East of Eden
Lent- Day 19: What happens to hope deferred?
What a day. In between a trip to the bank and my weekly IVIG session, I hung out with a couple of friends discussing life, love and having babies. One friend is pregnant; the other would like to be. This is the first kid for friend one, while friend two has no kids. In the midst of all this blabbing, Zoe sat oblivious, typing away on a mini-laptop that K got for her with a ton of educational games.
My pregnant friend and I had got together first and she spoke to me for over an hour about getting her first sonogram, and seeing her little one hide from the ultrasound wand. She had broke into tears at seeing her shy baby, while her husband beamed with pride. I shared with her about my experiences with seeing Z via ultrasound. Just discussing all these new life made me cry (I am a crier, but true story, I did not cry when I first held Zoe. As I explained to my friend, I was so overwhelmed, I just stared at her in amazement).
By the time friend number two arrived, I was feeling a little giddy. It was excitement, expectant happiness. I was full of hope. Friend one quickly cued two in on her big news. My heart hurt a bit for friend two.
Within minutes she was discussing her failed relationship, and it was her turn to cry. I sat by listening as one consoled and encouraged her.
Later, long after my time with both friends were over, and even my IVIG session had wrapped, I sat thinking over the conversations. I got up and started vacumming, wanting to somehow physically expel the nagging feelings I had. Finished with that, and enjoying some Z-free time, I did a little reading. When my mind started to wander with that, I started to watch an episode of "Dollhouse" on Netflix. But after ten minutes, I shut that off and starting reading some Scripture. Finally, I felt myself relax as I read,
"Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life." - Proverbs 13:12
Two is on the first part of that verse, feeling heart sick by slow-to-be-fulfilled hope.
Without hope in the future, it becomes increasingly hard to live in the present. I've had times in my life when I felt that way. I began to lose hope that I'd find a husband, and that I'd ever know what the heck was making me sick. In the case of the former, I began reminiscing about failed relationships even though they were fails with good reason. With the later, I became depressed and bitter, angrily yell-praying (yeah, it's a thing, just read some Psalms!) to God that my life was miserable. I'd think about how much better things were before I got sick. I was looking back so hard if this was the Old Testament, I would've been a pillar salt before Lot's wife.
Of course, hindsight is 20/20, right? But the truth in the Word is eternal. So dedicated to friend two, here is a few more verses:
"Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God." -Psalm 43:5
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” - Lamentations 3:24
"Surely there is a future, and your hope will not be cut off." -Proverbs 23:18 "But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience." -Romans 8:25
Reflection for the day: God is a restorer... of hope.