The Day of Nevermore [a poem]

To be clear, I am not a poet.

I enjoy poetry and have tried many times to write poetry. It rarely works out, and I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s “worked out” in this case.

For instance, I don’t really know where the commas are supposed to go, so I stuck commas at the end of each line and periods at the end of each thought/stanza/thread.

Also, it’s not a traditional poem, but it’s also not a straight up free form poem. Sometimes it rhymes. Sometimes it doesn’t. Some parts are three lines, and others are nine or ten. That kind of bothers me. But it is what it is, and I’m done tweaking it.

Here I present: The Day of Nevermore.

the day of nevermore

I look to the Day of Nevermore,
And yearning swells within me,
Deep and rising to an outpour.

In bed I lie awake and think and ache,
For the day of Nevermore,
Is the last day of heartbreak.

Light will rise and darken nevermore,
Finally, I will see my Savior-Lord.

And every sorrow that sent the strong,
Weeping to the shower floor,
And every vice that gripped and gored,
And every lie that broke and bruised and tore,
And every note of strife and discord,
And every curse that burned to the core,
And every failure that cut like a sword,
And the grief that seemed the only loyal mentor,
And every shameful word and awful act of war,
And every loss the dark night had in store,
It will all be over forevermore,
Come the Day of Nevermore.

The Day of Nevermore,
It’s the first day of forevermore.

These words will be no more,
On that bright, bright Day of Nevermore:
Alone, afflicted, abused, accused
Bleeding, bruising, bitterness,
Blame, betrayal, brokenness,
Crushing, cruel,
Division, dejection, depression,
Distress, damage, disappointment,
Enmity, emptiness,
Failure, fault, frustrate, fear,
Grief, guilt,
Hate, hostility, harm,
Inferiority, inequity, injury,
Lament, loneliness, loathing, lacking,
Misery, marring, mauling,
Plague, peril, prejudice, poison,
Ruin, regret, rejection, revenge,
Slander, scorn, spite, sorrow, shame,
Tragedy, trouble, trial, torment,
Ugliness, uninvited, unworthy,
Vitriol, venom, vice, void,
Wounded, wretched, war,
All such words will meet their final end,
When God does as He intends.

Nevermore will nightmares invade our rest,
Nevermore will we crumble in the test,
Nevermore will doubt destroy peace,
Nevermore will weariness overtake,
Nevermore will pride divide,
Nevermore will shame overshadow,
Nevermore will fear bind and break,
Nevermore will grief overflow,
Nevermore will hope seem vain,
Nevermore will strength wither,
Nevermore will suffering reign.

It will be on the Day of Nevermore,
The mending of all that came before,
Perfection He will forever restore.

We won’t puzzle over what He’s doing anymore,
We’ll see it clearly on that Day of Nevermore,
And we’ll answer with a shout, a song, a roar,
And God Himself we will forever explore.

I look for the Day of Nevermore,
It will be the best day,
And every day after will be even better,

In the dark I lie awake,
I wait for the Nevermore daybreak.

Do you write poetry? Are you a traditional or free form poet?

With love,


p.s. if you want a piece of encouraging excellence, check out Dear Heartbreak by Heidi Melo. I love it so much I printed out and put it on my bedroom wall.

When Hope Is Gone

I shared in this post a little bit of my struggle with hope recently, and we’re going to explore the battle for/with hope in today’s post.

However, I do want to say from the outset that this is not a post about depression—at least not the go-to-counseling, take-some-medication, etc. kind of depression. This is more about the situational depression that most—if not all—Christians will face at least once in their life, the times when hope is gone.

when hope is gone.jpg

As Christians, our lives are based on hope—hope in our Christ, hope for the future given to us by our Christ, hope despite the world of death we live in. Our hope is our confidence in Christ, our trust that He is who He said He is, that He’ll do what He said He will, and that in the end, we will be with Him.

