From Hope Valley Devotionals (Week 32): The Blessing of Finding Contentment in Our Present and Future

September 23, 2020

Happy Wednesday friends! As I shared several  months, I am excited to re-share some of the most popular devotional posts that I wrote in 2017-2018 (if you would like to see the complete list you can find it HERE!) and am excited to share this one this week! I hope that this continues to be a beautiful blessing even several years later!

*this was originally posted in 2017*
Listening to Elizabeth's journal entry in the first episode of season 3, I am immediately struck by the wisdom that she is sharing. She had just finished listing so many of the good things that she has encountered in Hope Valley and yet she shares precious wisdom about the fact that while no place can spare us from misfortune or shelter us from our past, she is resolving to make that place her home. There is a blessing that comes from leaving the past in the past and finding contentment in our present and future. It is the blessing of knowing that mercy and grace has found us in the past and will once again meet us in the future.

I think that sometimes as we watch When Calls the Heart we think that Hope Valley would be a perfect place to run away to or to live in to escape the pain and the difficulties that we face here and now. The reality is that this is simply not the case. So many times in our live we are tempted to move or to run away to a new place if our circumstances are not exactly how we envisioned them to be. Maybe our expectations are not being met in the way that we wanted them to be met. Maybe the past that we hoped we could avoid keeps crawling into the future. Maybe it seems that life is holding days of darkness and difficulties that have no end. 

My heart goes out to each of you who are struggling with where you are placed right now. I weep with you and wish I could give you a big hug because my heart truly understands where you are at. Over the last several years I have struggled to sometimes see the beauty in resolving to find contentment in my present and my future. It can be so hard and I so wish that I could give each of you a gentle hug of encouragement. 

But over these last years I have also seen the wisdom of what Elizabeth shared in her journal. No place can shelter us from the complications of the past nor can it keep us from misfortune. But there is a beautiful gift of understanding the mercy that is found in the past and the deep knowing that it will meet us again in the future. 

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a pastor who was imprisoned and killed during World War II once said, "My past life is abundantly full of God's mercy, and above all sin stands the forgiving love". This quote of his has made me think deeply about this concept. Whether we long to forget the past or whether we long to run back to it, there is a grace that can be found in the past. The grace of seeing that it is full of God's mercy... the good and the bad. The times we long to forget and the times that we wish we could repeat. 

I shared with my instagram community on Sunday that I had been reflecting on the summer while listening to the gentle sounds of waves. This September has been unusually warm... well hot really (*smiles*) and I have been thanking God for these extra days of "summer". This summer is one that I haven't honestly wanted to leave. It has been deeply life changing... I have learned so much about myself, other people, and most of all the tender truth of trusting God for big things. This summer has had it's share of pain, difficulties, tears, and health issues and difficult times for our family but this summer has also held tons of laughter, lots of joy, and a beautiful season of restoration for me. In many ways I haven't wanted to let it go. 

But as I consider the quotes by Elizabeth and by Dietrich Bonhoeffer I am gently reminded that that there is a blessing of finding contentment in our present and future. It is a blessing of knowing that the same grace that has met us in the past will meet us in the future... no matter the season because our hope is in the ever faithful and never changing God. 

"He changes times and seasons..."
-Daniel 2:21-

*original post written in September 2017 prior to Lori Loughlin's departure from the show*

If you are looking to read more from Dietrich Bonhoeffer one of my favorite books of his is called "Life Together". You can find it on Amazon HERE and also find more books from Bonhoeffer and about him on Amazon too. 

Looking for past From Hope Valley Devotionals? You can click HERE to find a complete listing of all of the devotionals! 

I have received several emails asking me about the books by Janette Oke that the series is based on. You may remember that I mentioned in my very first From Hope Valley Devotional post that I had read Janette Oke's series back when I was a teenager. The original book series, "The Canadian West Series" was based on Elizabeth's aunt and her adventures (she also married a Mountie). Here are the listing of the books from that series (there are six) in order:

In the last several years Janette Oke released a new series entitled, "Return to the Canadian West" which you can find listed below in order:

I receive several emails a week asking where you can watch older episodes of "When Calls the Heart". If you have a Netflix account you can find seasons 1-3 there or you can purchase them on Amazon. You can purchase and watch all of the seasons and episodes by clicking on the links below:

*Please note that the quotes used in these weekly devotionals are the sole intellectual property of Hallmark Channel, WCTH, & Crown Media, LLC. These on-line posts are in no way supported, endorsed or affiliated with WCTH, Hallmark Channel, or Crown Media. They are simply encouragement inspired by Janette Oke and this precious show.*

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