Sometimes I have a hard time holding onto hope. Sometimes I have a hard time believing any of my dreams in life will come true. My valley, and my pain, have lasted so long, that it’s far too easy to believe the negative whispers in my soul, telling me nothing will ever get better. But I’m trying to fight that. I’m trying to see through different lenses. Years ago I felt God gave me the verses that inspired this blog, as a personal promise that one day my Valley of Achor–or trouble–would end in a door of hope. And that promise kept me going through a time of intense darkness and pain. But as the pain has lingered in recent years, and I’ve met with more disappointment and setbacks in my life, I’ve found it more and more difficult to hang on to that promise. Doubts, fears and at times despair have ransacked my soul, telling me my life will never have any sort of redemptive ending or satisfying purpose.
But I’m trying to fight back. Even though sadness, disappointment and disillusionment still lurk in the shadows, I’ve got to believe that better days are somewhere around the bend. So I’m posting the beautifully written Bible verse above (courtesy of blogger Morgan Day Cecil) to remind myself of the faith I once had. I’ve also been inspired by the aforementioned blogger (whose blog can be found here), to post a “Romance & Adventure” list–which is essentially a “bucket” list.
I’ve had a mental bucket list for a while, but perhaps just having it written down will help keep me motivated to never give up pursuing and believing in my dreams, even when the darkness, sadness and pain seem to mock those dreams.
So without further ado, here is my “bucket” list–or my “life’s goals” list–or “romance & adventure” list–in no particular order:
- Be made whole: emotionally, spiritually and physically.
- Use my pain to minister to others.
- Get married to an amazing man and travel around Europe together on our honeymoon.
- Serve God alongside this amazing man.
- Visit Israel.
- Visit beautiful, bonnie Scotland at least one more time.
- Live in Brazil or somewhere in South America.
- Speak at least two foreign languages fluently.
- Learn Biblical Hebrew.
- Get my B.A. and become a linguist (working on that!).
- Give a people group their own written language and/or Bible.
- Know Jesus better and become more like Him.
- Bring at least one person to Jesus.
- Be the hands and feet of Jesus to the least, the lost, and the broken.
- Write and publish a book.
- Sail in a hot-air balloon.
- Go hang-gliding.
- See the Rockies, the Grand Canyon, the Pacific Ocean and the Alps.
I doubt every one of these will come true, but here’s to hoping at least the most important ones do.
As one of my favorite literary heroines, Anne of Green Gables, once said, “I don’t know what lies around the bend, but I’m going to believe that the best does…”