This morning on the Today Show, they featured an interview with Neenah Pickett, the creator of the 52 Weeks Blog where she chronicled her journey to find a husband in one year. She started the blog a decade ago and as of today, she is still waiting, and hoping.
One of my favorite parts of the interview with this strong inspiring woman is that she talked about the importance of choosing ‘radical acceptance.’ Often in life, we have great hope that things will work out a certain way. We strive, we dream, and we have a culture here in the United States that tells us every day that if we just work hard enough, ‘No matter how your heart is grieving/If you keep on believing/ The dream that you wish will come true.’ *
But what do you do when you dream, you hope, you work and you believe, but like Neenah or me, a decade or two passes and you’re still waiting?
This is a really tough question, but I think it deserves to be asked and not ignored. Last night, right before slipping off to sleep, a simple thought settled in my mind:
“We have this day, only today and it’s enough. There is no tomorrow.”
For some strange reason, this thought gave me a hope and peace that I didn’t expect. And I was so thankful for it. I slept well, straight through the night. I think the reason it brought me peace is because it was a statement of radical acceptance.
Neenah Pickett talked about the many people who have been encouraged by her blog over the past 10 years and the community she’s found with other singles who have become dear friends in the journey. She shed some tears as she talked about having a hysterectomy and had to let go of dreams to someday carry and give birth to her own child. But she always returned to hope and offering encouragement to those who were willing to receive it. She still extends an invitation to those who want to join the community with others who are still looking for love and refusing to give up hope. She’s accepted her call to be an encourager, even when it’s hard.
I don’t know what dreams you’re holding on to today, or what weary hopes you may feel burdened by, but as a woman of faith, I offer you a couple of words of encouragement that have often helped me.
They’re simple words offered by Jesus to His followers, that when we’re discouraged and tempted to lose hope as we buckle under the weight of dashed dreams, unmet expectations and unmitigated regret, we need only remember:
“Always pray, and never give up hope,” and “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” *
Thankfully, my tomorrow did in fact arrive (yay God!), but like Neehah, I found peace in radical acceptance: Acceptance of the fact that I have this new day, this moment to share kindness, encouragement, love and light in a way that might help someone else to be strengthened for their next step. And If you need encouragement today, I pray that someone is you.
“Be Brave. Be Present. Be Wise. Be Faithful. Be Kind to Yourself & Others, and Be Blessed.” ©
*A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes - Lyrics
*Matthew 6:34 and Luke 18:1 - The Bible