Hope in Ugly Places

January 26th, 2021 by Erica Stephenson

Anger. Hopeless. Trust.

Despair. Hope. Confusion. Trust.  

For most lament is rarely a straight path. It is a wandering towards God in the midst of pain.

Hope in Ugly Places - maze

Trusting him enough to complain to him, begging him to fix it, and finding hope along the way as we go back and forth between moments of complaint, begging, trust and gratitude for who he is. 

Hope in Ugly Places - Flower growing in dirt

Plenty to Lament

Three years ago our youth group learned how to lament through a series of listening to people’s stories, studying Scripture, and leaning into honesty with God - both individually and together.

Three years later this spiritual practice has come back to us over and over again. 

2020 has given us plenty to lament:

The death of a friend.  

Hope in ugly places - a stone angel

 COVID-19.  

Hope in Ugly Places - Hospital Ward

National political unrest.  

Daymares - US Capitol

National and local racial tensions. 

Fraying fabric

Finding Yourself Somewhere

As you listen to this plan I hope that you’ll find yourself, your family, your friends or your community somewhere in the writers who experienced pain and found themselves crying out to God in the midst of it.

The very fact that they were crying out to God communicated a level of trust in him.

The very fact that they were crying out to God communicated a level of trust in him.

It’s clear to me in Scripture that God actually invites our honest complaints over what isn’t right in this world.

He doesn’t disappear when things get hard.

Let these words be the beginning of a new level of honesty with the One who created you.

As your honesty builds, trust will rise.

Hope will come.  

“God doesn’t want something from us, He simply wants us.” C.S. Lewis

Hope in Ugly Places Plan

Bible Plan

 

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About this author:

Erica Stephenson

Erica Stephenson

Erica is the Youth & Young Adult Minister at New Covenant. She is passionate about seeing students and their families love Christ and each other. Erica is married to her husband, Mike, and enjoys traveling, reading, almost any outdoor activity, and time with family.

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