I’ve been accused of neatly wrapping up my blog posts with a pretty, shiny ribbon. Maybe it was a comment more than an accusation, but my heart received it with a touch of defensiveness and doubt in my writing.
When I sit down, open my laptop and begin to write, I vulnerably offer my heart and thoughts to an often unknown audience where I cannot anticipate the response or possible outcome that my words will have on either the next line of my life song or the reader’s. Striving for authenticity in a world where it is rare and seldom welcome is scary. But I don’t know how to write any other way.
I accepted the comment as it was. Not necessarily a criticism, but an observation. I fought the uprising need to react by justifying and explaining myself. I was caught off guard but didn’t need to be thrown off balance.
I was asked why, when I write about my experiences with pain, suffering, and discouragement, I nicely tie the story up with a fancy bow. Particularly when I am in the midst of the struggle with an indefinite duration and undetermined outcome. Why I don’t cease my story just as it is, where it is, rather than attempting to create my very own fairy tale ending. If I’m truly desiring to be authentic then why am I filling in the crisp last page with smiley faces and sparkly hearts when the middle tear stained ones have yet to dry?
These questions have lingered in my mind. Left me contemplative and frequently returning to this comment whenever I conclude a new blog post. But just as I can only write genuinely from the depths of my heart, I also have the need to reach beyond my moments of distress. To assure myself and others that there is a promise of more.
Hope. I cling to hope. There is no other alternative for me. I’ve been in that pit of utter despair where the flickering light of hope was snuffed out. Where the only way to survive the darkness and pain was to bury it and replace it with numbness. Where the breath in my lungs kept my body alive but not my spirit. The place I don’t ever want to go back to.
You see, hope was extended to me.
“He reached down from heaven and rescued me; he drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemies, from those who hated me and were too strong for me. They attacked me at a moment when I was in distress, but the Lord supported me. He led me to a place of safety; he rescued me because he delights in me.” Psalm 18:16-19.
God has rescued me. And He has supported me. And placed my feet solidly on His ground. That is truth. But for now, I am a part of God’s earthly Kingdom, where human brokenness and sin still exists. Where hurt and disappointment will continue to flood my soul until the day I stand in His glorious presence. Only then will there be a happily ever after.
And that is my hope. My living hope. I know, oh how I know, that daring to even believe in the possibility of hope can hurt just much as the wounds that need healing. For me, hope has been risky. And scary. It often involves a process of time as God gently untwines my fingers from each protective stone that I have strategically assembled around my heart. But then, a faint spark of hope shines through the cracks and the light grows brighter. I have seen it. I have experienced it. I have stood in awe of it. It is real. It is necessary.
My prayer, O Lord, is that you “transform our hurt into hope, and grant us your peace” (from Ceasefire by for King and Country)
Therefore, even when a situation in my life is messy and ugly and too misshapen to neatly wrap, I will prepare and wait in anticipation with the finest gift bag and loveliest bow knowing and believing that one day it will fit perfectly. I am ready for the celebration. Because of hope.
I need hope.
“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful.” Hebrews 10:23