09 January 2011


Hope is a funny sort of thing. It springs up at you, out of nowhere sometimes, to tackle you around the waist and hold you down until you listen to what it has to say.

I wrestle with hope, most often through early morning hours. I don't want it to claim me, don't want it to grab me from behind and I don't want to listen to what it's telling me.

Hope can cost quite a bit, Disappointment stings to the core, makes me wonder if I dreamed it all up in the first place. I've followed hope before, and tasted only gall.

But learning not to hope has it's downsides, too. Without hope, life is dark, dreary. It weighs more than it should, more than it needs to. And everything becomes anticipatory of Bad Things, the kind that lurked under bed and in closets when I was a child.

When Mirren was born, I lost sight of hope. I couldn't find it, not for her or for me or for the two of us together. I knew it was there, I could feel it, smell it, taste it, but I couldn't see it and I certainly couldn't grab it.

For months, hope and I fought. We wrestled, though that dark time when I so much wanted to feel like it was a new day. Like Jacob, I couldn't see what was attacking me. I couldn't feel the thing that so badly wanted me in its grip. Instead, I just tried to keep my footing through the next round, knowing morning had to come eventually.

Also like Jacob, I emerged from that fight with a strange sort of victory. A new name, a new piece of me, more resilient and positive than the pieces I've known before. And a year of struggle, so profound in some ways that I may limp from it for the rest of my life, though in the end I think it will make me stronger, not bitter and lost and sad.

For all that I couldn't find hope when things looked better than they do now, these days I find it everywhere.

Today, hope took the face of a little girl discovering balloons. Shrieks of joy echoed through the halls, and hope unfurled a tendril that played, gentle-like, through my hair. When I saw Dave go shovel snow for the sheer joy of it (he'd never done it before), the tendril began to wrap around me. And when I watched the sleepy girl giggling on her back on the floor because it was too much effort to get up, I gave in and let it hold me.

May you be held tonight, friends, no matter your struggle.


terri said...

this made me smile. i don't really have much to say these days, but i'm thinking of you here, and praying (praying = hoping with a little faith thrown in) that you are settling well and learning to love your new/old place.

Heather said...

Thank you for sharing this. I told Chris yesterday how I'm struggling with some things, feeling like a failure, feeling like a waste. I pray for hope.

Tammy said...

Hi Sarah.
This is such a beautiful blog. Poetic. I can truly relate to this in many ways. I am hoping with you that you find the "God of surprises" waiting around the corner to embrace you with His blessing.

Sharon Wang said...

I could really relate to the lack of hope when Grace first arrived. And I often still feel it.

lol. Dave is welcome to come over and shovel for the sheer joy of it anytime!!! We are no longer in an HOA that does it for us so it usually doesn't get done at all. Thank God for 4WD!!!

Misty said...

yes, yes, yes, a million times.
i know this war: desperately needing hope, but so afraid the cost will take all you have left. i think mothering most of all leaves you wide open to this struggle.
may i share w/ you what a former pastor once said:

The wrestling angel gifted Jacob with a limp as a permanent reminder of his encounter with God. Jacob's life-long policy was to run. His final glory was that he learned to lean (Hebrews 11:21). A wound is a good thing if it is accepted as a stewardship from God, appropriated as a channel of God's strength and consecrated to God's purpose. Where dependence is the objective, weakness is the advantage.

i know that was kinda long, but it just seemed so perfectly adequate!!

Joelle said...

Love this! Smiles galore.