I’ve been thinking a lot about HOPE lately. What does that mean? What does it look like? I think part of the reason I’ve been pondering hope is that have been reading Hinds Feet on High Places … again. This book is chalk full of hope! There are a couple verses in the Bible that always come to mind when I think of Hope.
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.”
“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.”
I know all about hope deferred. I know all about hoping and praying month after month to get that pink little plus sign … only the get a big ole negative. I know all about feeling that tree of life when I finally did get one of those tests to show me a positive! I know all about the joy and excitement and anticipation that came with that. I remember the dreams and hopes I had for our first baby. I remember the deep contentment and peace I felt. I remember the devastation. I remember feeling sick at heart when the doctors told me that precious bundle of hope had died in my belly. I remember thinking that I would never be whole again. I remember tears coming in waves that I thought would never end. I remember thinking that I my whole world had been tipped over and everything had fallen and nothing would ever, EVER be the same again. I was right. Nothing ever has been the same. I was changed in an instant. I can’t ever go back to being the girl I was before I lost my baby. I can’t go back to that time of innocent hope that knew no crushing loss.
But, I got to learn about unswerving hope. I learned what it meant to continue to hope even when everything in my life said that I was stupid for having hope. Life seemed to mock me as I held out hope that I would one day hold a baby in my arms. Month after month passed as I hoped for another pregnancy and found myself reading more and more negatives. Then I felt that tree of life again… but I was hesitant this time. I restrained myself from all the dreams I ran away with before. I just held my deep joy and contentment inside for a week … until my hope died again. Another baby went to heaven. Another permanent bruise was left on my heart. And my hope was shaken to the core. I was challenged.
Do I believe what the Bible says? Is he who promised faithful? And how can I say yes to that considering all I have been through? How can I keep hoping?
I hope because Jesus is faithful to all His promises and loving to those He has made. I do not know what He is doing in me. I cannot understand why He lets me suffer, but I do know that it is for my own good. It also all depends on where I am putting my hope. Is it just in babies? Then I may suffer from a sick heart for the rest of my life. But, if it’s in Jesus and more of Him in my life, then I just might feel that tree of life again. My hope and longing will always be fulfilled if HE is the one I am hoping for!
He is teaching me a beautiful lesson: He is all I need. I still long for children. I still hope for them. But, Christ is showing me what grace looks like. He’s showing me how to live life when it hurts to breathe some days. He is showing me how to let Him be my breath and my heartbeat. He is showing me how to smile when I want to cry. He is showing me how to beat self pity. I have been broken and beaten down. I walk with a limp. But Christ has shown me how to walk with Him as my cane. As I lean on Him, I move forward toward the High Places where the Tree of Life grows…