“…be prepared to give an answer for the hope you have, but always with gentleness and respect.” // 1 Peter 3:15
A few summers ago, Zach posed the question: “If you never get __________ (fill in the blank with your heart’s deepest desire), is Jesus still enough?”
I sat there in the Herndon Sanctuary with sad, mad tears streaming down my face because I knew my answer to that question was no. I knew deep down that my hope was not in Christ alone.
I had placed my hope in my own skills and abilities, my own perfectly laid plans. But after a year of negative pregnancy tests, my version of hope had run out.
And hope is a really big deal for me. My name, Asha, means “hope.” (Cue me buying all the journals, picture frames, and wall art with “hope” on them during my high school and college years. Don’t worry, I’ve since reigned in the obsession.) I always thought—because hope was literally my name—that I had a pretty good handle on it. But when I asked myself that question: "If I never get a baby, is Jesus still enough?" And realized I couldn’t answer yes, sweet Jesus met me and showed me that it was time for me to trade my hope for his—the hope that does not disappoint.
“And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And this hope does not disappoint…” // Romans 5:2-5
What I now know to be true is that Jesus is hope.
This month marks 48 months that my husband, Jake, and I have been waiting, praying, and hoping for a baby. It’s our story, but even still, it often takes us by surprise. I recently heard the fertility journey described as “an endless cycle of grief and hope.” Such a perfect way to put it.
Yes, the grief is always there. But so is the hope. And if I’m being honest, it kind of makes me laugh. You’ve probably heard it said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results. That’s kind of how I feel when hope springs up each month—a little insane! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said to Jake, “hope is so weird.” It’s like flowers that push their way through the cracks in the sidewalk even though they’ve been trampled a million times before. One might die, and you might think none will ever pop up again because you can’t see any at the surface right then and there. But there is always another seed down in the dirt, taking root and preparing to shoot up through another crack and bloom when you least expect it.
This hope isn’t the I-hope-I-make-it-to-Chick-fil-A-before-breakfast-is-over kind of hope. This hope is the kind that sustains life, holds together shattered hearts, and inspires bravery and boldness. This hope is relentless. Much like its Maker.
No earthly person, place, or thing could provide this hope because nothing on earth is perfect or permanent. This hope must be rooted in the soil of eternity. This hope doesn’t mean that all is right and well and good in your world or the world, but it means that all is right and well and good in your soul.
This is the hope that Jesus offers. It’s the whole reason he lived and died and lives.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” // Romans 15:13
If I can be really honest for a minute… without this hope, I don’t know that I could have made it through these last 48 months. I mean, I would probably still be living and breathing and functioning. But I would be bitter and angry and the keeper of the hardest heart. Thank God for this hope.
I have joy because I know that I was created by an all-loving, all-knowing, and all-powerful God who sent Jesus to reunite Creator and creation.
I have peace because I know that God loves me simply because he made me and I am his. Not because of what I can or can’t do, have or haven’t done, will or won’t do.
And I have hope because I know God is an infinite God who is always working and weaving together an infinite number of details for my best. But not just my best or Jake’s best or our baby’s best—but the best for all of creation. That’s the kind of best I want to be a part of.
These things are true for me and for you.
I can now answer yes—no, YES!—to Zach’s question. And now joyful, grateful tears stream down my face when I think of my story because my heart does not hold my own hope. Instead, it is filled with the hope that can only come from Jesus.
This hope, this Jesus, is the One you’ll meet as you read through the Gospels this year. And he will not disappoint.
Asha Junot is the Herndon Children's Ministry Evening Coordinator at the Herndon Campus. She is exceptionally kind and loves the opportunity to care for others and dive into their stories. If you would like to contact her, she would love to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org.