I’m hanging on to my skinny jeans.
By “hanging on,” I mean I have a white-knuckled, iron-fisted death grip on those jeans. And by “skinny jeans,” I am not referring to the fashion piece; I’m talking about my I-need-to-lose-ten-pounds-before-I-can-get-in-them- again skinny jeans. Know what I mean?
I’ve considered donating them to some skinnier person’s closet. I’ve thought about ripping into them for some sort of Pinterest project. But I won’t let them go. I continue to allow them to gather a thick layer of dust while hanging in my closet.
I would be admitting defeat. Giving up even though I’m letting Jillian Michaels yell at me every morning. And ... I don’t want to give up. I want to squeeze my body back in those jeans.
So I hang on.
I wish that I held on to more things in my life with that kind of tenacity. But I hear ugly gossip going around about my family, and I let go of my joy. Criticism starts to flow our direction, and I loosen my grip on peace.
Expectations rise ... loneliness chokes ... anxiety appears ... And I release confidence ... security ... my sense of purpose ...
There is one thing, though, that it is vital that we hold on to when depression and discouragement are haunting us. We have to keep a grip on hope.
I’ll never forget the trouble, the utter lostness,
the taste of ashes, the poison I’ve swallowed.
I remember it all—oh, how well I remember— the feeling of hitting the bottom.
But there’s one other thing I remember, and remembering, I keep a grip on hope. (Lamentations 3:19-21, MSG)
I’ve heard discouragement described as the melting away of our joy. When our joy seems to be in a puddle at our feet, we feel utterly lost. The taste in our mouths is not sweet happiness but instead the taste of ashes and poison. We know what it feels like to hit the bottom. That’s precisely when we need to keep a grip on hope.
This section of Scripture is found smack dab in the middle of the book
of Lamentations. All around it is woe, sadness, hurt, and lament. What rises up out of the center is the hope of Jesus Christ. When our lives are surrounded by woe, sadness, hurt, and lament, the hope of Jesus rises up.
So let us hold tightly—with a white-knuckled, iron-fisted death grip—on hope because our loving God is faithful.
God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out,
his merciful love couldn’t have dried up.
They’re created new every morning. How great your faithfulness!
I’m sticking with God (I say it over and over). He’s all I’ve got left. (verses 22-24, MSG)
Together, let’s tighten our grasp, hang on, and cling to the hope of Jesus. He is all we have left.
© 2017 by Lori Wilhite. All rights reserved.
Lori Wilhite is the founder of Leading and Loving It - a ministry dedicated to equipping, connecting and impacting pastors’ wives and women in leadership. She hopes to encourage healthy women therefore building healthy marriages, healthy families, and healthy ministries. Her first book, co-authored with Brandi Wilson, is Leading and Loving It: Encouragement for Pastors’ Wives and Women in Leadership. The newly released My Name is Victorious: Find Strength, Freedom and Joy in Who You Are Created to Be is a book filled with content and activities designed to do a heart excavation. You will trade in the old names that have haunted you and held you back for the names you were created for all along.
Lori serves alongside her husband, Jud Wilhite, at Central Church in Las Vegas. Together they love watching God change Sin City into Grace City. They have two hilarious and amazing kids, Emma and Ethan, and one stinky bulldog.