The Path we Walk

The world is rigged to give us fear, it seems.  There are the basic fears of not having enough food or clothing, which in a middle class society can translate into other more global fears such as not having the means to provide those basics.  In the recession of 2008, that global fear was realized for me with the loss of a very responsible and lucrative job.

Seven years earlier, though, my family and I "landed" at HOPE Church. I was captured by the open warmth of the place and people, and felt like I had found a "home" there, even though, as the daughter of a church organist, I had been attending churches my entire life.  I didn't know it then, but God had big plans for me, and He couldn't fulfill those plans without taking me on a pathway of faith and hope which included that first big step of “rightsizing” me out of my job. That journey was filled with much Bible study, a home downsizing and even more job turmoil, but along the way, my faith and hope grew and my fears began to subside.  And amazingly, in the years after 2008, my family was still able to eat, purchase clothing, even take a vacation or two--even though I was earning substantially less than in the years prior to 2008.

Fast forward to today, and I am semi-retired, working part time.  The decision to cut the cord from the 9 to 5 work world came after a health "wake up call" in 2017.  After that crisis, which potentially could have been an even bigger calamity than a job loss, I was no longer even a bit concerned about provision for my family, since after living my “right-sized life” for the past nine years, my confidence rested in God's provision of our needs. He had blessed me with the hindsight to look back over those years during my 17-year journey at HOPE Church, to see just how faithful He had been in his promises, and to know I had nothing to fear about the future.  Quite honestly, as I made the decision to retire, I experienced that peace that passes understanding.  Oh, and those "big plans" God had for me?  I'm now blessed to be helping with the HOPE Mount Laurel Campus, and to work with my church "family," who helped to give me that hope in the face of fear.

Ultimately I know that my future rests, as the song says, "in Jesus' blood and righteousness."  And, I've come to fully believe that although I don't know what the future holds, I know who holds the future. The world may be rigged to fill us with fear, but the love of Jesus has been eternally planted in our hearts to give us hope.  My prayer for you is that if you are living in fear, any type of fear, that you can find hope and peace this Advent season.

Blessings,

Judy Loane

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