04 October 2014

when hope feels silly

Sometimes hope feels silly.  And shame whispers "are you serious?"  Have you ever felt ashamed to hope?  Like you were embarrassed to confess your hopes out loud?  I have.

Waiting for "the call" during the adoption process was such a great opportunity to cultivate stubborn hope.  Although, if you had mentioned it at the time, I may have punched you.  In the face.  There were a couple instances when we requested that our file be sent to a caseworker about a child on a photo-listing.  I would begin to imagine that little love in our home and pray with her/him in mind.  And we would never hear a word back from the other caseworkers.  At one point, our caseworker put me in touch with foster parents of a sibling set - a boy and a girl.  The boy had some medical issues so the foster parent talked me through it all.  I was able to ask all kinds of questions and was so eager to learn more about these two kiddos.  A couple weeks went by and I asked our caseworker if she knew how things were progressing.  Her reply was frank, "oh their case was moved to another county."  And that was the end of it.

I felt mad.  And cheated.  I thought these two would join our family by Christmas.  I told God about it.  I explained how hard it was to have my hopes up only to have it all taken away without so much as an update.  I thought that maybe I had let my hopes get too high, that perhaps I should protect myself from more hurt down the road.  I felt a bit like building a little wall around my heart, just to be safe.

But the Spirit whispered, "Keep hoping.  Keep believing that I am doing a new thing.  Keep trusting that I will build your family in the just-right-way at the just-right-time.  Never be ashamed to hope.  Do not trust what you see in front of you.  Trust me."

And the Word confirmed it another way, "We have also obtained access through Him by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope. This hope will not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us." Romans 5:2-5 HCSB

When circumstances seem to lead to a dead end, when waiting feels like it has morphed into The NeverEnding Story, when another rejection comes your way -- God says hold on.  We stand in grace, no matter what.  We have a hope that will not disappoint us because of the love of God in us.  We never have to be ashamed to hope.  Whether it makes sense or not.  Keep hoping, stubbornly.


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