What does it mean to hope in the Lord

 By Sr Anne Hall, Nebraska Synod Council

I am sure many of us have a story to describe our experiences of the last year.  We watched the long lines for food on the evening news and the despair that many people have felt losing their jobs and sometimes their homes.  The elderly felt the isolation from friends and family and children struggled to keep up with their school work.

Many years ago, my husband and I served a congregation in Texas that was deep in conflict. It was during the time when the ELCA was discerning the vote for the Ordination of LGBTQ individuals.  We had been searching for new calls for two years with no success. Finally, we decided to resign without calls for the sake of our family.  We were given three months of severance pay and the search for calls continued.  He had a few interviews and no word came by New Year’s Eve when our last check arrived.  Our families helped us out financially and asked why we didn't find another career.  We knew in our hearts that God would provide and we simply had to find a way to keep going.  My husband earned money by filling in for pastors as pulpit supply.  

Finally one day in January, the Nebraska Synod office called and asked if we would like to serve in Nebraska.  Suddenly, there was another interview, a trip to Nebraska, and a vote.  As soon as we returned home, my husband packed the car and returned to Nebraska. Our daughter and I sold the house and moved a few months later.  

For us, hope is the assurance that God is with us in every part of our lives. We may not see the ending, but we know that even when all seems to be lost, God will see it through.

This has been a terrible year for many people who need the assurance that we have hope in Jesus Christ.  We can be that loving arm reaching out to those who are suffering in the midst of our own suffering.  It is hard to wrap our minds around the number of people who have lost friends and family members.  We can be their comfort to listen and help them.

My family will always be grateful to the Nebraska Synod for seeing our gifts and bringing us to Nebraska.  Thank you.


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