Hope is messy.
The fulfillment of hope is even messier.
We enter this place we believe God has set before us with expectations of how it will go or what it will look like. We begin the journey thinking all we have to do is wait for the doors to open and the process to unfold. We step out in faith, knowing it has all been planned long before.
But it will not happen like anything we imagine.
There are bumps along the way. There are challenges to wade through. There’s a reconciling of seemingly impossible beliefs that feel like blessings and curses all rolled into one.
There will be moments of the greatest testing, and He will provide exits along the way. He will not force us to go. Still, He will invite us to keep moving forward.
We will see things that will cause us to waver – the road never looks like the destination – and we will want to run away. We will be asked to put it all on the altar and leave it there until He hands it back. He will, over and over, and He will ask us to place it there again each time. It will be one of the hardest things we’ll do. He will call us to trust that He is up to something, even if we cannot see.
We’ll fight the hurt, not realizing we’re fighting the dream. But no matter what comes next, He is not done yet.
He is a good, good Father, and He wants to help us pursue His dreams for our lives; God-planted dreams deep in our heart. The kind that keep us up at night because we’re wrestling somewhere in between dreaming big with the stakes as high as they could be, and a desire to hide our heart away so no disappointment can ever touch it.
Dreams that make us stand in the rain for an endless amount of time, because even though the sting of the drops and the snap of the wind are felt deep within our soul, we know the sun is coming. They are dreams of a future, and in the safety of the warmth in which they were planted, we feel fearless and bold enough to go wherever it grows. These dreams light a fire inside our soul. We just can’t always see in the beginning how much preparing and trimming is coming; the cold nights and the long winters that threaten to keep us away from all He has ordained.
We want God’s dreams. But we just don’t want to be hurt anymore.
And sometimes the process of fulfilling those God-sized dreams really, really hurts.
It requires a process of letting go. He never intended for us to love the dream more than we love the dream-giver.
Still, it requires a process of holding on. What good is hope if we never choose to believe He can and He will do this thing?
What have we to lose? A broken heart?
Pain is a reflection of all that is temporary – it will end.
Hope is a reflection of all that is eternal – it is assured, guaranteed, and it will never run out or run short. Our hope in Christ will not disappoint.
When faced with the difficult choice of avoiding a broken heart or holding onto the hope of the fulfillment of God-sized dreams, I want to always choose the impossible. The eternal.
Yes, maybe the thing we hope for will never come. Maybe I will be forced to relearn what life looks like from the perspective of being caught somewhere in between moving past yesterday and still looking toward tomorrow.
If it never happens, if my hands always seem empty, I know I will experience a deep and profound mark that I will always carry. We cannot pretend the pain of unfulfilled hope is not real.
But I never want to find myself missing His best because I was not willing to walk through the valley.
If a broken heart is the sacrifice of hope, I want to take the risk.
If living through the temporary is the sacrifice of receiving the eternal, there is only one option.
Because nothing on this earth compares; it will all fade into the newness of His return, and the hurt of the past will never outweigh the things that are ahead.
Hope is a precious thing, even if those earthly good things are never fulfilled. He will not hold hope against us – not when it is in faith we believe He can do the impossible. He will guide us gently to where He wants us to go. And in the trenches we will see His goodness on display.
We will feel and see and know.
We will hold onto hope and we will hold on through the brokenness when all seems lost.
Good things are coming, if not now, then in the end. He will not leave us hanging. He will be faithful as He leads. He will carry us to the place He has prepared, here and Home.