The Misuse of Hope.

If my writing is a journey then I’ve been driving without destination lately.

Wasting gas in the car of my thoughts. Wasting ink on my paper.

But tonight it feels different. (That’s the part where everybody should sigh with relief and say “Yay!” because if you know me you know I’m out of sorts without my place to put my words.)

Tonight, I know where I’m going. I know what to look for on the side of the road, like I’m looking for the gas station which keeps late night wanderers like me supplied with ice cream to keep them awake on the way towards home.

It’s an admission.

A confession.

Brace yourself. ‘Cause the truth is coming towards you and it’s not got the face of Angelina Jolie, lips puckered up ready and begging to be kissed. I’ve found that the truth doesn’t come to us like that, Chaning Tatum muscles ready to send us swooning. It comes like a mirror on a bad morning without makeup. Sunlight on the circles and shadows on the acne scars.

For too much of my life I have been desperately impatient for love.

Impatient like a two-year old who doesn’t have the words to ask nicely.

Red-faced. Feet stomping. Fists waving. Wailing. You know, the ugly kind of impatient.

And I started out with good intentions. Writing letters for my future husband. Whispering prayers for the one I’d meet someday in the far off somewhere. Making promises to wait for him while life swept us closer together.

But somewhere along the way, I stopped praying for the man. And I started praying for the moment.

You know the one. The “Elizabeth sees Mr. Darcy walking toward her in a field and they hold their foreheads close together but never even kiss” moment. The “Ron falls asleep holding Hermione’s hand” moment. The “Landon tells Jamie he didn’t keep his promise not to fall in love with her” moment. The “Four tells Tris to take a look inside his fear landscape” moment. The “Beast takes Belle into the library and says it’s all hers” moment.

I stopped caring about the ways God was preparing me for the man, and starting praying that God would hurry me to the moment.

And I have shortchanged myself.

I’ve wronged me.

Because I was made for so much more than a moment. When he would see me, or I would see him, or he would realize that I am more than just a friend, or when the sun would fall just right between us and light up what used to look like night.

I was made for the journey. The ways God has taught me and brought me so far. I was made for the lessons. The learning. The breaking. For standing still in summer and watching fireflies flit everywhere around me. Never for catching them in little jars to see if they lit up my life just right. For gazing up at the sky in absolute wonder as stars shoot across the night. Never for closing my eyes and wishing for a man who would warm my hand in the cold.

And it was never supposed to become about being right for that moment. I was never supposed to try to make myself good enough for that man to find me somewhere on a perfectly set stage.

It was always meant to be about learning to be the best me God made me to be. For myself. For the glory of Him who formed me.

But I need to tell you, I believe in the man God has for me. I believe fiercely that he is beautiful. Beautiful in all the ways God made him. And when the time is right, I will cherish him. I will hold him oh-so-close in my heart. His heart will be the most precious place in this life I will ever be, the most precious thing I will ever take care of. I will love him so true, so hard, so right.

And I need you to know that this lesson in the ways I’ve misused my hopes for the future does not change the fact that I have great hope for it. It doesn’t change my awareness that God has a future I can place my every hope in.

In fact, I like to think it makes it even more lovely.

Because I can stop searching. Stop waiting out in the cold for warmth from another.

I can just trust.

Just trust that I have more coming for me than a moment.

I can be truly patient.

Head bowed. Heart lifted. Hands folded around my hopes.

You know, the beautiful kind of patient.

-Jessi Sanders 2012

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6 thoughts on “The Misuse of Hope.

  1. Having patience makes us beautiful, like the sunrise. We can’t rush it though; we can only admire its beauty and bathe in its radiance…patiently.

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