I grew up attending church regularly with my family and hearing the gospel and stories from the Bible, yet not fully understanding what it all meant. That all changed one summer, around the age of 10, when the pastor of our church took a few of us kids to church camp. One afternoon, he sat down with me, opened the Bible, presented the gospel and for the first time, the truth of my sin and God’s love became real and personal to me and led me to trust Christ for my salvation and acknowledge Him as Lord.

In the years that followed, my desire to know God better and learn to live out His Word grew. I also experienced the typical growing pains of adolescence. It was during high school that a certain pattern would begin that would have a tremendous impact on my life and walk with the Lord. It was during a particularly lonely time during my Senior year when I first developed what would become a pattern of “misplaced hopes”. At that time, I began to put ALL my hope in college and the close friends that I would make there. I comforted myself with the thought that everything would get better then.

I made it to college and found a few good friends but that same lonely place managed to find me again. The hope of satisfying friendships didn’t work out, so I began to put ALL my hope in academic success, believing that if I could get a certain GPA, then everything would be okay. I reached my goal, but I didn’t find the satisfaction I was looking for in that achievement. So, I set off to find the object of my next misplaced hope. This pattern would continue over and over and over again in a variety of ways for the next 10+ years until the Lord intervened and opened my eyes to what I was doing. Instead of placing my hope in Him, I was placing it in things, people and circumstances that could never provide the satisfaction or comfort that I was seeking.

Through God’s grace and gentleness, mercy and love, He has taught me to put my hope in Him alone. To fix my eyes on Him. When they drift back down to my circumstances and fear and doubt begin to take over, He kindly lifts my chin and reminds me to place ALL my hope on Him. Now as I look to the future, instead of my hope being chained to one particular outcome, I can see His goodness playing out in several different ways, because regardless of the situation, God is with me and He is good.