Hope in the Lord

North Texas Catholic
(Mar 5, 2024) Faith-Inspiration

(Cathopic/Jose R. Villalta)

For the past two years on New Year's Eve, I put all the fruits of the Holy Spirit on pieces of paper in a bowl, say a little prayer, and randomly choose one. I then duplicate the process for all of the virtues. 

Sometimes it can be overwhelming to choose what to work on for the year when there are so many options, so I narrow it down to really focusing my energy and prayer life on a fruit and a virtue. This year, I chose “kindness” as my fruit and “hope” as my virtue. 

I also made a vision board for 2024 that had different prayers I was praying for, motivations to allow the Lord to show me His kindness, as well as different saints I was asking for intercessions. 

A couple of days after New Years, during my prayer time, I felt this overwhelming sense of hopelessness in certain areas of my life. Things felt too big for me to tackle by myself, and I could feel myself slipping into despair: “This will never change. God cannot possible answer this.” 

But I remembered my virtue for the year and knew this wasn’t a coincidence. 

On my vision board hung up in my prayer closet, I had cut out a piece of paper that had the title “Our Lady of Hope” across the top. I chose it because I knew it coincided with the virtue chosen for me, and as I was reading about her, I noticed that the day I was in prayer, feeling a sense of despair, desperately wanting the virtue and gift of hope to blossom in my soul, was the exact feast day of Our Lady of Hope, January 17. How wild!

Later that week, I found a small empty mints tin at the thrift store that had the words “prayer box” printed on the lid. I grabbed it and put my “impossible prayers” inside that tin, knowing that the Lord wants to show up in big ways this year. 

My experience with God has always been that not only does He care about the big and small things in my life, but that He also shows up exactly on time. 

I do not question if the Lord is going to move or not. Even if you’ve been praying for something to happen for years, or only a couple of hours, it says in Psalm 25:3, “No one is disgraced who waits for you.” Meaning, even if my prayers seemingly never get answered how I want God to answer them in my timetable, God is doing something in the waiting. 

There is power in choosing hope when the world screams to only trust what you can see and measure. I have a foundation of hope that my God walks before me and beside me. I have hope that my brokenness and my sins are not too big for God to heal. I have hope that the biggest desires of my heart are seen and heard by a God who perfectly plans out my life for my good and for His glory. I have hope that my continued “yes” to Him daily will not leave me destitute. I can trust my life in His hands completely.

It wasn’t a coincidence that I chose “hope” for my virtue this year. Almost every day since January 17, there have been situations during my day where I need to choose to hope in God in that situation. 

Friends, in what area of your life do you need hope? Where do you need God to resurrect dreams that have died? What “impossible prayers” are you praying and asking God for this year? 

I encourage you to write them down and set them before the feet of Jesus because your hope in Him will not lead to your shame! 

New Year's Eve, reflection, Holy Spirit, new year, Catholic New Year, virtues, trending-english