Go ahead... get your hopes up!

I've always been the girl to get my hopes up... maybe a little too much.

I got my hopes up about little things. Every year for Christmas I would wait knowing that the "big gift" would be exactly what I had wished for. I would get my hopes up that my mom would say yes to that sleepover with a friend. Being a cheerleader, I would get my hopes up that no matter how far behind we were we could always come back.

Then there were big things I got my hopes up about. I got my hopes up that my dad who was an alcoholic would someday get better. I got my hopes up that my grandpa would accept Christ into his heart. I got my hopes up that God would send me a husband who matched that lengthy list I'd been praying over.

Sometimes, many times, I got let down. I got my hopes up only to be crushed. It has always been a constant cycle in my life. With my prayers, sometimes God answered YES and sometimes He answered NO and sometimes He answered NOT YET.

Others in my life and I had always attributed these cycles I went through to my "cheerleader" personality. That girl who believed anything could happen (even with two minutes left and 20 points down.)

Don't get me wrong, I knew that Bible said we should pray believing and I did that. I guess I had never really connected this "personality" of mine with my prayer life until last week.

If you read the blog These are the days you know that Joel and I are praying to have a baby, and have been since we got married 11 months ago. 

A little over a week ago my mind had started the never ending merry-go-round ride. I get on somewhere around "maybe we're pregnant" to ride up and down, round and round until I'm suddenly jolted off at "no we're not." 

Sadly in my logical brain I've discovered what most others come to learn... the fall doesn't hurt nearly as bad if you're not "up" when you're thrown off. But month after month I still get on this merry-go-round of hoping... the same one I got on for years while waiting for Husband to arrive. The same one I rode for a long time while hoping my grandpa would be saved. The same one I got jolted off of at age 16 when my dad died.

So this month when my mind hopped up on the merry-go-round, I determined that I would be "down" when the jolt came or better yet I would just get off this hopeful ride before I could be thrown off. 

So this will give you the 30 second adventure through my brain.... 
Maybe we could be pregnant.
Don't do this to yourself.
It would be so great to announce it on our anniversary.
Don't be silly that's not going to happen.
You've been here before, don't do it again.
(and on and on and on)

I'm crazy, I know. It's the way my brain works.
(It's also the reason my husband says he's thankful to be a man.)

So I was just about ready to jump off my horse, when I sat down to spend time with the Lord last Tuesday. I start out with a devotional magazine that has a tidbit for each day. Guess what Sept 9th is about.... HOPE. In the article it defines hope as "the confident expectation of what hasn't happened yet, but will" while also clarifying that hope is "always looking for God's goodness." It was then that I started to think about the difference between wishing and hoping. We can wish for a lot of things... but we hope for something by expecting it.

[SIDE NOTE: Please do not get me wrong... I do not believe in the "name it, claim it" theology. I don't believe that we can decide we want a 2014 BMW, claim it in Jesus' name and poof it appears in our driveway. But I think often times in an effort to not pray that way, we forget to pray expectantly. We forget that the Bible is clear that we must pray believing in faith.]

As continued studying God' Word, I made my way through a few passages in Galatians and decided to read some of The Circle Maker. This is a book on prayer I've been reading through. Wouldn't you know it... the chapter I was at was on HOPE. The author had pulled out passage after passage from Scripture where people prayed expectantly. One that stood out to me was in 1 Kings 18. Long story short: Elijah had asked God to stop the rain so it would soften the people's hearts. God had stopped the rain... for 3 years.

After the time passed, Elijah had to go back and pray for the rain to return. Here's what took place,
"And Elijah went up to the top of Mount Carmel. And he bowed himself down on the earth and put his face between his knees. And he said to his servant, 'Go up no, look toward the sea.' And he went up and looked and said, 'There is nothing.' And he said, 'Go again.' seven times. And the seventh time he said, 'Behold, a little cloud like a man's hand is rising from the sea.'....And in a little while the heavens grew black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain."

Notice how Elijah didn't just pray... he sent his servant to watch for the answer. He didn't get mad after the first or second or third time and stop praying or stop sending his servant. He didn't throw a fit and declare to not get his hopes up. He prayed expectantly. Believed that God could AND would. Rested in that God knew the best timing. But never stopped praying AND expecting. 

I decided in that moment to stop talking my hopes down every month. I had a few friends tell me (ones who've been trying way longer than us) that eventually you get to a point where you're not let down every month. I used to look forward to that. Now I will pray every month to prevent getting there. I don't want to ever not expect God to answer my prayers.

I'm going to hop on the merry-go-round, pick one of the horses up high that doesn't move, and if I get bruised every month being thrown off that will be okay. 

I don't want to stop getting my hopes up... about anything.
I know that God is all powerful.
I know that He loves me.
I know that everything is for His glory and my good.
I know that He's confirmed for me, we will have kids one day.
I know that I pray His will above all else.
I know that one day I will have my hopes up and not be let down.
I know that whether that's this month or some month 3 years from now, it will be worth the wait and worth the ride and Jesus will get the glory.

"Listen to my voice in the morning, LORD. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly." - Psalm 5.3 

So maybe you're in the midst of your own merry-go-round ride. 
Maybe you're single way past the age you thought you'd get married. 
Maybe you're dealing with a health issue that seems there is no relief. 
Maybe you have been praying for a job and nothing is falling into place. 
Maybe you have a huge dream deep down inside that you feel would be impossible. 
Maybe you're praying for a loved one's salvation.
 Maybe you're praying for revival in your church or community. 
Maybe you're praying for a marriage to be restored. 
Or maybe you're like us and you're praying for a baby. 

Pray like He hears you... because He does!
Pray His Will... because it's good!
Pray believing He's powerful... because He is!
Pray believing He loves you... because He does!
Pray believing He can... because He is able!
Pray believing He will... because you are commanded to!

Go ahead... get your hopes up!



  1. This is exactly what I needed to hear. My husband and I have been trying for almost two years to get pregnant and I have had many of those same thoughts...recently a friend sent me a necklace, a key, engraved with the word Hope. I know I've misunderstood Hope as Wish in the past and this necklace is a great reminder for me.

    1. So blessed to hear that this post spoke to you! Will be praying for you in your journey! Thanks for reading!

  2. This is such a blessing! Thank you for the reminder!!

  3. Wow. Thanks for sharing this!!!

  4. Thanks for reading Bonnie <3 I hope that it spoke to you regardless of your season!


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