“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.
what a monster it is.
the enemy of grace.
its greatest deception is a false sense of peace, and it justifies everything with the same lie: you owe. and therein lies the danger…whatever it tempts us to do just adds to that burden, even though it promises otherwise. a burden we have no business trying to carry, something we’re not meant to carry. and that’s what the enemy wants. to add to the load until – one day – it does what he intends it to do…crush.
grace gives us all those things we don’t deserve: another chance, forgiveness, freedom, true peace. it tells us to let go. it doesn’t demand. it works for us, not against us. it forces nothing, it carries everything. it guards our boundaries. it challenges us to accept it, to look in the mirror, to change the only thing we can: ourselves. and only by its power. it is enough. and it is always there. it doesn’t eliminate the consequences, but it takes our hand and enables us to deal.
“My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.”
but guilt demands. it enslaves. it destroys. it deafens. it doesn’t look us in the eye. it hides and cuts people off. it doesn’t know what love is. or peace. or hope. it is so damn selfish. God, how i hate it. i hate what it does to people. i hate that i’m losing.
i should know that, but i think in my effort to care for others, i’ve lost sight of the boundaries.
really, i’m at an end right now. i am broken. i am so beyond broken. it’s gotten to where i don’t know what to do. or what to say. praying has become so hard. these past few months…they’ve done nothing but cause me to writhe, cry, scream and bleed. i hate the fact that i’ve had to draw on my past to save face and pretend i’m ok. i feel like such a liar. i often wondered if i was just dealing with it well, or just suppressing it all. well, i’ve collapsed. i surrender now. i raise my white flag. even though i try and save face and smile, it’s hard as hell to keep breathing.
i want the grief to end. i want the time to pass so the losses won’t hurt so much. i want my year back…all the time i spent praying and caring and waiting for someone. someone who is gone. someone who will never know how i’ve been impacted by them. they will never know the pain i’m feeling right now. they will never hear the prayers i’ve prayed or measure the tears i’ve cried on their behalf. never. and i have to move on despite it. i have to pick up the pieces. why is this such a trend with me?
i’ve been trying to look forward, trying to gather up the courage to take on a new chapter, but lately, everything has been thrown at me to discourage it. why? why when i’ve had to fight so hard to get here is this happening now? i can’t help but feel the unfairness of it all. for all that i’ve had to endure in my life, for all the recovering i’ve had to do, why did i have to experience something like this? when all i wanted was something good and true and real? why are my hopes always dashed against the rocks? and why, like almost a cruel joke, does hope and the desire to love still linger?
at the center of all this is me, trying to figure out where to draw the lines. when once i had to struggle to care at all, now i have to figure out when to stop. when to step back. when to create a boundary so that i’m not brought somewhere i shouldn’t be. Your grace is boundless, Your love is endless, and i am your vessel…but i am only human. i want to save. i want to fix. i want to give the answers. but i can’t. because, really, they’ve never listened when i tried. and i’ve had to let go. and this letting go…it hurts like hell.