all the things · christian thought

My Hope

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases
    his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
    “therefore I will hope in him.”
-Lamentations 3:22-24

It’s September, finally, and I feel as if the start of a new month will bring some sort of relief. I know it is just another new day, like every other day, but as I look back on the month of August, I can’t help but feel glad to see it removed from my view.

This year has not been my most favorite of years. I can’t help but see lots of sadness in its passing thus far. August seemed to be the culmination of much of it. In one day, August 16th, I remembered the passing of Jessie, dealt with more misgivings regarding my father, and the loss of two neighbors – one to moving (a happy occasion ultimately) and another to a reckless, unnecessary car accident. That day, I did not feel as if I could handle anymore hurt. It leaked out of me unwillingly as I heard the news of Gary’s death. Selfishly, I wanted to rewind the month and start over where none of the above took place – where my neighbors were still my neighbors, where Jessie was being expected any day, where my father was sane.

Now, I feel as if I owe some explanation regarding the situation with my father. He is an alcoholic and it returned last year sometime. Since then, my parents divorced and sold their home, my childhood home. This triggered something in my father that has since led him to fabricating stories about my mother, my brother and me to the point that he had to be involuntarily detained and is undergoing evaluation.

Throughout all of this, a tiny life continues to grow within. It’s not Jessie, but another little baby. One whose flutters brings me momentary happiness. However, I can’t help but feel guilty for the sheer fact that I have felt mostly stressed, worried and sad throughout this pregnancy, that this tiny baby doesn’t know the innocent joy that I had with G. And, I can’t help but think I’ve already put this child at a disadvantage. Mommy guilt has begun early with this one.

So, as normal life was happening daily, there were all of these undercurrents of destruction. It felt as if all that I knew was collapsing around me into unexplainable torrents of ash. Now, the lamenter in Lamentations actually experienced that with Jerusalem’s destruction at the hands of the Babylonians (or was it the Assyrians… I always get those confused…), nonetheless, I can resonate every so slightly with his feelings.

And yet, he finds hope. Even in the midst of sadness, hope isn’t eliminated. You may not always feel it, but it’s there. It’s what keeps you from falling into despair. It’s knowing that your earthly father may unknowingly abandon you, but your heavenly Father never will. It’s knowing that you can’t even control how a life is formed within, but that God does. It’s knowing that even when people commit horrible acts of tragedy out of their own selfishness, that there is hope for an eternal life beyond death. It’s knowing that neighborly love isn’t confined to a street, but to all those with whom your life intersects.

It’s knowing that tomorrow is a new day. It’s a new start with fresh mercies.

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