Last night, I was thinking.

About tomorrow.
About what may or may not happen.
I thought about how I didn’t want to think about this.
How it makes me so anxious I end up sick.
How it’s completely out of my hands.

I prayed.
Talked to God like old friends.
My prayers are rarely, “Dear Lord, XYZ, In Jesus’ Name, Amen” Or whatever formula it typical. Instead, it’s a conversation. Being honest, telling Him how I feel about things and learning what I should be thinking and feeling and doing about it.

“God, I know it’s out of my hands. I know there’s nothing more I can do than I’ve already done. Let them see what needs to be done. Let them remember me. Let my hard work speak for itself. And whatever happens, help me to have a good attitude. I don’t want to be bitter or upset or have a crappy attitude. Help me to see the good in all this. Help me learn everything I can.”
Etc, etc.

I tend to handle things better if I think through the realities before they happen.
“Reality is, they may not change anything. Reality is, if they change something, they could pick someone else. How will I handle this? If either of these things happen, you will still be okay.”
I talk myself through these things so when push comes to shove, I don’t fall apart. I give myself pep talks and council and whatever other words you can find. Because it’s true; no matter what happens, I’ll be okay.

Then God and I had a talk about the hope I feel.
I’m terrified of it, honestly. Terrified that I’ll end up crushed again, and it’ll all be because I set myself up for it. I don’t want to have to go through any of that again.
But is hope so bad a thing? Without it, what do we have?

I thought through scriptures I knew that had the word “hope” in them.
Most also contained the word “trust” or some synonym of the word.
I realized that whatever happened, God is in control, and I can trust Him. Whether it’s in my favor or against, this is an experience to help me learn and grow. If nothing else, I’m reminded of how important it is to lean on Him in these kinds of things, and that He truly can be trusted.

I may be upset or confused or whatever, but I still have peace. Even when anxiety tries to take over, the inner peace is still there.

I caught myself singing an old hymn from my childhood church. I can’t remember the last time I thought of it, but it came back clear as a bell.

“Unto Thee, oh Lord, do I lift up my soul
Unto Thee, oh Lord, do I lift up my soul
Oh, my God, I trust in Thee
Let me not be ashamed,
Let not mine enemies triumph over me.”

I literally sang it until I fell asleep, which I can’t remember the last time I’ve done that, either. (Until I sat bolt upright and remembered I never took a polaroid that day. It’s okay, it was just past 11pm, so I got it in time 😉 )
(For those of you who don’t know, I take a polaroid every day.)

Today I decided to look up the hymn and found it had more verses.
I also found that it is based off Psalm 25.

So I looked up Psalm 25.

In you, Lord my God,
    I put my trust.
I trust in you;
    do not let me be put to shame,
    nor let my enemies triumph over me.
No one who hopes in you
    will ever be put to shame,
but shame will come on those
    who are treacherous without cause.

There’s that word again–hope.

Hope is safe.
It’s not something to be afraid of.
It’s not a guaranteed fall.
It’s seeing the good in the world. Acknowledging that there is a potential for something wonderful to happen. The world isn’t perfect, so there’s no way to guarantee that the something wonderful is sure. But the hope itself, it’s safe.

I won’t be put to shame.
Whatever happens, God is still good. He’s still working things out for me. He’s still teaching me and helping me be a better person.
He still has me.
And if there’s anything I could be or should be doing better, He’ll let me know.

I looked up the word “treacherous,” curious of what the intention behind the word was.

characterized by faithlessness or readiness to betray trust; traitorous.
deceptive, untrustworthy, or unreliable.
unstable or insecure, as footing.

dangerous; hazardous:
I have no reason to feel shameful if things don’t fall in my favor.
I should hold my head high and know that I am doing my best.
I’m not owed anything particular in this world. There isn’t some sure way that if you follow these steps everything will be perfect. Bad and unfair happen to good, hard-working people. It’s a part of life. It sucks, but it’s something we will get through.
But I know when I lay my head down at night that I have given my all.
And that is something I can be proud of.
If you continue on in the chapter, you find,
Show me your ways, Lord,
    teach me your paths.
Guide me in your truth and teach me,
    for you are God my Savior,
    and my hope is in you all day long.
My hope shouldn’t be in the outcome of this thing, it should be in God.
If my hope is in Him, I’ll never be put to shame.

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