But sometimes our hope can falter or collapse altogether. These are the seasons when our hope for the present time is deferred, and our hearts get sick. We get caught in a situation that beats the confidence right out of us—not the confidence that it will all be okay in the end but the confidence that we can make it through tomorrow.

Pain dims our vision, and it makes it seem like Jesus and all His triumph are so far away, too far away. We know in our heads that God is good. We know in our heads that this mess will end up for our good, eventually. We know in our heads that it will be all right, that God is righteous and kind and trustworthy.

Countless situations wring the hope right out of us. The death of a friend. The unfaithfulness of a spouse. The indifference of a child who’s walked away from God. The church that tears itself—you included—apart. The job that’s draining the lifeblood out of you. The storms that just. won’t. end.

The longer a trial goes on, the harder it is to walk through it with hope, and each of us has a breaking point, the point where pain gets to be too much, the point where we reach for hope and it’s just gone, completely out of reach.

I wish I could give five steps to reclaim hope, but it’s not that simple.

It’s never simple when you try to pray but you can only sit in silence or cry at God. It’s never simple when you’re sobbing four different times in one day. It’s never simple when you try to worship but you can’t lift your head past your hurt. It’s never simple when you need to talk about it but you don’t know how.

It’s never simple when you call out to God and beg for good things, things that are in His Word, things that seem like they would bring Him glory, things that seem like they would be His will, and He says “no” again and again and again and again and again until you don’t know what to pray for.

But hope is never truly gone, and that is what we have to remember.

Hope is never truly gone because God is never gone. Yes, it can feel like He’s far away, but He’s not. Yes, sometimes we have no way of knowing when it will get better—or even if it will get better—but someday it will, even if that day isn’t until we go meet Jesus in the clouds.

Yes, eternity can seem like it’s a lifetime away and the present can be like a millstone, but our hope cannot be fixed in the present. We are a people crafted for an eternity with God. We are a people set apart as priests and prophets and exiles always looking toward our home.

Recently, this was hard truth for me to swallow. I wanted hope for now, but instant hope is flimsy hope. I learned that Jesus alone must be enough, and that He is enough because He is all that is sure and steady in life.

When I came to the end of my hope and I sat on the floor trying to pray while I cried, I encountered comfort from the Holy Spirit. At the end of my strength, He had more than enough. When I wasn’t sure when life would get better, that was all right because He’s promised that eternal life will be better than my wildest imaginings. When my faith and hope gave way, there was an ocean of grace for me to fall into. When I failed, He did not.

And He’s where I fix my hope.

Whenever I come up short, in any way that I come up short, He has plenty.

So when your hope is gone, keep your eyes open. Wrestle with God. Look into eternity. Don’t believe the lies your heart tells you; what you feel does not change what’s true. Weep and mourn when you must. Keep moving with endurance. Remember that God is infinite and far too high for us to always see how He’s working it for good. Read and reread Hebrews—it’s all about faith and hope. Learn to sing when there’s no light at the end of the tunnel.

Hold fast to your confidence in Christ. Don’t lose heart. Don’t give up. With God, hope is never truly gone. Our Prize is far too valuable to give up now.

With love,


P.S. – thank you to all of you who gave encouragement when I first mentioned my struggles with hope a few weeks ago, especially Gabby and Moya. <3

P.P.S. – this is such a huge subject, and I hardly went into WHY we cannot give up or faith’s relationship with hope, so if you guys are interested, we might be exploring this a little more in the coming year.

8 Songs for Hope

I wanted to do a post about finding hope when hope is gone this week, but I’m not ready for it.

For the past month I’ve been embroiled in the most difficult fight for hope and joy I’ve had so far. It was never about not having hope and assurance in eternity… it’s just that heaven and forever and Jesus seem so far away sometimes.

There are lots of things rolling around in my head and heart–things I’ve learned for the first time and things I’ve had to relearn. I want to offer a helpful, encouraging post to others who can’t see the hope in the dark right now–and I probably will someday–but for now I can’t. I still have to sort through some things first.

