advent week one JenniMarie

Welcome to the first post of our Advent SeriesWe are proud to feature the work of JenniMarie. She is a photographer with a wanderlust heart, a visual storyteller and wonderful writer. We are big fans of this sweet woman.

 Waiting in Hope

I reclined in the dimly lit room, blinded by my tears and hoping for the pain to end. Preferably soon, it would end.  But with no way of knowing how long the torture would last, I had to patiently wait and hope for relief.  Nay, I hoped for a beautiful relief.

hospital by jennimarie

Maybe it’s a hospital bed recovering from emergency surgery.  Maybe it’s the desk of a dead-end job. Maybe it’s the tunnel of dark, suffocating depression.  Maybe it’s the ache of a broken relationship.  My own tale of pain is woven through the years and is markedly different from yours, but I’m sure your story echoes the soul-crushing heartache I have experienced.

In all the darkest hours, though, I am able to trust in the God of the universe who sent His Son into the world to be my redemption, to bring me hope.

“Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” (Matthews 6:25)

I hope. I hope despite the imperfections. I hope because of the Ultimate Perfection.

candles by JenniMarie

Hope is that feeling of expectation, of trust, of desiring a certain thing to happen.  Hope is believing that your expectations will be fulfilled. [source: Oxford English Dictionary Online ] Hope requires faith.  Hope requires faith in something bigger, better, bolder.   I trust, I hope, I believe that the pain will end (eventually) because I trust in my God, my Saviour.

Ours is a fallen, pain-filled, ugly world. Marred from its original perfection, it’s still filled with beauty (have you seen snow-capped mountains?!) but the inevitable misery is ever present. Watching the news headlines feels hopeless. Scrolling facebook feeds feels hopeless. Walking your own journey feels hopeless.

When I was hospitalized last summer (seven weeks of antibiotics, twenty-six days of hospital beds, three surgeries), I found solace in Psalm 91 and made it my constant companion.

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor the destruction that wastes at noonday

pills by jennimarie

As I have been reflecting on the trauma that was my summer of hospitalization (appendicitis with some nasty complications that I do not recommend!), I am so thankful for hope. Without knowing how that summer would end, my hope was built on the foundation that the pain of this world is temporal but my hope is ultimately based in eternity.  That summer was defined by hope because I knew the outcome – no matter whether it was earthly healing or heavenly healing – was going to be perfect. Trust is only as good as the One I am trusting in, but in Christ I find the only One truly worth trusting.

My hope is built on nothing less

than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;

I dare not trust the sweetest frame,

but wholly lean on Jesus’ name.

On Christ, the solid rock, I stand;

all other ground is sinking sand,

all other ground is sinking sand.

Whether in the darkness of a worrisome hospitalization or in the petty worries of everyday life, my Hope stands firm. No matter what, I can stand confidently on Christ my solid rock.

flowers and books by jennimarie


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