Monday, July 13, 2015

Hope unfurled

Through a long and painful journey, I learned that if I wanted a life of rest I would need to be patient. Trouble was, patience wasn't my thing.

For so long, if I wanted something I would go get it.

Even my groom told me once I'm a "Go-Getter". I took pride in that. And part of me still does.

If I saw a problem, I would niggle my way to a solution, or at least do something to make it work even if it wasn't the right way.

Answers to my questions weren't solid in my mind. I'd niggle until I was a little more satisfied, as though there is always a compromise to be made.

Rules were always negotiable to me; guidelines for the general population. I always assumed once people told their own story, there was wiggle room for adjustments.

Being patient seemed like a waste of time to me.

     How can I sit still and wait when there might be something I could do? 

It seemed utterly ridiculous for me to just wait and see

     If there was a house I liked, I'd jump on it for fear it might pass us up.
     If there was a job description I found interesting, I'd apply for it.
     If there was a dream I held, I'd pursue it.

Yet, tucked underneath the surface of my sometimes admirable "Go-Getter" personality was a fear-based way to my approach of life.

All my trying hard to get what I wanted, or what I thought was right, was really because I feared life would pass me up . . . that maybe I wasn't good enough. And so over and over again I tried to be.

I didn't really consider God allows certain experiences to occur for purposes we'll never understand. I didn't grasp Him wanting the "best" for His children and consider myself as one of them.

When I realized just how anxious I was living and how I'd constructed a tight-gripped life, I was at the bottom of myself -- suffocated in feelings of exhaustion from trying all I could muster to make things happen and discovering I simply couldn't.

I asked my groom and a few close friends how else to live, because I knew no other way but the try-hard way and finally had discovered that really is no kind of life.

Finally, I decided to test God.
     If He really is real, then I could stop trying so hard. 

If He really is real, then I could sit back and sip a cuppa, even in the mist and the fog, and even in the whirl and twirl of the storm. I ventured to believe He would hold me, and even if something bad-seeming happened, He would make beauty out of it.

This consideration overwhelmed me and gave me courage to see aspects of my story in different ways. So I choose to stay on my proverbial porch and loosed my ideas and plans for how life should be.

     I let Him do what He wanted to do and I chose to trust Him.

I surveyed my life as it was and determined that no matter what happens, I could trust Him. After all the choices I'd made and all the awfulness I'd put people through, I was still treasured and beloved.

For years I held a deep seeded belief in my heart for two dreams.

     I hoped we would have another child.
     I hoped my father and I would have peace.

On the baby I hoped for, it felt ridiculous in every way when month after month of begging and cajoling evolved into years -- nearly a decade worth.

On the relationship I hoped for, that too felt ridiculous in every way when month after month of no contact evolved into years of tense, awkward, distant, and tangled communication -- much more than a decade worth.

I ached for these dreams because I believed it was God's will. Yet, mostly, I wanted to see it all come true so then I could know for certain He really is real.

I imagined all sorts of things, including a script which wasn't mine to write. I nearly convinced myself these dreams weren't going to happen and hoping for them was a waste of time.

Still, deep inside my heart stirred the words: Chase. Hope. 

     It seemed so silly. So foolish.
          After all this time? Still? Why? What's the point? 

The journey was long and finally I surrendered to the possibility that I could be wrong. I was exhausted from trying to make these dreams happen and even from anxiously anticipating that they might come true. I considered that maybe things wouldn't turn out the way I imagined or the way I thought it should be and it was then that I realized He is real. He showed me there is great purpose, even for pain.  

I could have made the choice to trust Him and still come up empty handed so to speak. Even that wouldn't have been true, though, because the true Rest I experienced in surrendering my life and patience to Him was so much more than any dream could ever fulfill.

It wasn't because I chose patience and loosed the dreams that they became true. 
     It was because of God's plan, period. 

There's so much more I could say about all of this. So much more I want the world to know and understand, mostly about God than about my story.

In the process of loosing these dreams and choosing to trust Him, God taught me a new definition of strong:
     To bravely choose to trust Him for Now, as it is
          . . . even though we hope for something more.

God taught me to Chase Hope -- as risky as it is. 

He taught me to pursue it with reckless abandonment of fear that I might be wrong, that I'm not good enough, or that it just might never come to be. He helped me realize I will never be "good enough" to get everything I want to be just right or just how I would prefer it to be. 

My story involved a lot of waiting and wondering and wrestling. I learned the important of patience and most of all, that I can trust God no matter what. He helped me understand that He loves me, that I am good enough, and I can rest. These aren't just cute sayings, they are truth. 

Ultimately, I didn't even need the dreams anymore. 
     Yet, after all the sojourning, my hope has been unfurled. 

The peace I hoped for between my father and me has come. Shame and fear no longer have a grip on our relationship. We have been freed to accept each other as we are. Love between us has been birthed. Truly I tell you, this is no small thing. 

Within days from now (or perhaps even hours) our long-awaited and much hoped for child is expected to be born.  

This story is not about the baby or a righted-relationship, or even about being patient or letting go of all the trying. It's about what God did in the process and the truth that He is so very real. 

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