never put anything past anyone.
i used to hear that a lot growing up. i didn’t want to believe it to be true, considering the source of it, and i think i’ve bent and twisted myself in so many different ways these past few years to try and prove that it’s a lie. i want to see the good, i want to hold on to hope, i want to believe things will turn out all right…but the fact is that i am naive.
the reality is this: i hate it when i’m wrong. i hate it when i’ve invested time and emotion and hope and tears into something only to have it all come to naught in the end. it’s a blow to my pride, and it’s totally selfish. i feel so foolish, i get so angry. i see who people are, what they could be, and feel so powerless as i watch them fall back into old habits and set themselves up for more pain. over and over again. and yet, i continue to hang on. i know i must be doing something wrong here, and i am becoming convinced that this little spark of hope is actually a weapon being used against me, pushing me into the line of fire and forcing me to see the harsh reality of the human condition: the selfishness, the obsessions, the lies. you can never put anything past them. and what’s more, seeing the potential isn’t the same as seeing the reality. when you blur the line between the two, it’s a very dangerous thing. and that’s my fault. every. damn. time. any hurt that follows is a result of my foolishness.
i’ve had a lot of time to myself over this past holiday. and that’s how i wanted it. a lot of time to think…which can be a dangerous thing. it was terrifying. this has been one hell of a year. as i look back on it, so much is a blur, so much still hurts. i want to believe that 2016 will be a clean slate, that it will be the answer to all my questions and the balm to all my hurts…but i know it doesn’t work that way. i appreciated the opportunity to step out of my comfort zone, to let my rough edges be exposed, to apply what i’ve learned to difficult situations and relationships. it’s made a lot of things more real to me. there has been some good…but they’re more like silver linings to these dark clouds i’m left with. i’m not sure what to do with all these shattered pieces, with all this anger and frustration and confusion. as if i didn’t know that people hurt, that life isn’t fair, that change is hard…i guess i had to be reminded of how weak and powerless i am in the face of it all.
i have no idea what’s next. but i admit it now: i was wrong.
“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.
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.
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.