Saturday, November 30, 2013

.Hope Doesn't Float.

I remember the first time I saw the movie Hope Floats.  My dad had taken me and a friend to the neighborhood video store to rent movies and that was our choice for the evening.  I loved Sandra Bullock almost as much as Raj Koothrappali does and I was not going to miss a Sandy B movie.  
Every time it plays on television a little nostalgia always sneaks in.  

A few days ago I was channel surfing and glimpsed Birdie and Bernadette arguing on the steps and flipped back to watch.  But wasn't the nostalgia creeping in that slowed me down this time, it was the title of the movie.  Hope Floats hasn't changed in the 14 or so years since I first saws it, but for me, hope, well it isn't something that floats.  
When I think of floating I think of bubbles or balloons and the fact that after they float for a short time they pop.  Or sink.  You can't float forever. 

But hope.
Hope anchors.  
It secures. 

It's no secret that this past year has been hard.  If I'm being completely honest, it's probably been the hardest 12 months of my life.  I thought it was going to be amazing; we were moving back home from Texas and we were still anxiously waiting to see our little ones face.  Instead we've ridden an adoption journey we never imagined. 

A year ago yesterday Gabe and I were in Target, the cereal aisle looking for a bargain when my phone rang.  Our case worker called to say she received our paperwork but also wanted to talk about a waiting child.  Our little "A."  I hung up with her, frantically called Matt to come home and then we saw the face of our son.  A few days later that all fell apart.  We grieved.  I cried more tears than I'd ever cried.  Life, the rapidly approaching holiday season, everything felt a little empty. 

And then we moved back home.  
Home without a son waiting for us on the other side of the world.  
Home to friends and acquaintances who didn't know we lost the referral and would ask when our little boy would be coming home.  
My heart was in pieces.  
I thought home would be healing.  
It was but it wasn't.  
It's hard to grieve properly when life doesn't seem to ever slow down. 
But we did.  
Our hearts started to heal.
Life started to go on. 

As the healing was going on the hope was anchoring us down.  It wasn't floating, it wasn't even filling me up but it was anchoring me.  Anchoring me to truth.  To the truth.

"We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.  It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain where our forerunner, Jesus has entered on our behalf.  he has become a high priest forever. 
 Hebrews 6:19-20 (NIV)

I can't count the number of times I've repeated the first part "We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure."

Saying that, repeating what has become my mantra this year kept me grounded. 
Life continued to buzz by and God brought another surprise into our life; a sweet baby girl that we didn't even know we desperately wanted until we found about her.  We loved her from the start and that love stretched over 3 months while she grew in her mama's womb and 1 week while we waited in Atlanta believing surely we were adding a beloved daughter to our family.  
While she is beloved, she is not our daughter.
Part of our hearts will always be with her but she was not ours to keep. 
No words can describe having to give your baby back.  
The pain of watching our daughter disappear down the road is paralyzing. 
For me, it was like she died but rather than going to heaven with her Father she went to some place unknown.  And we'll always wonder about her and that unknown.
We grieved hard.  The grief is still here.  
We lost not only a daughter but the future we had planned for us;
family get together's, holidays and traditions all look different this year.
They are missing something.
How would we keep going, keep smiling, keep celebrating?

We do it because we have too.  You can't stop to grieve forever.
But we move on, we move forward because of our hope.

Shortly after coming home in July a fellow adoptive mom knowing how much I was clinging to Hebrews 6:19 sent me the Weymouth New Testament translation:
"The hope we have as an anchor of the soul; an anchor that can neither break nor drag"

Neither break nor drag. 
Read that again.  Say it aloud.
This hope, the hope that anchors my soul, can not break nor drag.

These have been the worst 12 months of my life.
Matt and I have endured quite a few losses in our almost 10 years together but this year broke me in ways I didn't imagine.

But it was hope (and a lot of chocolate, lets be honest) that got me through. 
Hope that the God that sent a wind and made the flood waters recede for Noah...
the God that fed the hungry, healed the sick and triumphed for the ...
the God that gave Hannah her son Samuel and Sarah her son Isaac will not forget us. 
The God that looks after the sparrows and the flowers, will continue to take care of us. 
He will not fail us.

It doesn't float. 
It anchors. 
It secures.
It's everlasting. 

"the Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love"
Psalm 147:11

1 comment:

Stephanie said...

Girl, I am full of hope for you, Matt, And Gabe.

My heart has hurt at times for you as well. You are right though, hope is secure and it does anchor, there is no time frame, it just happens.