sometimes you just need a little hope. this season of life has been both difficult and refreshing at the same time. monday was a tough one. sorry mondays, you just generally stink. like a raincloud filling up with precipitation, ready at any moment to burst, i felt the weight of my worries brimming up beneath the surface. i’m not a big crier but i was on the verge of tears all day. as a mom, it’s hard to feel like you can be genuine around people when you have little eyes watching you all day.
you don’t want to fake it and put on a smile but you also cannot be led by every emotion you feel. you want to teach your kids to be strong. to be gracious, be respectful, to be forgiving. but you struggle with these just like they do. they need to see us struggle so they can understand the reality of being human, so they don’t spend their lives striving for outward perfection and living with hidden conflict, and yet it is such a delicate balance to try to live authentically without giving mixed messages.
i want to teach them that they can feel angry without speaking in anger or bringing hostility into their relationships. i want to show them that they can be sad and cry without letting it ruin their day or bringing down others. i want to teach them that they can be just be, and yet i also must teach them that God gives us power over our thoughts and attitudes. but i find myself wrestling with this balance, tugging and pulling at the edges of what i feel versus what i know. it reminds me of my two boys, camping out in the living room and trying to share one comforter between the two of them. “i’m cold,” says one, yanking it towards his side. “i’m colder!” says the other. back and forth they go, pulling on the quilt as if pulling could make it bigger. at some point whoever has the better grip ends up victorious, wrapped up in cozy warmth while a brother is cold and crying. by the way, we live in hawaii, so i can sit and laugh at them legitimately because no one’s ever going to really freeze here. finally they realize if they move closer together the blanket is actually big enough after all…they just needed to stop pulling.
i try to remember their silly tug of war when i feel conflicted, when i feel like i can’t be genuinely joyful, but when i also KNOW that God calls us to live with joyful hearts. we can feel deeply whatever it is we are experiencing at the moment, while taking action in the direction of God’s expected promises, because these promises give us HOPE. hope is what gives us the capacity to be a little more transparent when we would rather put on a smile to get by. hope is what gives us the grace to lean into our sorrow, to be okay with a season of unrelenting hardships and yet not succumb to the lie that this will go on forever.
hope allows us to hold on to the promises of God when we are utterly beside ourselves, because we can go ahead and make decisions according to the Word of God instead of our circumstances. to me- that is absolute freedom. that on a day like today, it’s okay if i feel pulled between joy and sorrow. i can choose to act in joyfulness. it’s okay if i get so angry about something i cannot see straight because i know that i am not bound by the anger that i feel, and i can choose forgiveness, mercy, and restraint.
and now Lord, for what do I wait? my hope is in You. psalm 39:7