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This is a post from May that I am migrating from a previous site to this one. Enjoy. Summer enjoys sharing her thoughts and her story. To that end, we thought we might experiment with a new medium. Hope you enjoy. As we begin this new video experience, ultimately, this is the story of hope. Moreover, this is not an empty or shallow hope. This is the story of hope amidst trouble and struggle, yet hope nonetheless. It is a hope that emanates, not from comfort and luxury, but rather a hope that develops as a result of scars. Indeed, this is a hope in a personal loving God. A God that provides, that pursues, that welcomes, that gives, and, most importantly, that loves. In Paul’s letter to the Romans, he writes: “By entering through faith into what God has always wanted to do for us—set us right with him, make us fit for him—we have it all together with God because of our Master Jesus. And that’s not all: We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that he has already thrown open his door to us. We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand—out in the wide-open spaces of God’s grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise. There’s more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience, in turn, forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!” (Romans 5:1-5, MSG) This is a story of being hemmed in by troubles, yet learning through these troubles to lean into God and His faithfulness, goodness, and love. It is the reminders, that God pours into our lives so much more than we can ever possibly imagine. So much so, that we cannot “round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives.” I love that image. There were times in our story when the well felt close to being empty. There were times when both Mandy and I felt at the end of our rope. Yet, we have learned, and need to be consistently reminded, to remain “alert for whatever God will do next.” Why? Because God doesn’t shortchange us. In those moments of weary striving, God has regularly and generously poured into our lives in ways that we foolishly failed to expect.