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This Is Not the End of the Story

Just the other night, I sat on my couch with tears streaming down my face as I talked to a friend about the hard in life. Our conversation that night had taken us to all corners of our friendship- talking about the tragedy in Nepal, about personal struggles, and discussing our faith.

At this point in time, my friend believes differently than I do, and as they asked me really challenging {but good} questions about my faith, I realized how many answers I don't have.

As the friend respectfully dug deep into my belief system, I was struck with the realization that there are things about my faith that I.just.don't.get. But I still believe- I guess that's why they call it faith, right?

While I realized that there were so many things I didn't have an answer to, I also remembered why I'm okay with not knowing those answers.

I shared with my friend, that over the past several years, I have developed a passionate sense of hope. I have hope that this is not the end of the story. This world, friends, is not the whole story. This hope is how I am able to accept missing answers. This hope means more to me than a perfect theological understanding of my beliefs ever will.

Do you have this hope? Hebrews 13:5 is one of my favorite verses in the entire Bible, it says:

"For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come" (NLT)
It is so easy to let this world draw our eyes off the hope that is ours every day. If you watch the news, you know the awful stories that happen on a daily basis. But even if you're like me and choose to avoid the news (for the most part), our hearts can still be easily drug down by the weight of this world.

Tonight, my heart is heavy for friends that are going through inexplicable tragedy. My heart aches for a loved one who is struggling, yet I know I can't do anything for them. My heart is ripped out of my chest most days that I'm at work when yet another child abuse case or terminal brain tumor walks through the doors of my wing. My heart aches for Charleston, and the survivors that are simply trying to make it through tomorrow.

But amidst the heaviness of my heart, there is also a deep longing; a deep hope. 

I know that this is not the end of the story. I know that one day there will be no more sickness, tragedy, and tears. I know that there is hope in a Savior who came to redeem all parts that are broken whether it's a broken marriage, broken relationship, or broken body.

As someone who hasn't faced that much tragedy in their life, I know that it is easy for me to speak of this hope. I often wonder how quickly this sense of hope might disappear were I faced with a sudden tragedy. I'm honest with myself about it, and pray every day for my faith to be increased so that when that day does come, I will not falter.

In the meantime, I urge you friends to find your hope. Find the hope that is buried under a heavy heart. Believe in hope even if you can't feel it. Jesus isn't finished with your story or the stories of those around us. He is glorified through all things, and we can have hope that one day we will understand.

I am okay not knowing all the answers, because what I do know is what matters most to me. If you are struggling with your beliefs right now, I encourage you to question question and question some more. Search for those answers, but be aware that you may not find all of them. If you're like me, you won't need all the answers before you can have faith. You will come to deeply know and understand a quality of God or an aspect of the faith, and suddenly all the questions won't seem to matte as much anymore.

I have faith and thus I have hope. And because I have hope, I have everything.

Is there one part of your faith that you hold onto when the world is spinning out of control? Or is there a part of your faith you really struggle with? I would love to hear both. 

{Sharing this with everyone over at Tuesday Talk}

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  1. Girl! So good. So much in this world doesn't make sense - but that is why we NEED Jesus! So thankful that we have a bigger hope and we know how the story ends. And you are right - that is what faith is! Trusting Jesus even when it doesn't make sense! so good!

  2. so, so good. i am a lot like you, i've been okay with not knowing answers to everything. because God is so big that we could never understand Him. if He wasn't that big, and we could fully understand Him... He wouldn't be God.

  3. I like what you said about praying for the faith to keep having faith for when a big tragedy comes. I am fearful of tragedies that might come my way and I often wonder if my faith will stand those tests? Even after I just wrote that out it makes me think that my faith is in Christ and He is the one that holds us through those tough times.

    We don't have all the answers! and that is ok! Jesus does have them and our faith is in Him.

  4. I really love this post so much.

  5. Beautiful. I relate to this a lot...I haven't experienced that much personal tragedy, but I see it in the lives of so many people I know and love and it's hard to cling to hope sometimes. Thanks for this encouragement!

  6. Beautifully said! The power of God surpasses all understanding, which allows us to rest comfortably in our lack of understanding if we allow ourselves to. My heart breaks over so many things going on in our world, but instead of trying to search for answers that may never be found, I hope I can learn how to better bask in God's promises.

  7. I don't think we are suppose to know all the answers, what would be the point of God. His ways are not our ways the bible says. Hope is just that, hope is for holding on to the good that will come during diffiicult times. Faith, is believing even when we cannot see. Both are from the creator and we are just to believe. Hard for some to wrap their minds around. The church of today is my biggest struggle. This was very thought provoking. Thanks for sharing on Tuesday Talk! Blessings ....

  8. Amen girl! I know I need Jesus more than I even realize! So thankful for faith and hope!

  9. Exactly Robyn! I saw this quote on Pinterest the other day and it reminds me of exactly what you said: "Not being able to fully understand God is frustrating, but it is ridiculous for us to think we have the right to limit God to something we are capable of comprehending"- Francis Chan. Ain't that the #truth??

  10. You're so right- our faith is in Christ and and He's the one who holds us and sometimes I wonder if by doubting my faith I'm really doubting that He'll hold me through those dark times? Thankful for faith and that I don't need to know all the answers :)

  11. It is hard and I know for myself when I see tragedy happening to those around me I sort of am just waiting for it to hit me... and that's when the "do not fear" part of my faith kicks in. Glad it was encouraging!

  12. I love how you phrased that- How I can learn to better bask in God's promises! So true friend and I need to focus on that too instead of wrestling with answers that are maybe never meant to be found.

  13. Exactly Michelle! His ways are not our ways and I'm sure there are things that are meant to be unanswered. I too struggle with today's church in a lot of senses but have found a community that seems to be trying to set things straight and I am so thankful for that!

  14. As an educator, I can related to how you feel. I thank you for remembering Charleston. We are healing and we know that there is hope for tomorrow. I attended the wake of one of the victims who was so respected at our church. She was a member of Mt. Moriah before transitioning to Mother Emanuel. I felt a sense of peace after walking along the Battery to clear my thoughts. Then I received a call from my best friend last night and she informed me that her mother had passed. Pain and sorrow returned mostly for my friend who has this grief to bear. I have to rely on hope to make it through. We all do. I love the passage you stated in your post about this not being our permanent home. Its sad to think, but its true. So we all must do our part to bring about as much good in the world that we can. Spread happiness, be kind, respect each other and just love. Thanks for sharing on Tuesday Talk. Visiting from Sunshine and Elephants. God Bless ~Lowanda

  15. Lowanda, I can't imagine the pain that you are feeling as you deal with your city and church's loss as well as supporting your best friend as she grieves. You are absolutely right- that we need to bring about the much joy and peace that we can in this world and take hope in knowing that this is not the end of the story. Prayers and blessings being sent your way!

  16. i LOVE the line, "I am okay not knowing all the answers, because what I do know is what matters most to me." it reminds me of an ancient switchfoot song that says "doubt your doubts and believe your beliefs." not knowing all the answers--and not HAVING to know all the answers--is ok. how freeing, that God is still God even when i don't get it!!

  17. oooo that line in the Switchfoot song is perfect! And I completely agree that it's freeing to know that God is still God even when we don't get it . :)


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