(A little tribute to Adele and the never ending melody replaying inside my head as of late!)
Maybe, like me, you find yourself on the other side of the calendar year way too quick, long before you finished wrapping up the year, or even wrapping all of the Christmas gifts.
If I were completely honest about Christmas this year, I would have to tell you that it came and went. I never finished decorating the tree (the 2-1/2 foot tree that you pick up by the top with one hand and carry up the stairs from the basement). The sparkling gold-wire star is glaringly absent. Three ornaments hang from limbs. Two came in the mail; the other was a gift from a student who rides my husband’s school bus.
The mantle never did get dressed up with piney garland, candles, trees and the new brown plastic LED JOY marquee I picked up at Walgreens, one of the three places I shopped for the holidays.
Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus are on the dining room table with two sheep. The three wise men, a shepherd, camel, palm trees and an angel never saw the outside of the storage box. Jesus, Mary and Joseph barely made it out by the skin of their teeth in the narrow window of time between wiping the dust off the dining room chairs and cleaning the bathroom faucet of leftover Thanksgiving Day smudges the morning before our guests arrived for our traditional Christmas Day brunch.
I sit here now in the middle of our living room with the large white garbage bag of wrapping paper, open gifts strewn about the couch, a pile of pretty packages tied up with string in front of the fireplace still waiting to be delivered, an unfinished 2015 calendar/planner, and we are already on our first week into the other side of the calendar, 2016.
Facebook feeds remind me that I get a fresh start, clean slate, and brand spanking new year to get things right, to start anew, to resolve to be more, to do more, to recreate my life, to redefine myself. To some that may look like hope. To me, it looks like the other side of the calendar. While a new year brings hopeful possibility if we choose to walk in it, we are still at the mercy of the day. I know, you know, we have seen the trouble that is in a day. There is enough in each one.
This year I hope that I am cancer free, free from all cancer. 2015 brought a new diagnosis of breast cancer and months of treatment. That was not what I was hoping for. The day before that diagnosis, I learned that a follow-up colonoscopy declared me 4 years free of colon cancer. I was hoping for that.
Our home became a refuge to ¾ of our children (and their children) this past year due to circumstances which we did not hope or pray for in 2015. But they all landed on their feet, and we once again have our empty little nest waiting for the next unexpected egg to drop. Hopefully, the spare bedroom upstairs will finally become a writing retreat in 2016!
We sold a lakeside property in March. We had big hopes and dreams for that place. We were going to move there. It was going to be a respite for the weary. It was half built. My husband is a carpenter. But after nearly 10 years of trying to finish the place, diagnoses, the changing economy, a downturn in the real estate industry, cancers, surgeries, weddings, funerals, travels, and all the trials and joys in each and every day, we finally let go of those hopes and dreams because we became the weary. Too weary to fulfill those hopes and dreams. And six months later we are counting it a blessing.
You see, I am saying “Hello” from the other side of the calendar full of hope not because it is a new day, a new year full of new possibility, a new resolution, a goal, or plan or dream list. While all of those things are good and may be profitable for my life and yours, I know one thing is certain, nothing in this world is certain. And I cannot put my hope there.
I am saying “Hello” from the other side of the calendar because I know Hope. The person. The God of Hope. He is my Hope. My only Hope. Our only Hope.
Hope is not the blank page, the new day, the New Year, the clean slate. We, you and me, our hope does not come from days in a calendar. It comes from a person. The very personal person, God. The God of Hope!
Real Hope never changes. Hope is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. Hope is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. Hope made it out of the storage box, came down from heaven, lay in a manger, and even walked among us healing and teaching and performing all sorts of miracles, doing impossible things with impossible people, like you and me.
I don’t know what this side of the calendar this side of heaven will bring in 2016, but I do know where my hope comes from. How about you?
Tell me, where does your hope come from? What are some of your dreams and hopes for 2016? I’d love to pray for you and your loved ones that the same Hope that came into this weary world 2016 years ago would be your Hope too.
“Hello” from the other side of the calendar! May the Lord bless you and keep you this New Year and fill you with hope.
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
Latest posts by Kelly Greer (see all)
- Don’t Quit & Jump Ship – Hold Tight & Pray - April 25, 2017
- He Turns My Pleas to Praise - May 24, 2016
- Longing for the High Place Where Death Does Not Win - March 29, 2016
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Kelly, thank you for these words that hope in God. I think a lot of us are coming out of 2015 a little tired, a little frayed around the edges. We need to hitch our hope to the unseen and to make a practice of gratitude as you have done. Thank you!
Thank you, Kelly!!
You are welcome Lee! Happy New Year!
