Article - 4 min

I'm Daring To Hope Again

Though we may not have control of our outward circumstances, life can be different internally for each of us. Life can be internally abundant.

Listen, I am not a goal-oriented person. I never have been. For some reason I am not motivated by goals. I think I’m more motivated by issues and problems and seeing them resolved.

I was recently asked to make a list of my personal goals for the year. Boy, do I generally hate that question. But today I didn’t mind for some reason. It led me down a path of self-reflection because this time the goals I felt in my heart were actually very clear to me.

Those goals look like:

  1. Setting and keeping better relational boundaries
  2. Freedom from emotional/mental health issues I’ve suffered most of my life
  3. Find new passion for life, marriage, kids, and work
  4. Clarity of mind – simplifying and having less clutter in my brain

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I feel more motivated than ever to meet these goals or at least work towards them this year. Because when I look at this list, I see a woman who must really have been heavy, must really have been suffering, must really be tired. I feel motivated because I know there is more. In fact, there is abundance available.

Jesus says to us, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10). He promises, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). He also says, “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full” (John 15:11)

So when I look to the words of Jesus, I see a life with him that looks: abundant, peaceful, and joyful to the fullest measure. And this year, I’m more motivated than ever to experience it.

There is more. So much more available to us. But it is up to us to actively receive, to walk with Christ closely, and to intentionally put in the hard internal work.

Maybe you’re like me and you feel the same way? Tired, heavy, suffering.

When you look within, what is inside? What longings lay there just waiting to be tapped into? What pain, anxiety, habits lay within that simply need some intentional attention? What is it that you truly want your life to look like?

Does your heart need tending? What about your mind?

Perhaps you’re not goal oriented much like me, but you have been carrying a weight for far too long? Could you be motivated by the possibility of a lighter load? Jesus, our Great Burden Bearer, stands at the door and knocks. And he is ready when you are.

As we step into a new year, would you give yourself the gift of daring to hope? Though we may not have control of our outward circumstances, life can be different internally for each of us. Life can be internally abundant. And I am so sick and tired of waiting around on my circumstances to change before I choose the more.

Will you join me?

The next few months here at First15, we will be exploring what it might look like to live an intentional life, what a gift that could be to us, how it might launch us into a way of living we are proud of and fulfilled in. Would you begin to start noticing your inner dialogue, cataloging your longings, maybe even writing down what you want out of life? Let’s go on this journey together and find a better way.

Rachel Denison

Rachel Denison