Interestingly, there are times in our lives when we have it all figured out. We know what we need and are confident that our hopes are the right ones and in line with God’s will for our lives. As far as we can see at the moment, these self-proclaimed hopes will never change. Well, I have found that not to be the case. Our situations, experiences, joys, and pains may lead us to other hopes and dreams.
A A dear friend of mine had a hope chest. We were teens, and I remember her chest filled with sheets, towels, tablecloths, and other household items leading up to her envisioned and hoped-for marriage. Her hopes sounded perfect to me. I now wanted a hope chest because I dreamed of marriage, a lovely home, happy kids, and endless friends.
What would I have put in my hope chest in my teen years? I would have put things in the chest for my home. I also had non-physical hopes, such as the hope of a loving husband who would love me forever, children that would fill the house with joy and laughter, and of course, lots of friends. I also would have put in my love for God and my faith that I would continue to prioritize God in my life.
Yes, I did marry. The only things that developed from my hopes were my daughters and my faith.
In my 20s and 30s, my hopes did change based on my experience. My hope was not to continue to struggle financially, That my daughters would be happy and healthy. I also wanted to be loved deeply by my husband. I also wanted to travel. I always hoped that God would guide me and that I would remain close to Him.
In my 40s and 50s, my hopes changed yet again. I hoped that when my parents were dying that they would pass without pain. I hoped that when my husband left me after 37 years of marriage, I would recover from the betrayal and start a new and happier life. I hoped to be financially stable. I hoped my kids, and now grandkids, would be healthy and happy and follow God’s lead for their lives. I prayed God would continue to direct my path and help me to recognize His leading.
I am in my 60s now, a divorced woman. Again, my hopes have changed, but some remain the same. What is in my hope chest now, you ask? I want to be healthy and happy. I would love to develop new friendships, both male and female. I have written a book. I hope it is successful. I want to be financially secure. I hope my kids and grandkids will be healthy and happy and follow God’s lead in their lives. I hope that I can “be still” and realize that God is in control and that I will have the strength to trust in His timing. I hope and pray that God will direct me in the way that I should go.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will counsel you with my eye upon you”
Thank you God!
What is in your hope chest? Has it changed over the years? I would love to hear your story. Feel free to comment in the comment box.