Was it worth it?
I find myself asking this question often lately. When it comes to my everyday life, the decisions I make, the path I am following. I look back and see the dreams I had as a young girl, whether naive or not.. “was it worth it” passes through my head and I am challenged to question truly if I am content with my life.
Ultimately, I know my answer is yes. It was worth it. It always has been. The independence I’ve gained, the life lessons I have learned, and most importantly how my vision has changed along the way. I’ve been shaped by my past and my path and it was worth it. It will always be worth it.
Specifically, the past season- I moved across the country alone, single, and desperately in search of God. I connected with an amazing group of believers who became my family extremely fast. I worked hard for 4 long years, full time, barely making ends meet, yet somehow by God’s great grace, always meeting my bills and struggles. To. The. Last. Penny. Never in debt, and always paying it all off. I met a man who loves Jesus more than he loves me and we got married. We worked in College Student ministry for most our time in our little college town, and then we were moved across the state of Texas to live in a concrete jungle to work the corporate life and hopefully start a family.
It’s been a great run! But I come back to myself asking once more “was it truly worth it?”
I’ve been naming only the good things that have happened… I can name a million things that went wrong. I worked at a restaurant where I was working a managerial salary position, 40+ hours a week, for $10 an hour. I totaled my car: two times. I got sued once. I lost many friends because I was not enough for them… or I was too much for them. I had horrible renting experiences with landlords and almost got sued by one of them. I moved for school and never made enough money for classes and passed only 1 class and dropped the pursuit of a degree because it just never worked out. I failed a lot, hurt a lot of people, and began to believe I was small and insignificant. It was hard.
But when things are hard that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth going through. As my mother always told me: “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass…It’s about learning to dance in the rain.”
Two things I’ve learned over the years that have proven true:
Sometimes faith feels like doubt but hope can always thrive in doubt.
My faith in my desires, school, marriage, ministry, direction, and purpose… have wavered a lot. There were days when I have given up and don’t chase what I desire or what I knew the Lord desires for me. I doubt constantly if I could, should, and even if “it” is worth pursuing. But even throughout my doubt, hope always stays as a constant companion to me and it is hope that makes me realize my faith is still alive.
Hope is the catalyst that caused me to stay awake in my doubting faith.
Hope in my life has felt fleeting, especially when it is hard to believe that the outcome is going to turn out the way my heart desires. But what I have come to know is that my hope being in Jesus, I can walk any storm knowing that it is going to end for His glory… even if there is pain. One day there won’t be pain, sorrow or sadness. That is a hope that is worth having. When you know the outcome is Glory to God, then the hope you hold in the trial is easy.
I was at church recently and our pastor shared this concept of counting. When you count from trial to trial… it is hard to see that the outcome will be good or something you can take joy in. The outcome will always feel bleak because you see what you are currently struggling with and cannot imagine or conceive how the outcome will be good.
When you count backward, you count from the promises of God to where you are… you can take a hold of hope that is true and everlasting because it is firmly in God’s promises and not our circumstances and press through without fail. Because the PROMISE of God says it is GOOD in the end. And when God says it is good, He means it. God didn’t finish creation days without ending “it is Good”, and God didn’t rest at the end of the creation week until it was “very Good”. As my pastor so eloquently spoke:
“God won’t stop until it is GOOD.” – Dustin Bates.
As I write this post, I see there is not much more I can say about hope that I haven’t learned through scripture which speaks for itself. I am going to end this post with scripture on hope to encourage you in the season you are in. I want to encourage you that it is worth it.
Proverbs 13:12 Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.
Psalm 3:2-6 Many are saying of me, “God will not deliver him.”
3 But you, LORD, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high.
4 I call out to the LORD, and he answers me from his holy mountain.
5 I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the LORD sustains me.
6 I will not fear though tens of thousands assail me on every side.
Jeremiah 29:11 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.
Mark 4:30-32 Again he said, “What shall we say the kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it?
31 It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest of all seeds on earth.
32 Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds can perch in its shade.”
Isaiah 40:31 But those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
Romans 5:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Psalm 121:7-8 The Lord will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.
Hebrews 10:23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.
Yes Lord, Amen and Amen! Let us walk continually in Your Word, reminding us that our Hope in you is always enough and this season is worth it because You are always worth it. You never let us down, never forsake us, and never forget us. You are a Good, Good Father and it is You who bring to light the things of Your Kingdom. Let us never forget the hope we have in You is true and never a waste.