot moving toward the future. That stance makes it difficult to be present. Living in the present invites us to discern what God is inviting us to do together. Neraas says, “Hope is a dimension of the divine that we share in, and it calls us to participate in the healing of the world.” We may not have answers to what the post-pandemic future holds. We must live with our questions in the present, and listen.

As we live as people of promise, with purpose and meaning, our hope comes as we lean on God. What might God be inviting us to do together?

So You Can Be Well

Try one or more of the following to help you through this season of change:

  • Name what thoughts and practices are getting in the way of living with hope?
  • Pause, reflect, and consider journaling about: What thoughts and feelings are you noticing within and around you? What gifts is God inviting you to share?
  • Invite a trusted friend or small group to help hold you accountable to healthy practices. Maintain an active lifestyle. Attend to healthy diet and sleep. Connect with each other virtually, by phone, or in person maintaining social distance.
  • What scripture passage resonates with you as you consider your current experience?
  • Who will you invite to collaborate and provide support to carry the load?

Deacon Tammy L. Devine

Tammy shares her passion for health, healing, and wholeness through consulting, coaching, and retreat facilitation. As an ELCA deacon, registered nurse, parish nurse/coordinator, and ICF certified coach, she collaborates with thought leaders to facilitate personal and communal growth toward living and leading well. Contact her to learn more.

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