We all have hope in the way we think life should be… the way it likely will be. But what happens when the life we hoped for, what we dreamed of collides with the reality of what is?
My hope was wrapped in a white blanket, striped with pink and blue on the edges, tucked in a football hold of her daddy’s arms. Only I didn’t know it. Sometimes life has a way of blinding us to the beauty in front of us. Both of them were my new reality barely a few weeks after my 18th birthday.
Hope was buried in the dark, under thousands of grains of sand in the name of shame, failure, and the unknown. Shame bubbled to the surface through sleepless nights, putting her in daycare, rarely seeing my husband, working three jobs, and enrolling in classes for school. Hope was barely a whisper most days because I had somehow failed to live up to my potential and therefore my future was ruined.
Hope was shrouded in the baggage and growing pains of Chris and I learning how to do life together. One issue would be uprooted only to find an ugly knotted mass of more weeds that had to be dug up together.
But I what learned digging up the weeds is that sometimes our hope is forced to morph from what we thought we wanted into new visions, dreams, and our current reality. Like a flower growing through the cracks of a concrete jungle, hope blooms where its planted and it’s up to us to take hold and don’t let go. It’s up to us to shrug off the shame, the unknown, and become what hope is showing us.
Seeing this hope—one firmly and deeply rooted in the hardest places is the golden glue that holds life perfectly. Like an 18th century vase that’s been glued back together, the vase is no longer the same. In fact, it’s glorious, raw, and real with its golden edges pulling the pieces into place in a new, unexpected, and different way as it holds more space for new possibilities, new outcomes, and a new reality.
22 years later, we are spending our anniversary moving my daughter into her first house. As we move hand-me-down furniture and mix it in the with the new, I realized this: One day you will wake up and all of the hope you’ve been holding now holds you. Like a glorious cocoon or sheath, it unhusks itself from the dark and bursts forth like tiny shoots of green in spring fields.
You will realize that all of the prayers and dreams that seemed to be tangled in shame, worry, and the unknown were wrapped tightly in God’s grace. Hope creates and maintains a different reality as we learn to untangle ourselves from what we thought it should be. All of the unbecoming in order to become is a messy process but the new reality is unimaginatively better. You will realize that everything that happened was supposed to and you are right where God meant for you to be because you were holding onto hope anyway.