“And in spite of it all I hope. Even when it hurts…”

Photograph by Stephanie Berghauser 
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life." 
Proverbs 13:12 (NLT)

The title of this post comes from a comment I received from my friend Critty Joy on my “Mad About What? – Part 1” post. It came to mind as I was leaving the baby shower of a dear friend, who I’ll call K, this past weekend. You see, this wasn’t just any shower, this was special. Like me, K had reached the point of disappointed resignation. In her late thirties, she had started to believe that marriage and a family just wasn't part of God’s plan for her. We didn't talk about it often, but it was always of those silent but understood issues we had in common – BUT GOD.

Within two years (or less, I forget now) I looked up one day and she was getting married. Then I blinked and she was expecting a baby. The way God moved on her behalf filled my heart with so much joy I could hardly express it! And I'm no fool, I’m always going to rejoice with those who rejoice! 

One of the things I have always admired about K is how she lived life to the fullest – even when it meant having to do things alone. She didn’t let her singleness stop her from traveling, experiencing new things, or anything else she wanted to do. Her bravery inspired me then, and it inspires me now. Although we rarely talked about it over the years, her life has spoken volumes to me, encouraged me and taught me much more that she will ever know. It makes her testimony that much sweeter to me.

Turns out her life changes also stirred up another emotion that felt vaguely familiar – hope. Somewhere deep within my own heart I can sense the flicker of a small flame and I wonder if it will be enough to rekindle a hope that has been cold for so long… Only time will tell, but it’s nice to know that even after all this time, the possibility still exists. Beloved, today I say to you [and to myself] - hold on to hope. If you are like me and you seem to have lost it, trust that God is willing and able to restore it; to restore YOU. He is still God and He is still good – even when it hurts.