Thursday, April 26, 2012

Hope

Today started as it usually does on a school day:  boys wrestling in my room, tv on, me in front of the mirror trying to put myself together as best I can for a tired mommy who overslept, scrounging to get out the door....not on time....but acceptably late.  For just the slightest moment, looking at my own growing belly in the mirror, my mind began wandering to a sweet friend of mine, a friend who has been struggling to get pregnant for quite a while now.  I began to pray for her and her heart, for strength, for faith, for peace in the waiting, for continued hope.

HOPE.

The last conversation I had with her felt withdrawn, empty.  I asked if we, our study, could continue to pray for baby and she brushed by it with a quick response, "You can, but I'm not.  I'm over it."

HOPE.

Hope is the easiest thing in the world, and yet sometimes, the most difficult.  Through a trying few years, prayers that still linger unanswered, continually watching her friends become mommies again and again, her heart draining of the ability to feel anything......I could see that hope slipping away.  I think of how difficult circumstances can change us, how deep heartache can literally feel as though we have been torn a part from the inside out.

And then I think about my kids.  Even the smallest bump or bruise sends them running to Mommy's arms.  I can't tell you how many times daily that my youngest runs up to me in tears, asks me to kiss his boo boo, and then stops crying and goes back to what he's doing.  Just the knowing that Mommy is there and cares that he is hurt, even in the smallest way, makes everything better.

Isn't it true with God?  From our smallest to our biggest hurt.....don't we just want Him to know and feel He is with us?  I think when we find ourselves in situations where we are running to Him and can't find Him....that's when our world begins to crash, our hearts become a little more empty, and our faith a little smaller.  I have walked in my friend's shoes.  I have run in circles crying out for the Lord.....just to "kiss" my pain and let Him hold me in His arms.  I've had to wait on answers that still haven't come full circle.  I've had to keep moving forward, even when some days I wanted only to sit and be still.  But somewhere I have to believe that God is there, He is listening.  I have to have HOPE that no matter what we walk through, He's waiting on the other side and there is a purpose beyond what we can even comprehend.  Because if we lose HOPE.....then what do we have to hold on to?  What do we have to believe in?

So I will continue to pray for my friend....for her deepest desires to be met, for God to hold her in His arms and be a presence in her life during this time, and that her HOPE will not be faltered in the waiting.  And then.....I'll pray this exact same prayer for many others, including myself.  Our "longings," our "wilderness," our "heartaches," may look different than another's....but within those moments, aren't we all just really searching for the same thing?

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Not Home Yet

I love to laugh. I love to make people laugh. I love to be silly and play games. I love my friends. I love deep conversations and investing in other people. I love giving and helping others. I love my kids and find joy in their smiles, laughs, hugs. I enjoy life. And some days, every part of me hurts.
December 21, 2010

Well over a year ago these were the words and emotions that overflowed so easily from me.  As I sat on my back porch today looking up at the sky I thought to myself how different of a place I am in now. It feels like a lifetime ago, yet I can so easily close my eyes and remember what that "lifetime" felt like.

I recently read in one of my studies that 'every kind of season and weather you experience has had to pass through God's fingers before coming into contact with you.'  On one hand that is such a refreshing blessing.  It provides a glimpse of hope that we are truly not the one in control of our lives.  It reassures that He knows the deepest inner workings of who we are, what our hearts long for, why we choose what we do.  His eyes are on our paths before we ever take that first step.  On the other hand that is such a hard concept for me to grasp.  In those moments, in those 'seasons,' it can feel very lonely.  Even after they have passed you can find yourself questioning where God was, why He set that particular path in front of you, or, as my mom always says....why He allows you to travel some of the roads you have taken, especially if the end result is heartache. The study goes on to say that, "It's all been divinely designed to surround you with the conditions that allow your unique gifts and abilities to reach maximum potential.  To grow.  To yield.  To produce."

Divinely designed.  Do I agree with that statement?  Do I believe it?  Yes, I think that I truly do, or at least I really want to.  I'm just not sure that I can say that I've come full circle with it yet.  While the past year has brought many moments of growth, at times, much joy, undeserved blessing, abundant chances to strive to be better for not only myself but others, I'm just not sure I'm "yielding" or "producing" anything.  I still often find myself on that back porch praying, questioning, yearning to know and understand.  


The only thing that gives me hope is that I'm not HOME yet.  We were created for something much bigger than ourselves.....that all the steps we take, whether right or wrong, whether joyful or painful.....are divinely intertwind so that we can find our way back to Him.  It's those days when I find myself looking inward that my outside begins to crumble.  That's when the clouds begin rolling into my "view."  That's when I start looking back rather than forward.  And.......that's when I have to remind myself of this all over again!

Building 429 - Where I Belong (Official Music Video) from building-429 on GodTube.