I shared Part One of this story on my column Living the Story at BibleDude.net. Click here to catch up in case you missed it, then come back and join me in the comments to talk about how hope is linked to tenacity, perseverance, and trust. Did you know that?
“If we want to cultivate hopefulness, we have to be willing to be flexible and demonstrate perseverance. Not every goal will look and feel the same. Tolerance for disappointment, determination, and a belief in self are the heart of hope.”
~Brene Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection
People advise against it, but I didn’t have another choice.
I precariously carried buckets of hot water from my mother’s house, down icy steps, into the street where my car was parked and idling. Pouring steamy liquid over my Honda CRX, it was melting heavy layers of ice off my windshield. Determined, I didn’t want to miss the adventure of the next chapter in my life. Let a record-breaking Tulsa snowstorm and a power outage scare me off? Nah.
My previous peaceful leaning in prayer turned into a deep knowing in my chest. Hope rooted there overnight.
Saying goodbye to the past, I drove behind the red glare of taillights across the country to Phoenix. The hatch loaded with all my worldly possessions — clothes, shoes, and accessories — I followed my friend and her fiance’ to a place I hadn’t ever visited. Our overnight stop in Flagstaff, at the home of her fiance’s parents, provided a hint that I was blindsided by providence.
Over breakfast, they told me about a church they enjoyed in Phoenix. Our exchange was warm and endearing, parental when I felt achingly alone. I took their advice and visited on my first Sunday as a permanent desert dweller.
I quickly discovered they were right. The sermon that morning? The pastor’s story of loading his car with all his worldly possessions and driving to Phoenix to fulfill his ministerial calling. I never visited another church.
However, I came close to turning around and going back to the Midwest.
That was when I gave God my second ultimatum.
If I don’t get a job soon, I’ll have no other choice but to turn back. If you want me to stay in Phoenix, then show me with a job offer by the end of the week.
Thankfully, Dillards needed to hire someone for their makeup counter that week. Over a period of months, I landed a job in marketing and advertising, proof that I didn’t need to depend on a college recruiter.
I met H at that church two years later, after his graduation from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. We were married less than a year after our first date.
I had a choice the day I sat on my couch and gave God my first ultimatum; after my circumstances weren’t working out with the second. I could’ve blamed my parents for choosing to give up on parenting, I could’ve given in to the decaying job market, chosen the limits of my bank account, let the fear of driving a thousand miles to a place I had never seen before stop me. I could’ve blamed my year of desperation on Oral Roberts selfishness.
Instead, I chose to believe in God’s faithfulness. Hope is the comfortable arm to lean on while perseverance and tenacity do their work.
Let Hope pull you into his arms and cradle you into the future. You might be surprised by providence.
Join us in the comments and for further discussion at Redemptions Beauty Book Club on The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown as we let go of numbing, powerlessness and scarcity this week to cultivate a heart of resilience, gratitude, and joy. This is day 8 of 31 Days of Letting Go in the Deep End. Find out more here and join us for daily posts delivered to your inbox by adding your email address to Subscribe in the sidebar. It only takes a few seconds and it’s painless, I promise.