It might be hope. That’s the title of one of my favorite songs by Christian artist Sara Groves.
During the 2008 recession, I was struggling. My husband had just lost his job with no other opportunities in sight. I didn’t know what we were going to do. And then there were the other things going on that put me and my family in the eye of a perfect storm.
At that time, I was a stay-at-home mom with two school-age children. Though they were getting older, Christmas was still their favorite time of year. We lived on a street that went all out for Christmas— decorating every nook and cranny with lights, fake snow, and blow-up snow globes. Everything looked joyful and perfect on the outside of our house; but like my life, the inside looked drab and drear.
I stopped talking to God. I had never done that before, but I was wounded in ways I didn’t even understand at the time. Why had God moved us all the way from Tennessee to California just a few years earlier? Now my husband was going to be unemployed soon after Christmas. We left everything for this?
I trudged out to the mailbox. There was a package from my sister. I placed it under the tree and forgot about it until Christmas Day.
Her box was the last one I opened. She loved sending me copies of her favorite CDs and there was usually a note to tell me which songs were her most-loved. This time was no exception. One of the songs on her favorite list was entitled, “It Might Be Hope” by Sara Groves.
I opened the packaging and inserted the CD in my player. I listened to the words:
Hope has a way of turning its face to you
Just when you least expect it
You walk in a room
You look out a window
And something there leaves you breathless
You say to yourself
It’s been a while since I felt this
But it feels like it might be hope
As I listened— and I didn’t know why— but I began to cry. What did she see outside her window that gave her hope? I needed to see something that would give me hope again.
That was the first time I had talked to God in a while. I had always shared everything with Him, talking to Him all day long, every day.
That night I had a dream (another first-in-a-long-time event):
I was standing in the bathroom of the house where I grew up. I looked out the window to see the neighbor’s weeping willow tree (where, in real life, my sister and I used to run through its branches). There was a screen on the window and I couldn’t quite see the tree clearly. My husband walked over to take off the screen so I could have a better view. When I walked to the window, I could see the lush green weeping willow. But it wasn’t just the tree I saw, it was thousands upon thousands of beautiful hummingbirds. They were everywhere! I couldn’t even count them all. (I’ve always loved hummingbirds and God seems to use them to remind me of His promises). As I looked more carefully, one hummingbird flew toward me. As it flew, it turned into gold and disappeared. I gasped. I turned to my husband, “Did you see that?!” He smiled and nodded.
The next morning after the dream, and as I was waking, I began to think about the dream. I asked God, “What was that all about?” He spoke to my heart, “Listen to the song again.” When I did, I cried— this time with joy: I was overwhelmed with a sense of God’s love for me. I knew He was showing me that He hadn’t forgotten His promises and had not given up on me, even though I had given up on Him…for a little while. He hadn’t gone anywhere. He loved me no matter what. I was greatly affected by the dream and how much God loved me. It was the beginning of finding my way back to God— trusting Him again.
Remembering what God did for me then, how He showed His love for me those many years ago, is now giving me a renewed hope for this season we’re all in. I hope it helps to give you hope, too.