Holding onto hope is hard. Sometimes it just dang hurts.
This past spring, after hearing a difficult fertility diagnosis, my husband and I (especially me) were holding onto the hope that we knew our God was able, despite the doctor’s diagnosis, to give us a child of our own. It had actually been easier for me to hold the thin strand of hope since I was over a week late at the time we went to the doctor…10 days late, to be exact. And those days had never felt so long.
And then, 10 days late, two negative pregnancy test and one hard doctor’s visit later…I started.
At the risk of being super-vulnerable, here’s what I wrote in my journal:
Deferred hope sucks. I’m at the point where I honestly feel like why did I even bother thinking this time would be any different? Even holding onto hope despite what the doctor said. Ha! Congratulating myself even (“Look at me! I’m looking to God! I’m still hoping!”). And look where it got me…same as always – a negative pregnancy test and a random cycle that just decided to start 10 days late, this month, of all months. I mean, really? REALLY?? Where’s the hope, where’s the fairness in that?
And yet, even as I wrestle and vent in anger, I – like Peter – know there is nowhere else to go. There is no One else to turn to who has the words of life. It just feels like You’re holding back on me, God.
Maybe you’ve been there too? Daring to hope that maybe, just maybe, this time things would be different. And then reality slapped you in the face. And your hope felt like it was popped like the balloon whose string you were desperately hanging onto.
I’ve been there. I get it. But allow me one question? (Disclaimer: if someone had asked me this question smack in the middle of my raw anger, I probably would have *wanted to* send a rather rude gesture their way. I’m asking this question in retrospect, so if you’re in the middle of your disappointment and you feel like virtually giving me the finger, that’s okay too. Sometimes questions like these are really better asked over a shared table with a couple cups of coffee between us, but since this is the space we have, I’m gonna go for it here, okay?)
Who or what is your hope in?
My hope? Quite honestly, it was in seeing a positive pregnancy test. It was in God answering my prayers the way I expected Him to. And sometimes He does. I believe in a God who still does miracles, trust me. I believe 100% in contending for good things in prayer. But if the result, the THING that I’m wanting to happen, is where I’m placing my trust and my worth and my reason for thinking my life is on track…well, those THINGS can pop just like a balloon.
But God? He’s the one, and pardon me for continuing the balloon analogy, Who made the very air that allows those balloons to rise. Hope in HIM? That can’t be popped. It doesn’t mean we won’t hurt. But it does mean that He’s with us in the hurt…and He never stops loving us.
Even when we feel like making rude gestures while talking to Him about the hurt. I don’t know about you, but knowing that my Heavenly Father can watch me throw an angry fit and question His motives, while never shaking His head in disgust but actually reaching out for me with open arms? That just makes me want to run to Him even more.
He’s big enough. Even MORE THAN big enough. And His heart towards us is good…even when hope hurts.