If there is one word I could use to describe Holly Wagner it would be “hope-filled” (I guess that’s two words). A wife, mom, pastor, teacher, author and cancer survivor, Holly has chosen a life of hopeful anticipation firmly rooted in her God and in His abundant love.
Just one encounter with her and you’ll know it’s true. Her smile lights up a room like the Christmas Tree in Rockerfella Plaza. Her cheerful spirit is contagious and brings joy to any and everyone she encounters.
Namely me. Not just once but over and over again.
The encouragement that she and her husband, Phillip, offer to thousands through their ministry is a beautiful sight to behold. As they co-pastor the Oasis Church in Los Angeles and parent two young adult children (one of whom just walked down a wedding aisle last month) they never cease to be bold in their faith, vulnerable with their story and generous in their grace toward others.
Holly has written several books and made many memorable television appearances. And, whether on a platform in front of a listening audience or one-on-one over a cappacino, you’ll love this great woman of faith.
Enjoy her guest blog post today. It’ll fill you up with the hope and resillience you need to look forward and move on.
Love this God-chick and you will too.
Eight and a half years ago I was diagnosed with breast cancer. There were moments of fear, and hopelessness. The more I learned, the more I wondered if I had what it would take to get healthy. Could I handle the treatment? Could I make the necessary changes?
There were times when my marriage just seemed to be in a hopeless place. We seemed to be so disconnected; we were just too different, and Philip was not changing. (No matter how hard I tried to make that happen!) My needs weren’t being met, and as I looked into the future I was discouraged.
And honestly, there have been moments in parenting when hopelessness crept in. When they were really young, I wasn’t sure I had enough time in the day! And then as they grew up, I really wondered if I had what it took to raise them to love God and fulfill their purpose. When they made mistakes, I took the failures personally (very bad idea, btw!) and felt hopeless.
In each of those three situations I moved from feeling hopeless to being determined to have a life brimming over with hope. There was no magic pill I swallowed. It was a decision. I found Bible verses that related to each situation and spoke them out loud…lots of times. I spoke them until my feelings were no longer in control. It didn’t happen overnight…but it did happen!
Romans 15:13 (MSG)
May the God of green hope fill you up with joy, fill you up with peace, so that your believing lives, filled with the life-giving energy of the Holy Spirit, will brim over with hope!
As we build our lives, we have to determine to be hope-filled.
God builds our destiny in the same way buildings are built. It takes time. It doesn’t go from steel frame to finished building in one day.
And perhaps Jeremiah 29:11 is the blueprint for our lives.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
One of the dictionary definitions of hope is: to look forward to with desire and reasonable confidence.
What are you expecting?
How do you talk about your future?
How do you talk about your husband?
How do you talk about the desires of your heart?
What are you hoping for?
Hebrews 11:1 (NKJV)
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Hope has to do with what is unseen. Hope is the happy anticipation of what we don’t have right now.
Hope is not a feeling.
Hope is a decision.
Remember we are building our lives, and hope is an essential building block!!