As 2016 came to an end, I began half-heartedly seeking God for a “word of the year” for 2017. Seeking, because choosing joy as last year’s word was a big help in keeping a good attitude in tough circumstances. Why half-heartedly? Mainly because the last few months have been extremely difficult, and I was discouraged.
After a successful neck surgery in July and a couple months of hard work to regain my strength, things suddenly did an about-turn in October. During a routine surgery follow-up appointment with my primary physician, I had an extremely severe episode of shortness of breath from simply walking from the waiting to an exam room using my walker. As weeks passed, I’ve had to accept that this wasn’t just a single episode, but rather a new long-term issue to deal with.
All of this started three months ago, and my doctor is still in the process of trying to find the cause of these sudden changes. Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s are behind us, and a new year lies ahead. In spite of my hesitancy to seek God concerning a word for 2017, He clearly spoke to my heart this is to be my Year of Hope.
I’ve been in God’s Word daily, spent time praying and seeking God’s face, even started an article on hope a couple times. Pain, difficulty concentrating, and other health issues have kept those articles from being completed. Yet Hope has found another outlet in the midst of the pain and other undiagnosed problems: through digital Bible journaling on some of the verses I’ve read and studied. Here are a few of the things the Holy Spirit has been impressing upon my heart concerning Hope.
Still learning about how God will turn this Valley of trouble into a Gateway of hope, so this is a subject I’ll probably revisit at a later time. For now I’ll close with a few more graphics of verses God is using to speak to my heart.