Instead, I’m sharing some songs that have helped me (the story of my life is basically throwing a book or a song at my problems).

(Also, I’ve been tracking I Am They for the last week as they’ve released songs from their new album “Trial and Triumph”, so it’s kind of an I Am They post (and when the album is titled “Trial and Triumph” you know it’s basically all about hope)).

songs for hope.jpg

No Impossible With You by I Am They.

Right now I’m staring down a giant,
Right now I can’t see past my pain,
And right now my songs have turned to silence,
And You’ve never seemed so far away.

But I still believe,
I still believe.

There’s no heart You can’t rescue,
No war You can’t win,
No story so over it can’t start again,
No pain You won’t use,
No wall You won’t break through,
It might be too much for me… but
There is no impossible with You.

Find the whole song here.

God of All My Days by Casting Crowns.

Each step I take,
You make a way,
And I will give You all my praise,
My seasons change, You stay the same,
You’re the God of all my days,

In my worry, God, You are my stillness,
In my searching, God, You are my answers,
In my blindness, God, You are my vision,
In my bondage, God, You are my freedom,
In my weakness, God, You are my power,
You’re the reason that I sing,
‘Cause You’re the God of all my days.

Find the whole song here.

Scars by I Am They.

Darkest water and deepest pain,
I wouldn’t trade it for anything,
‘Cause my brokenness brought me to You,
And these wounds are a story You’ll use.

So I’m thankful for the scars,
‘Cause without them I wouldn’t know Your heart,
And I know they’ll always tell of who You are,
So forever I am thankful for the scars.

Find the whole song here.

Christ the Sure and Steady Anchor by Matt Boswell.

Christ the sure and steady anchor,
In the fury of the storm;
When the winds of doubt blow through me, and my sails have all been torn.
In the suffering, in the sorrow,
When my sinking hopes are few;
I will hold fast to the anchor,
It will never be removed.

Christ the sure and steady anchor,
As we face the wave of death;
When these trials give way to glory,
As we draw our final breath.
We will cross that great horizon,
Clouds behind and life secure;
And the calm will be the better,
For the storms that we endure.

Find the whole song here.

Every Giant Will Fall by Rend Collective.

There is hope within the fight,
In the wars that rage inside,
Though the shadows steal the light,
Your love is my battle cry,
The anthem for all my life.

Every giant will fall, the mountains will move,
Every chain of the past, You’ve broken in two,
Over fear, over lies, we’re singing the truth,
That nothing is impossible.

Find the whole song here.

Shoulders by For King and Country.

You mend what once was shattered,
And You turn my tears to laughter,
Your forgiveness is my fortress,
Oh Your mercy is relentless.

My help comes from You,
You’re right here, pulling me through,
You carry my weakness, my sickness, my brokenness all on Your shoulders,
Your shoulders,
My help comes from You,
You are my rest, my rescue,
I don’t have to see to believe that You’re lifting me up on Your shoulders,
Your shoulders.

Find the whole song here.

Move (Keep Walkin’) by TobyMac.

I know your heart been broke again,
I know your prayers ain’t been answered yet,
I know you’re feeling like you got nothing left,
Well, lift your head, it ain’t over yet, ain’t over yet so…

Move, keep walkin’ soldier keep movin’ on,
Move, keep walkin’ until the mornin’ comes,
Move, keep walkin’ soldier keep movin’ on,
And lift your head, it ain’t over yet, ain’t over yet.

Find the whole song here.

The Water (Meant for Me) by I Am They.

There is power, victory,
Hope for the broken-hearted,
Healing meant for me,
There is goodness, justice,
Rest for the weak and weary,
Love that’s meant for me.

This far, He has lead us,
Through the darkness to the light of day,
This far, He has shown us,
Love and mercy and unfailing grace,
When my hope is lost in the shadows,
This promise, You have made,
It’s not far, not far.

Find the whole song here.

