This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil. Hebrews 6:19

Looking back at some of my old posts I was drawn today particularly to this one which sounds a lot like where I am today.  A little disconcerting to realize this was written almost five years ago, back in 2008–and I’m still in “this place today.”  Yikes!

The truth is my spiritual, family and professional life travels in cycles: re-birth, exploration, running the race, and the fall. Would love to avoid the falls, but the older I get I realize how necessary the falls are in leading me to more growth.

I’m in a re-birth phase today, in transition in all areas of my life:

From professional salesperson to my true love, which is writing with an eye for marketing and design.

From Mom of two little boys that need full-time supervision to having a lot more independence–Ben is old enough to “babysit” so even at night my husband and I can go out for a couple of hours and leave them at home if we want to.  Also, they’re both needing me less and less for help with school.  They attend a top Catholic school and the academics can be quite rigorous.  It seems they’re in their grooves, keeping up, handling the workloads on their own.

From newlywed and “young married couple” to a 15 year marriage that has weathered some storms and has the scars to prove it.  There is an acceptance and humility in our marriage now.  We’re not invincible anymore.  We need to actively “protect” and nurture our marriage.  It doesn’t run on autopilot anymore.

From financial fairytale ignorance to cultivating and developing a financial plan for our family that is diversified and works with reality, not with dreams. Investing all of our time and money in real estate, dreaming our investments would sustain us to and through retirement turned out to not be a great plan when the housing market tanked, along with our “dreams.”

From daughter who brings all my problems to my Mom to adult daughter who realizes that my 80-year-old parents need some help.

From a three-year stressful period of not taking care of myself physically to beginning again my self-care, more AA meetings and more running.

I love my life today. I feel good.  I have hope. As Pope Benedict said in the opening paragraph of his encyclical on Hope, “The present, even if it is arduous, can be lived and accepted if it leads towards a goal, if we can be sure of this goal, and if this goal is great enough to justify the effort of the journey.”

Hope is one of the great themes in the Bible. The Pope observes a deep link  between faith and hope, so much so that, in some passages, they are almost “interchangeable.” He draws on the Letter to the Hebrews, Letter to the Ephesians and other New Testament letters to make his point.

In Ephesians, our Pope points out to us, “To come to know God—the true God— means to have hope.”

He discusses Paul’s encounter with the Ephesians. “Before their encounter with Christ they were ‘without hope and without God in the world’ (Eph 2:12).” In spite of their empty gods, the Ephesians “were ‘without God’ and consequently found themselves in a dark world, facing a dark future.”

Hope, of course, in and through Christ, leads to the light.

I had a rebirth of hope back in 2007–I remember it distinctly.  But it wasn’t even a couple of years later–in 2009 I went back to work in sales to ease our financial troubles at home–when my priorities shifted, and God was eased out of His place of prominence in my life. My spiritual life (from which the rest of my life breathes) didn’t flow.  Funny how life doesn’t flow very well when I’m not remembering to live in God’s will every morning.

It wasn’t on purpose.  I got attracted to working again, having a lot of money, being praised and liked by others. I won sales awards, and I chased each next thing I could accomplish to get me more praise and attention. More!

The malaise snuck up on me.  Taking a good job with plenty of income and benefits seemed to be a good idea at the time. It was a good thing, right?  But little by little I was losing “myself” by drifting from my God, chasing as Pope Benedict described above “empty gods.”

I have finally turned the corner to head back in His direction with my full attention.  It’s weird to say this, but quitting my job last April was the first step for me back to God.  And I have HOPE once again. We just don’t have much money. 🙂

My “goal” is God will.  And if I remember each morning to ask God to direct my thinking and my actions for this day, then hope flows. It’s as simple as that. Yay!