Hope lives here. That’s what it says on the wall of the prayer room we recently opened in Redlands. Actually, the walls say a lot of things, but that’s what jumped out at me when I came in today.
Hope lives here.
Hope lives in this space.
Hope lives in this place; in this room.
Hope lives HERE.
If hope lives here, and I’m sitting here…
Does that mean hope lives in me, too?
I hope so, because most of the time over the past couple of weeks, I haven’t been feeling tons of hope. Even though I’m sitting in a miracle. Even though I’m experiencing a real-time demonstration of God’s faithfulness in the fulfillment of a long-held dream. Honestly, what I mostly feel is tired. That, and a bit sad. And a whole lot beat up.
The fact that I’m not consistently feeling what most people assume I should be feeling—or even what I expect me to be feeling—only adds to the weight. I want to be light-hearted and giddy with excitement, but most of the time, I’m not. Fear is always lurking, ready to pounce if I let my guard down for a second. It took an awful lot to get here. And there is an awful lot yet to do. I’m really just not sure I’m up for it.
Nevertheless, I am grateful. And I DO see the miracle—literally right in front of me—I just wish I didn’t also feel the weight of so many other things pressing on my soul. Real things. Important things. Hard things. Even urgent things. Things that seem to keep this weary soul from finding the energy and excitement I very much WANT to feel.
Yet sitting here … here in this place … here in this place that shouldn’t even exist …that couldn’t exist apart from hope … apart from grace … apart from His faithfulness …
Apart from Him plowing right through deferred hope and planting a tree of life right smack in the middle of loss and impossibility. . .
I’m so very aware that hope DOES live here.
And I’m here.
So, I am choosing to believe hope still lives in me.
Even if I don’t feel it today.
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.” -Proverbs 13:12
When I write something kind of melancholy like this, I always debate whether to share it. It comes from a vulnerable place in my heart where the thought of misunderstanding is particularly painful. But I suppose things can be taken the wrong way no matter what you write. Since I believe there are a LOT of people going through significant transitions right now that may not look or feel at all like they may have expected, I decided to go ahead and post this for those who may relate. Jesus never despises or exploits our weakness or vulnerability. Many have lived in a place of survival—a place of hope deferred—for so long, that even though things ARE shifting, it is going to take a moment for their hearts and feelings to catch up. In a way, it is part of the process of mourning the past so we can move into the future with greater capacity. He is not asking us to fake it ‘til we make it, He is just asking us to keep showing up and keep trusting Him—whatever that looks and feels like right here and now. He WILL finish what He’s started. I don’t know about you, but that is a great comfort to me. I don’t need to try to accomplish anything in in my own measly strength, I just need to keep submitting my weakness to Him. “Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me… For when I am weak, then I am strong.”