That’s all I got for today, kids!

Have you heard any of these songs? Which is your favorite?

With love,


P.S. – I Am They, amiright? ;)

Advent: Hope and the Prophets

Christmastime is here, and this year on Penprints I’ll be going through some advent (of a kind—nothing here on Penprints is exactly traditional, and advent will be no exception).


English takes advent from the Latin word adventus which means “a coming”. For Christians at Christmastime, that means a coming of Christ–specifically, His first coming as a baby. As lent is meant to prepare our hearts to remember and celebrate the death and resurrection of the Jesus at Easter, advent readies us to reflect on and celebrate His birth.

The advent of Christ has been foretold since the protoevangelium in Genesis 3:15, right after sin and death entered the world. Throughout the entire Old Testament there are prophecies about Jesus’ first and second comings, and for advent today, I’m thinking about the all the O.T. prophets who heard from God.

Imagine this:

You are a prophet. You have been called by God, by Yahweh.

Propheting (that is definitely a word) is a rather lonely business. Your parents, siblings, and friends will reject you, and if you get married, it’s possible (probable, even) that your wife and kids will be an object lesson for Israel. Speaking of Israel, as a prophet it’s your job to communicate the words of Yahweh to His people who have been known to throw prophets in wells. And since, in general, people (including the Israelites) don’t respond well to what Yahweh has to say, they typically don’t like you either since you’re His spokesman. So, propheting is lonely.

But Yahweh speaks to you. Audibly and in dreams and visions. And He’s told you to write down what He says. The longer you serve Him, hear His voice, see His mighty hand, and write down His words, the more you begin to see the world like He does.

When Israel goes after another “god” again, you weep.

When Yahweh tells you He’s raising up a nation to enslave Israel, you understand why.

And when Yahweh says that a Son of David is coming, a Lamb, One who will bear the iniquity of all, you think your heart will burst from the excitement, and you write it down. Yahweh doesn’t say when, but the more He tells you of this Prince of peace, this Root of Jesse, the more you can’t wait for Him to come.

There’s a lot about His plan that you don’t understand, but it’s Yahweh. His thoughts aren’t your thoughts, and you have complete confidence in the Holy One of Israel. Years slip by. You see many of Yahweh’s words unfold as events. And you continue to serve Him. When He speaks, you listen. He tells you many more things which you dutifully write down and tell whoever you’ve been commanded to tell.

But you haven’t seen the Son of the Most High yet.

You wonder when He’ll come. You wait for Him. You know that when He does come, Israel will wander and weep no more and Zion will rejoice.

And as you get older, you realize that some of what Yahweh has told you won’t come to pass in your lifetime. You know that Yahweh may tell many other prophets about this Emmanuel before He actually comes. And as your life comes to its end and you look back, you see all the ways that Yahweh is faithful. He never breaks His promises. You cling to Yahweh and His promises, and you know that your life and all your hope in the promised Messiah have not been in vain.

The Mighty God is coming, and when He arrives, He’ll set everything right. You hope He comes soon.

The prophets waited in hope and expectation for the coming Messiah, and we are to follow their example. As we celebrate Christ’s birth, we must also remember that He is returning.

This week, I encourage you to study and reflect on all the hope that Jesus has fulfilled—in the centuries of prophecies and in your own life.

Some passages to look at are: Genesis 3:15, Genesis 49:10, Isaiah 7:14, Isaiah 9:2-7, Isaiah 52:13-53:12, Jeremiah 23:5-6, Micah 5:2-4 (note: this list is not exhaustive by any means; these are just some of my personal favorites).

Let’s put a holly covered bookend on this post.

I hope that this has been helpful for you as you begin advent; it was certainly interesting to write.

What sorts of things do you do for advent? What are your thoughts on the prophets and propheting? What will you do this week to remember hope and the prophets?

P.S. – I know that I said that there would be no Penprints in November, but that was because I forgot that the first week of advent is the last week in November. Oops.