Michelle. I have heard this from lots of folks lately. 2015 was hard. Hard on all of us. But we have “hitched” our hope to the true source and now we can have hope in all situations and circumstances. Thank you for taking the time to visit us this morning. May you go out with hope!
Kelly—well done! I love the highlighted passages, and love the truth that Hope is a Person!! HE brings life out of death. I have been delivered these last few months that same passage, from life to death. I know 2016 will be a year of Life out of death!! Good work, Kelly!!!
Thank you Leslie! What a joy to find yencouragwith your always hopeful encouragement! You are a blessing!
my sweet friend Kelly I love this post. I heard you loud and clear in the hustle of life, relating well to the dust and constant upkeep on cleaning plus decorating for the glorious season of Christmas. it all becomes to much if we allow it. but then the turn of disappointments made my heart heavy, but only for a moment, because i saw what God does in our lives…in you. He shines through the darkness as we embrace hope and we learn and let go as we mature from glory to glory. thank you for sharing your heart and your story.
Thank you Teresa. He certainly does take us from glory to glory. You always encourage me. So glad you found encouragement in my story through our God of Hope
Thank you, Kelly, for the reminder that our hope is in God. His hope is relevant everyday of the year, not just the new beginning. And, any day with him can be a new beginning.
Oh what a joy to read your words here! What a delightful surprise! I wasn’t sure what day you would post. Mike and I have been entertaining my “herds of broads,” as he so lovingly calls my circle at church–the Abigails–most of the day…so it’s been a long and joyful day of fellowship in the Lord. And now to read this, to be brought with hope to the other side of the calendar, with you, dear and darling sister in Christ, is the cheerful cherry on top of my day. You have endured so much this past year, and I have seen it up close and personal, as they say. And what I have witnessed is your great strength, hope, and courage in Jesus. I so admire how you lean on Him in all you do. You are such a glorious witness to me. We try to cheer you, and you end up cheering us! Letting go of dreams is hard. Going through serious heath conditions and treatments is hard. Disappointments have filled your days. And yet, look at this….you have let Him use them in such a way to think not of yourself, but to focus on Him and how He can use you to help others. You are such a truly gifted author. But it goes beyond your obvious facility with wordpainting. You are one who writes with depth, because He has taken you to the depths and has buoyed you on the love and grace and hope of His Spirit. I needed to read your words today. I’m well aware, that while I love the turn of a year, that in truth, nothing really changes. It’s just another day on the calendar. And yet, because the God of all hope never changes and is willing to extend His hope to us, indeed everything is different–everything is new. In fact, everyday is new and fresh no matter the date on the calendar. Thank you for helping us to see that and to reach for His hand. And frankly, even if we grope for it in the dark, His everlasting arms are already beneath us. He is already lifting us up.
Love you so much, and I pray we will see much more your writing in this place and elsewhere!
Where would I be without you the Lord and you? And all the many who have traveled beside us. He is so very faithful to us❤
You are living evidence of Romans 15:13. God’s hope overflows from you because of your trust in Him. Praying for a 2016 of health, wholeness and peace for you and yours.
This is so meaningful. Even when things are not how we envisioned them there is still that hope that rests on a relationship with a Heavenly Father who is the giver of hope.
Yes Thelma. He is hope we can trust. Our God is faithful!
Oh, Kelly, these lines made me shout, “Hallelujah!”
“Hope is not the blank page, the new day, the New Year, the clean slate. We, you and me, our hope does not come from days in a calendar. It comes from a person. The very personal person, God. The God of Hope!”
You have had a tough year, my friend….may Jesus bring you fruit and joy and blessing in the months ahead–one calendar page at a time.
Thank you Elizabeth for your ongoing encouragement and example. ❤
Amen Jody! His mercies are new every morning. Thank you for your prayers.
Hope is a person. That was a powerful punchline my friend! I love reading your words here or there or anywhere.your voice encourages me! Love ya Kel
Thank you keel! Love my Rebecca journal that you crested for me! You inspire me! ❤
Hi, my dear friend. Sorry for the delay in reading this. It has been on my screen waiting for days – but, as usual, someone needs something and I get distracted. As I sit here, the house is still and you have my undivided attention. What a journey for you. Some would have looked at the other side of the calendar with fear, regret, or even apathy, but you’ve see it with hope burning in your heart. Your life, your words and who you are tells the tale of His faithfulness. thank you for sharing. You are a blessing. Chris
Thank you Chris! How can we be filled with anything but hope when we know the God of hope? Blessings to you this new year and always my friend.
When someone with your list of hurts and stresses can talk about hope, we HAVE to listen. You are proof that, no matter what, God is our anchor of hope for the soul, firm and secure (Hebrews 6:19). All praise to him, and heartfelt thanks to you, Kelly, for sharing your story, your hope!