Tag Archive | dreams

Hope is Scary

Hope is scary. Hope is risky. Hope hurts. Sometimes excruciatingly.

Hope is often a neatly wrapped up package extended to us, the broken and hurting, to offer encouragement and comfort. Just as I did to you in my first post on this blog. And sometimes that works. But I know all too well that hope is not always the promise of delightful butterflies, colourful rainbows, sparkling unicorns and cuddly kittens. Hope is a nice word comparable to love, faith, joy, peace. Inspiring expressions that confused and frustrated my deeply wounded soul. The very idea of hope brought me despair and pain because that is what experience taught me. Hope was useless.

I once had hope. Dreams. An expectation of a happy life. And then I got married. At age twenty, along with our four month old baby we became an instant family. Two days after the wedding, I moved 3,000 km away from my family, friends, church and all that was familiar to me. New adventures awaited us all! It didn’t take me long to discover these “adventures” were beyond the imaginings of any new bride.

We did not consummate our marriage on our wedding night. Or the night after. Even though my parents had gifted us a hotel room for the weekend and babysitting services. I had naturally expected that we would. We had not been together for several months. I was disappointed. He wasn’t. My disappointment grew in the following days, weeks, months. His didn’t. It soon became apparent to me that I was no longer desired sexually or otherwise. Therefore, I was no longer desirable or lovable. I felt helpless to improve the situation. Nothing that I said or did changed anything. During the next ten years, hope faded away until there was nothing left but despair and the immeasurable pain of a despondent, broken spirit. I was now hopeless.

A person cannot live in hopelessness forever. There will come a time when something needs to change. Ten years into my shell of a marriage, I celebrated my thirtieth birthday. I looked back at the previous decade of my life, grieved the loss of my twenties, and decided I was not able to continue living in hopelessness any longer. My marriage was destroying me.  I was disappearing.

I did not choose hope. That would have hurt too much. Instead, I chose numbness. Numbness was the safest way to protect myself. Hope would have involved change and required me to open my heart to a possibility of something, of anything, of I didn’t know what, and that idea was incomprehensible and frightening to me. My shattered heart was too fragile to seek something so unknown and uncertain. A flicker of hope? I snuffed it out before it even had a chance to ignite.

You see, I understand that sometimes hope is just too hard. Hope is risky. Hope is scary. And so, when I tell you there is hope, it is because I have found it to be true.

There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off. Proverbs 23:18

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Dreaming Strategically

When our hearts are wounded it we often lose the ability to dream.  It’s easy to push down or ignore our desires, especially those placed within us by God’s provident hand.  Only in an atmosphere of safety do we feel free to dream again.  On the other hand, sometimes we choose dreams so big and so impossible that we feel safe from the possibility of our desires being fulfilled.  I wonder if I’ve sabatoged my dreams this way in the past.   I escape the mundacity of my daily grind by fantasizing about the one big enormously useful thing that can come along and give meaning to my life. 

I’m learning to dream strategically.  I ask myself what desire this longing is touching in my heart?  When I pull up on that string it inevitably leads to God and to His kingdom.  The purpose becomes clear.  Now I’m freed to pursue it in ways that are within my grasp.  To dream strategically we start small.  We fulfill our longings in ways that are attainable and build on that.  We never underestimate the small things.  Remember Jesus is all about the small stuff – the cup of cold water and the widows mite are only two examples out of many.  We share our desires out loud with other people.  You may spark a flame in another heart that will do more good than you ever realize.  God is very cool like that.  When we fail (and all sucess is built on failure) we try again in a different way realizing we are not and have never been in control of the universe.  We dance the dance as it unfolds to us with our honest longings as our guide.  Most of all, we pray through.

May God richly bless you to dream  beautiful dreams.