From September-January, I would go every Tuesday morning to Shipley’s Donuts and treat myself to two chocolate sprinkle donuts and a chocolate milk. There’s nothing quite like stuffing your face with pure sugar and washing it down with high fructose corn syrup. Yum.

I went, the first Tuesday of October, excited for my breakfast and ordered my donuts. When I pulled them out of the bag, the donut was sprinkled with little ghosts and pumpkins…crunchy, hard, ghosts and pumpkins. I honestly was a little disappointed. If you’re wondering, “Cait, what was so disappointing about the donut?” I’ll tell you. There is a specific kind of sprinkles that I believe God made for chocolate sprinkle donuts. They are cylindrical in shape, long, soft, and colorful. Ugh, so delicious. They look like this: chocolate-frosted-donuts-with-sprinkles-by-sallysbakingaddiction-com-10

After the traditional, “wash it all down with chocolate milk” ritual, I prayed a little prayer asking God for strength to make it through Halloween season and the nasty, crunchy, ghost sprinkles. I stayed faithful to the Tuesday tradition, and after the last week in October, I celebrated internally and almost couldn’t sleep before the first Tuesday in November.

I’ll save the details and give one simple phrase: TURKEY SPRINKLES. WHO IN THE HECK MAKES TURKEY SPRINKLES?!?!?!

“God, give me strength.”

I made it through November.
December’s sprinkle theme?

Rudolph and Santa Claus…sometimes a little present sprinkle would get thrown into the mix. I’m convinced that these sprinkles were only used on Tuesday mornings at this specific Shipley’s because I’d see my friends with the good sprinkles…instagramming their glorious breakfast. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t the tiniest bit bitter at Shipley’s.

I left Waco for Christmas break and was convinced that January had the promise of good sprinkles. It was all a lie.

Hopeful, I pulled up to the drive thru, ordered, got my donuts, opened the bag, and these little spheres were sprinkled on top. Colorful, tiny sphered sprinkles. Not the good kind. Not even close. Okay, maybe colorful. That’s it.

Shipley’s never went back to the good sprinkles for as long as I was in Waco.

The other day, I recalled this sprinkled experience and learned a lot about myself and about hope. You see, I went Tuesday after Tuesday for MONTHS with a heart and tummy full of hope for the good sprinkles. The good sprinkles never made a comeback, and I haven’t been to Shipley’s since.

I’ve done this with life a lot the last few years: I hope for things and outcomes and I’ll do things over and over with the hope that things will turn out, and if I just hope long enough and keep “doing the right things” that God will bring about the outcome I want. After months, sometimes even years of not seeing the right outcome, I’ll give up hope and even give up on God; questioning his goodness and faithfulness.

We all do it:

We want that raise at work and we believe that God will provide and not leave us in lack so we try to manipulate situations and work harder and longer to see the result we want. After all, God will have to give me my way if I “hope in him” by doing everything “right.”

We hope for revival in America and abroad and yet, Syria is experiencing the greatest civil war in it’s history, causing millions to flee and America is faced with 2 presidential candidates that fall miserably short of the high standard that is needed to run the nation that claims to be Christian. In turn, we stop praying, because we don’t see God moving. After all, what good is it to hope in God to be God and bring about justice if the refugees will still be refugees and Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump will still be president, regardless of our prayers and regardless of our votes?

Lord, forgive our fickle hearts.

Forgive me for not believing that you won’t come through.
Forgive me for trying to manipulate you.
Forgive me for believing that you don’t know best.
Forgive me for thinking that circumstances can outpower you.

You see, a wise man spoke to my sprinkle fiasco. He said, “Caitlin, you realize they sell the good sprinkles in the grocery store, right? Why not buy a container of those and when donut shops don’t have the good kind, buy a plain chocolate donut, take it home, and put your own sprinkles on it.”

Jaw dropping revelation.

Hope doesn’t mean that the outcome meets our expectations. Hope is seeing the situation with the lenses of heaven. Sometimes hope is having to take an extra step to make the good kind of chocolate sprinkle donuts. Sometimes hope is flying across the world to sit in Greece, in the middle of a refugee camp, and listen to stories of people who wouldn’t be heard otherwise, because their hope lies in being heard. Other times hope is sitting with Jesus and declaring his goodness and faithfulness in the midst of disappointment and exhaustion. Sometimes, hope is doing one of your best friend’s make up on her wedding day, blotting her sweat in the midst of pictures, and knowing that your heart aches for your own wedding day. Hope isn’t always pretty, sometimes it is…but hope is always so good.

Hope isn’t an outcome.
Hope is a person named Jesus.
And I’m a firm believer that Jesus loves the good kind of chocolate sprinkle donuts.


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