My flight left at 5:30am from Winnipeg to Toronto and then on to Dallas, Texas. From the moment I stepped out of my airport shuttle and walked with my sister in law into the main conference room, it was nothing but hugs and hello’s and “I didn’t know you were gonna be here’s”. Nerves moved over and made room for new friendships – people I’d only known through words and photos online, became sister in the flesh.
It was during the Friday evening session, when Shauna Niequest shared her story of moving away from the hussle and towards a candy-throwing kind of love, that I first felt it rising. It crept up on me while I ate cake pops, drank way to much coffee, and walked in the sunshine. It seeped in so quickly that suddenly it wasn’t just coming in my ears and logding in my heart, but actually making its way back out – leaping off my lips to other heavy hearts.
This weekened, hope really was spoken. It was spoken through the words of the speakers and the whispers of roomates. It was spoken through tables of treats and smiling faces. It was spoken through honest tears and warm hugs. And somehow God allowed me to not only hear hope spoken, but to speak hope.
During that first night I heard God tell me He wanted me to be bold. He wanted me to pray for my sisters and share phrophetic words, encouraging them with His truth. And within hours of arriving, I had the chance to do just that – to listen, to pray and to prophecy. Not because I came with some big agenda or amazing revelation, but simply because it was what the Lord wanted, and I chose to say yes.
It all culminated on Saturday afternoon, in the most unexpected way. My SIL and I decided to skip one of the afternoon sessions to have a nap and go shopping. It was afterall, the first vacation I’ve had since sweet Claire was born (exactly one year ago today!). And while we slowly walked through the outdoor mall, listening to music and soaking in the sun, we came to a Starbucks. The lined trailed almost to the door, and as I approached the barista, something in his voice spoke louder than his words and it said, “I feel hopeless”.
And without thinking I heard myself saying “You’re having a rough day aren’t you?”
“Pardon me?” he said.
“You’re having a rough day, aren’t you?”
“How could you tell? People can’t usually read me like that.” He eyes looked at me curiously.
“Is your shift almost over?”
“Ya, one hour left.”
“Well, it’s gonna get better. It’s almost over, right? And it’s gonna get better.” My words sounded trite, but my heart was speaking hope.
He smiled and some of the darkness in his face seemed to lift.
This is how hope works, isn’t it? It’s spoken in a safe place – a conference, a coffee date, on our favourite blog – and then, if we really get it, it MOVES us to share. To give. To pass it on. When hope is really spoken to us, we in turn, speak hope. I didn’t stop and pray for him, I didn’t tell him Jesus died for his sins, but I did speak love and hope.
Thank you to the Hope Spoken team for putting in the prayer and the hours and the heart. Hope was truly spoken, and the results of that hope are farther reaching than any of us will ever fully know.