against hope

“hope against hope.” i’ve never really understood that phrase (in rom 4:18) until now.

lately, i’ve just been hoping to not hurt anymore. i’ve been hoping that the storms would stop. i’ve been hoping against fear and disappointment and heartbreak and the pain of loss. but – fact is – it was pointless. life is like that. it’s unfair. it offers blows like that everyday, all day, and always when it’s inconvenient. sometimes one right after the other after the other. this world sucks.

pain is unavoidable in a broken world…and no amount of hoping against it happening has made it stop. i need to hope against hope – in other words, hope when it seems like there is no reason for it. i can’t conjure up hope within myself. it’s something that is put there. i have no control over it.

and not only was i “hoping against” all the wrong things, but i came to realize i had been casting it in all the wrong places. i would put my “hope” (or desires, really) in people or dreams or ideals. they would constantly occupy my mind, and if i ever lost it, i’d scramble for a replacement. i couldn’t be without something. so here i am at the end of myself…again. i have been so scared, so hurt, so lost…it has been a whole new level of despair. i have no idea what to do with myself. my thoughts have been so scattered. i see myself chasing pieces of paper getting violently tossed around by the wind. i can’t keep up. they blow away from me as i reach out to grab them. all i can do is snatch up what i can and grieve the loss of the rest.

so, i have resigned to just get through each moment. as long as i’m breathing, there’s something to be alive for…there’s hope. i may not know what or why, but He has to be enough. i have such a strong desire to know what’s going to happen, or at the very least, have something to base my thoughts on…but that’s not how it works. “hope that is seen is no hope at all” (rom 8:24). just hope because He has given me breath to do it.

if anything, it will allow me to be surprised.

sara

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6

some people celebrate their sobriety. or how long they’ve been clean. i have today.
six years ago i woke up and decided that i wasn’t going to make it to another night. i was in despair. i couldn’t believe there was hope. i couldn’t believe things would ever change.

but – long story short – they did.

    cover me
    with a red sky tonight
    the promise of a better day to come
    sing for me
    an angelic symphony
    tell me everything will be alright
    with a red sky tonight -bh

words rescued me then. they continue to keep me alive now…just like they did six years ago. especially now. this anniversary comes amidst a season of my life that has me in a place i haven’t been in a while. this day has come and gone five other times with me barely noticing. but not this year. i feel like i’ve lost everything i fought for. six years have vanished and i’m exactly where i started.

i want to look forward, i want to strive for new things and a new chapter…but it takes all that i have to simply survive the moment. and the next. it’s hard to breathe.

i know, i know…no promise of an easy road. life isn’t fair. and when i’m weak, He is strong. but still.

just tell me everything will be alright.

sara

rocks and snakes

you get what you expect.

at least, that’s been my mentality. as hard as i’ve tried to work on it, i tend to always half-expect things to turn out the opposite of what i hope for. probably more than half, really. and usually…i’m right, because reality never fails to set in. so, i throw my hands up in the air and figure it’s just some lesson that i “have” to learn…whether it’s being content or dealing with disappointment or paying better attention to detail or whatever. and once more, i pick myself up and move on. again, and again, and again. it is what it is.

what happened to those glory years when i started all this? when anything seemed possible and my dreams were going to change the world?  those years weren’t easy, oh nooo…but somehow, my perspective was a little more wide-eyed and full of lovely ideals.

but as i gained my independence, as i had to put things into practice and move forward, that’s when it all was, i don’t know…tainted, maybe? sometimes i feel cheated. it’s not like i had a rose-colored view of the world – oh, hells no. i know better than that. but reality. you have to fight for everything. time flies by faster every day. depression sucks the life out of you. heartbreak paralyzes you. you see others enjoying what you so desperately want, and you realize you are no where near closer to it than before. i just don’t want to care anymore sometimes.

i read this passage the other night:

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a stone?  Or if he asks for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!” (matt 7:7-11, nasb)

i almost wanted to call bull on it, but i thought about how i always go into it expecting the rock. always looking for it, and feeling like that is what is always served to me in the outcome. sometimes i see myself just snatching a rock at His feet and running off to get the disappointment over with. i expected that from fathers, i suppose. asking for love and getting something else. wanting truth, but getting lies. looking for something to hope for, but always getting my dreams crushed. why even ask anymore?

i know God doesn’t work like that, but i found myself crying out for bread the other night. literally. i prayed for that bread…whatever that is. i want that different perspective…i want to always see the good. even when it hurts. even when it’s not the outcome i wanted.

oh to have that ability.

sara