A Deferred Hope

Hope deferred makes the heart sick – or how I’m looking at this right now, unfulfilled dreams hurts.

As a general rule, I’m an optimistic person. I look for the silver lining in a situation and tend to find it. The world doesn’t need more negativity or depression. I do have those negative emotions, but if I entertain those thoughts for long, they’ll stick around. Despair settles like an stubborn fog, and I don’t want to give them a chance to get comfortable. Because there is still good in this life. There is still hope.

But there are times when I need to sit with those emotions. I need to acknowledge them and what’s causing them. In the past I’ve buried emotions and stress until they all come out when there’s no room for more.

Now, in this season of life, I’ve walked into dreams and thought I saw a light at the end of the tunnel, but I’ve taken another curve in the journey and I’m having trouble seeing around the next bend in the story. I’m acknowledging that I’m frustrated, that I feel like a failure, that I’m sad and lonely and feel out of place. That these unanswered, unfulfilled dreams, hurt.

Dialogue runs through my head telling me I didn’t hear the dream right. Maybe I didn’t hear the promises I thought I heard. Maybe I can’t trust what You said. Or maybe I don’t really know You because I didn’t hear You right. Maybe I don’t have what it takes. Am I fraud? Am I capable? Do I matter? Do I have the wrong motives?

Or per usual, am I just thinking too much?

And then I get angry with myself, because how selfish are these thoughts and doubts. In the grand scheme of things, my life is amazing and simple. Many people are struggling with survival, children are longing for someone to love them, families are trying to stick together, and I’m whining about being stuck.

My feelings are still valid and I’m trying to acknowledge that I’m feeling them, but I’m also trying to remember what I was given when I started this journey. I’m not alone in this process. There are plans bigger than me. I’m a piece of it. The bigger story will be told without me trying figure it all out. I get to learn along the way. I get to meet people. I get to learn to love people different than me. I get to do all of these thing. I don’t have to. I get to. I get to.

I was reading this article from NPR where they were interviewing Tony Hale from Veep and Arrested Development. I’ve heard him speak at a conference and he’s a fascinating guy. In the interview he was talking about doubts in his faith journey and it remind me a lot of me.

I think anytime in someone’s faith journey, my faith journey also, you go through doubting … I think you kind of have to go through that, honestly, just to ask the tough questions. … I mean, life is crazy, and to know that honestly a loving God is walking through it with me is very comforting for me. But yeah, I’ve been through my own times of just, What does this mean and how can this mean this? And ask the questions.

The thing about doubts is that they mess with you. They shake you to your foundation. They’re uncomfortable. They restructure your thoughts. But I’m seeing this as a good thing and not something to fear. I’m believing these doubts are shaking loose the cobwebs that don’t belong and solidifying what does belong.

Hope may be deferred for a season, but that doesn’t mean I stop hoping and working and being who I was created to be. Life is to be lived. To be enjoyed, to love and care for those you come in contact with. For now, those are the things that I can control and how I will continue.