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  • Writer's pictureJenni Lien

Keep Hope Alive

No matter what you’re facing, God has a plan. He’s got a good, good plan for your life with blessings that will delight you more than you thought possible. Will you believe him? And trust him? And wait on him? And have faith? God’s will in our lives requires our yes—he doesn’t force us. A blog post for Christian women on why we should continue to have hope and believe God for the impossible.

This August, The Yay Project will be five years old. Time. Flies.

I’m typing this while cozied up in bed, on Good Friday, just in a very relaxed mood. For the past week or so, my prayer has been that God helps me to crave his presence more and help me linger in his presence during a busy work season. And friends, as always, God answered sweetly. How? A few ways but one is by giving me the space to blog again. Sometimes we might feel too busy to blog, draw, create—but for some many of us, it’s our favourite way to connect with God and definitely time well spent.

I started talking about our upcoming five year anniversary because… well, I’m not sure why exactly. Here goes a processing with God session. I was trying to think of a topic and thought about something I’d read recently from a creator who shared how she writes all her content like a lesson plan as she spent many years as an elementary school teacher. That makes a lot of sense. So I thought about writing a blog like this, sharing some lessons learned. But. With Yay, it started out as my creative outlet, a place for me to share my genuine work-in-progress life and journey with God. And largely it still is. On the blog, there are researched articles, podcast transcripts, lifestyle articles and food reviews, journal entries… lots of responding to God in different ways throughout these five years.

Different styles of graphics/photos shared over the years!

Some of Yay's most popular posts:

I think it’s why monetizing Yay has always felt weird to me. You know how some people say when you monetize your hobby it can take all the joy out of it? So God has given me some new ideas for building a business with heart. But perhaps Yay will always be more raw, honest, and a place to experiment and connect as we live life… and grow in God. We don’t need to go to God or a friend with everything all figured out—the joy is in the time we spend together figuring things out.

This post is probably going to be one of the public journal entry type posts. They’re not going to be perfectly structured (or perfectly copyedited!) but I hope they feel like connecting with and learning from a friend. Looking through previous posts, I feel like the last time I posted something that was just an honest journal was in September 2022 with “You Can Build While You Heal Because Jesus.” I’ve written and podcasted quite a bit since then and I always try to be honest… and if I’m not as honest as I can be, it’s usually not because I want to hide anything from you, but because I’m in the process of being fully honest with myself. Sometimes I can sense this as I share but it’s the best I can do that day, and I think there’s still value in giving our best because ahem if God doesn’t expect us to be perfect why do we expect that of ourselves. If you haven’t read it yet and the topic appeals to you, I encourage you to check it out! Looking back it’s one of my favourite pieces because I feel God’s fingerprints all over it. Only with God’s help was I able to make such big “I don’t know exactly where you’re leading, God, but I’ll go” moves. 

And I’m still in the thick of it. It’s not always easy but I believe it’s where God wants me and thus it’s definitely where I want to be. I’ve lived enough live and made enough mistakes that I know that I know that I know know God knows me better than I know myself. 

I love living life on the edge of comfortable meets uncomfortable. If you know me, it’s probably somewhat obvious that I like comfort—nice fabrics, regular beauty appointments, curled hair, excellent food, and so on. I also like being uncomfortable—getting too comfortable frustrates me. I want to constantly be challenged, growing, pushing my understanding of what’s possible. God only knows but I think I’ll always look back on these first few post-Hong Kong years as a huge blessing of God breaking down new strongholds and putting me together in a new way.

The first time I felt him do this was with a shattered heart. When I went to him with my pieces, I felt the image was kind of like kintsugi with the gold representing the Holy Spirit and that made me stronger than I’d ever been—now that I was allowing the Holy Spirit to hold me together. As I write this, I feel like this season is kind of like recreating a garment. Maybe this pair of jeans was perfect for a season but now that God is bringing in a new season with a different climate, purpose, segment, it needs some updating with a new pattern, dye, accessories. Same pair of jeans with a bit of a makeover for a new purpose. That’s how I feel (and hah, I’m sure I’m going to look back one day and be like “In 2024, on the cusp of things happening, you felt like a repurposed pair of jeans.” It’s true! 🙂)

Friends, I honestly have so many dreams. I am continuing to seek God about so much. And I hope you are too. We’re living in a time with some very real challenges so maybe our dreams have been shifting a little. But God is GOD. I don’t think our dreams should be safer or smaller—but fully submitted to God. We should pray boldly and be fully open to how God will answer. We can’t fathom the depth of God’s love for us! Wherever we’re at, we can always seek God for fresh hope and trust that in this season he has purpose and for the seasons to come as well. And may we not forget to obey God and do the work he’s giving to us right now. He’s always preparing us.

Marriage, home ownership, new degrees, travel, children, promotions, acquisitions, new cities, a downpayment… just a few things off the top of my head, of things we often want. I’m sure you can add to this list. Why not pray to God right now and talk to him about the things you hope for? Or better yet, book a few hours and make space for him to show you new dreams too.

but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. (Isaiah 40:31 NIV)

We’re one quarter down in 2024. Eight more months to go. God can totally change things around and do miracles when we believe him. I believe in him. You too? 

To end, I want to thank God for the gift of writing. I love when I start a blank page not knowing what I’m going to write about but knowing there’s something in my heart that wants to come out. It’s such a gift to connect heart-to-heart, with God’s heart and with each other’s. I pray this post and this corner of the internet is an encouraging place where you can feel known and prayed for as you pursue God’s will and call for your life. 


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