Hold on to Hope

I’m a quitter. It comes way too easy for me to walk away from something that feels hard, whether it’s a gymnastics class, a friendship, or a diet. But as I mature and grow up, I’m learning that courage builds when I hang on.

Listen. I’ve wanted to walk away from this career a lot. And I mean a lot. It gets hard and lonely and frustrating (along with all the good things – don’t get me wrong!). But I’m hanging on because I see the light at my feet telling me to keep walking and writing.

Joy Williams has a song called “Golden Thread,” and when things seem to be stretching me too thin, I loop that song like nobody’s business. Because it reminds me that when I feel like I am just hanging by a thread and it all seems to be unraveling and to simply cut it would be the best bet, that thread may be gold. And it may be worth holding on.

Things can get sticky here. You’re in an abusive relationship? I’m not telling you to stay. You’re trying to make it out in LA as an actress, and you’re literally out of money? I’m not telling you to stay.

More than with every other word you’ve read from me, I hope you remember this: The road to courage is lit by God’s wisdom. His Word in the Bible and through the Holy Spirit to you and through others is how you know. You tap into that. You ask for that. You dig into that.

His Word is a lamp for your feet (Psalm 119:105). Your feet. Right under you. Look down. Take that step. It’s right in front of you. And when it comes to holding on or letting go, I think you look down and see where the light leads you. The prophet Isaiah writes,

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a Voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it’. – Isaiah 30:21

It’s His still, small voice deep in your knower. It’s godly wisdom from a friend. It’s a verse or a quote or a moment of clarity when you just know. You will know which way to walk. I promise you will. Look for the light. The light at your feet. And follow it. And when you know it’s right to hold on, hold on. Grip tightly until your hands are sore. But don’t let go.

If you’re tired of fighting for that prayer that seems to never be answered? Hold on.

If you want to walk away from your marriage to a godly man because it has become something different than you thought it’d be? Hold on. (Get counseling, but hold on.)

If you have applied to the college of your dreams but haven’t heard back yet? Hold on.

Hold on to hope. That’s the thing we can’t stand to lose. You can let go of jobs or people or hurts, but don’t let go of hope.

This isn’t about me being single, but if you think it’s been easy to hold on to hope as I’ve watched my friends pass me in life phases over and over again, oh, friend. Not so much. It’s one thing when they get engaged or married. It’s another when the babies come. And another when the kids go to school – and I’m still alone at night.

Amy Stroup sings a song called “Hold Onto Hope Love” that has been my companion more nights than I can count as I’ve cried to God about the rough patches on my hands from holding on so tight to the cliff of hope when it feels like it would be easier to just let go and fall into hopelessness.

And the truth? It would be easier.

But it wouldn’t be brave.

It’s not the story God is writing with my life. It’s not the story God is writing with yours either.

So please. Hold on.

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