Hope for Later – But Also Right Now

Hope blesses now

Break an Arm

I remember crashing down. The snow wasn’t soft enough. The ice was too hard.

I braced with my left arm.

And my arm snapped.

It hurt. Badly. [See the story here.]

But the pain from a broken arm went beyond physical.

It was my thoughts about the future that also caused suffering.

My One Word 2019

That happened years ago. But I think about it still.

Almost every year when I am searching for my One Word for the year, one word repeatedly makes it on my preliminary list: hope.

But each year, something else overpowers it. And perhaps rightly so. For those years.

But for 2019, my cynicism and pessimism towards the political and cultural divides in America have made “hope” stand out as the only correct choice.

Because even though I eventually gain it back, I can too easily give up hope.

Just like when I broke my arm. I too easily gave up hope.

What hurt the most were thoughts of losing future abilities to play the piano, to type, to use my left arm for anything meaningful. I was worried about the possibility of unimagined losses for a lifetime, not just that my arm would be useless for the next few weeks.

Hope Is Now

When I become hopeless about the future, I also lose my peace and joy in the present.

Hope brings more than just confidence about the future, more than just trust in God’s grace around the corner.

Hope also is grace for today.

I want joy in the now that comes from confidence in God down the road.

It’s right now that I gain peace when I hope.

These present benefits of hope are the ones I want to claim.

Hope on Hand

So with the Spirit’s guidance—a route I can’t fully predict or plot on a calendar—I want to call hope to mind more often in 2019. As a spiritual discipline. As a deliberate practice.

Each month as I hold hope for myself, my friends, our world, I want to cling to hope personified, the person and deity of Jesus. To learn from him. To let him hold my hand.

“I will not be shaken with the Lord at my right hand.”
Psalm 16:8

I know he’s at my left hand, too.

As it turned out, my broken left arm healed fine. Maybe a tad more crooked upon close examination, but it’s as functional as before the break.

So for 2019, this will be my theme:

“But this I call to mind,
and therefore I have hope:
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end.”
Lamentations 3:21-22

Hope is not only for later. It blesses me right now.

* * *

Do you have one word or phrase for 2019? Does hope come easily to you? Or like me, do you have to work at it? Please share in the comments.

Hope 2019

Previous One Words:

21 thoughts on “Hope for Later – But Also Right Now

  1. Katie

    “Hope is grace for today” fills my heart so much with peace and faith.

    Strong and Courageous are my words which you already knew. 😘 I love you friend.

  2. Lesley

    Hope is a great word! Although it has never been my one word for the year either it is probably the one word for my life and it is what I want to leave others with whenever I have contact with them!

  3. Pam Ecrement

    Well said, my friend! It can seem that hope is very much needed in the crazy times in which we live. The fabric of so many things we have revered and loved seem to be getting torn to shreds in ways some of us who are older cannot imagine would ever occur.

    I was reminded in 2018 when our pastor spent the year preaching and teaching out of Revelation that this should surprise none of us as the Lord’s return gets closer. The Bible makes it evident that the world as we have known it is on a course toward getting worse rather than better. That doesn’t make it easier to see, swallow, or understand.

  4. Anita Ojeda

    What a great word for the year! I haven’t had the energy to contemplate if I ‘have’ a word for the year. Maybe it’s ‘survive’–we’ve taken on a lot of extra kiddos this year–mentoring them, having them stay with us during vacations, and while I love the kiddos God has put in my path, I find that my quiet, empty-nest lifestyle had gotten rather comfortable.

  5. Teresa Richardson

    My word for 2019 is Stretch. My hope wains at times, but God has been with me all my life. I would have died as a preemie, but my Nana had a priest baptize me. I stumble sometimes, but I am always aware of His presence with me

  6. Karen Friday

    Beautiful, Lisa…except the part where you broke your arm. 🙂 Hope is the theme of my blog, so I’m always thinking about it and believe, as intangible as it seems and is, we really can grab ahold of it.

    I love all your thoughts here about hope right now, not just in the future. How Jesus is the personification of hope. And this, “When I become hopeless about the future, I also lose my peace and joy in the present.”

    Thanks for the reminder! Praying you grab ahold of real hope all year long!

  7. Karen Friday

    And meant to say, I’ve never made resolutions or picked a one word for the year. But this year the Lord lead me to a Scripture for the year, “In him we live and move and have our being.” Acts 17:28a

  8. Rachel

    I was drawn to this post because my One Word for the year is also HOPE!
    Hope personified— Jesus beside me.
    Beautiful words about hope, Lisa.
    Thankful it is for now!

  9. Jana

    You’ve given me a fresh perspective on hope, Lisa. I’ve never realized that when I think of hope, I think about the future. But you’re absolutely right – hope is for the present, too. Christ is my hope and He is always with me. That a Truth with tremendous impact!

  10. Laurie

    “Hope” is a wonderful word to ponder for 2019, Lisa. I am excited to read your thoughts on the matter as the year progresses. I “hope” God blesses you with reasons to be hopeful this year. Loved this line
    “Hope also is grace for today”. Beautiful!

  11. Trudy

    “I want to cling to hope personified, the person and deity of Jesus. To learn from him. To let him hold my hand.” Me, too, Lisa! May hope be the anchor of our souls in the midst of all the chaos in this country and in this world. Clinging to the truth that God’s got us and He is still in control, no matter what, has often given me hope. Love and blessings to you!

  12. Betsy de Cruz

    Hope is one of my favorite words, Lisa, and that Lamentations verse means so much to me. I went back to it many times last fall and adopted it as my memory passage for January. My word is “Word,” as in, I want to seek more intentionally to hear God’s voice through His Word.

  13. Shelbee on the Edge

    Hope is so necessary and such a great word to motivate you through the year! What a beautiful post and I love the journey that brought you to choosing hope. With regard to my goals, my phrase for 2019 is “think smaller in order to go bigger”. But just today I also realized that for my life in general, my phrase for the new year is “Let Go.” I have been holding on to some negativity that is weighing me down and it is simply time to let it all go! Thank you for sharing your inspiration!


  14. Cheryl Gerou

    Hope is a great word for the new year. Hope, when saturated with faith, truly can fill our hearts with joy! Our hearts are empty and desperate apart from the hope we find in the Lord. I pray that the Lord shows you His faithfulness and love so you may constantly know hope in you heart throughout 2019 and beyond!

  15. Stacey Pardoe

    Hope is my word this year too, Lisa! “Hope is grace for today!” Yes! I needed this today. I was really blessed by how you unpacked this word and brought into the very present tense. May we hold onto this hope as an anchor for our souls this year, my friend!

  16. floyd samons

    I like it! I share your sentiments often. It takes pondering the truth of God’s word; in the end we know that love indeed does win, but we also need to try to live in peace with all people that the Word tells us.

    I don’t have a word… other than the one that I’ve had for the last five years… And I know you know it!

  17. Mary Geisen

    Hope is for now and later. It is for always. God is persistent in making sure we honor what He has chosen for us. Looking forward to all God is going to do in and through you this year.

  18. Ashley

    Remember is my word for this year. To remember God’s faithfulness. It kind of goes along with hope.
    Hope is a deep word. It’s not just “hoping” something will happen. It’s trusting in God’s promises, and what He says will come true. Looking forward to seeing how God uses “hope” this year for you.

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