Straddling the Fence of Hope and Despair
Get in the shower, cry it out and then when you step out to dry off – you are done for the day.
It was like finding a needle in a haystack, especially in the massive hospital system. She was hidden in the back of the building and occupied a small office. This lady was one of the best therapists I had come across. She was set to retire in a couple of months, so she had been fine tuning her skills for over thirty years.
Of course when you find a keeper like her, you want to keep her. And the whole retirement thing put a kink in these plans. I enjoyed talking to her while it lasted.
She was a Believer like me and we talked about our faith. This was a rare thing in this privatized system. I’m not sure it was even allowed, but given the end in sight, I don’t think she really cared about the rules. The first thing she said to me stuck in a good, but hard way.
You’re a Believer, just like me. And while faith can make it easier – it also makes these kind of things harder at times.
What the contradiction, right? But there is so much truth in those words.
The things she referred to were a second hospitalization, new meds, new doctors, and new therapists. It was round two for me. This round hit me like a ton of bricks just like the first one. Again, no warning and completely out of my control. To top it off, I thought I was healed, because it had been two years since the first episode.
Here I was. Sitting in a small office spilling my guts to a stranger. I’d been here before and well, I woke up fighting mad this time. Her words resonated with me to the core. I completely understood the contradiction of her words and the limbo your faith can put you in.
See I knew where my strength comes from.
I knew who would pull me through this just like the last time.
I understood who was in control.
And this is where the hard part comes in for me. If He is in control, then why didn’t He stop it? Why did he allow it in the first place? I’m sure I am not the only one with these questions. I’m sure I am not the only one who has gotten mad – maybe even fighting mad.
When you believe in an omnipresent, omnipotent, and supernatural God and you know without a doubt He exists – you begin to question how is this okay. You love Him first and you love Him most. You believe with every bone in your body that He is King, He is good, and He is capable of anything including things we can’t even begin to imagine – you wonder why?
I hate all of the clichés like, “He is keeping you from something worse or He will bring about something better.” There’s the whole, “He won’t give you more than you can handle.” Which by now, I hope you understand this is not Biblical truth.
I understand He will not cause pain, without allowing something new to be born. (Isaiah 66:9)
Ironically, I am a living example of all of these clichés and His truth in Isaiah 66:9. And boy can I testify to His strength, redemption, and restoration now that I am on the other side of the trial.
But when you feel like you are at your worst, none of these things bring comfort. At least it didn’t for me. I understood, all too well about the trials I would endure. Because, Jesus has warned us. The warning just doesn’t make it any easier.
There I sat in limbo again, straddling a fence of despair and hope. I had to choose which side to plant my feet in. Again.
The therapist decided to tell me a personal story. One where she straddled the same fence. In her forties, she wanted more than anything to become a mom. She hadn’t met the right man and her career had vied for her time looking for the right one.
She summoned the courage to tell her family and they simply said, “What are you waiting for? Go get you a baby!” She had support and encouragement. She filled out this form where you put characteristics and traits you would want in your baby. She waited for her turn at the clinic to get that baby of her dreams.
And it didn’t work. She couldn’t become pregnant.
Couldn’t a supernatural God make this happen? Hadn’t He made Sarah, Abraham’s wife, pregnant in a very advanced age? Of course, of course He can. But our plans aren’t always like His.
One day, she received a phone call and it was about a baby girl. The baby had been born premature and needed a mother to take her home. Without hesitation, the therapist dropped everything and brought home a tiny little girl.
Her office was full of pictures of this baby girl and the woman she had grown into -- smiling faces at family events and on road trips. There were pictures of High School graduation and her first day at college.
God gave her a baby girl.
One with long brown hair.
Wide green eyes.
She was also artistic and creative.
See God had seen the form she filled out at the clinic. The one she filled out in anticipation of getting pregnant. She wanted a girl with brown hair and big green eyes. She wished for her daughter to be creative and artistic, because she said she certainly was not. God took her check list and checked it off. The delivery was just in a different form.
She’s a walking cliché. Actually she’s a breathing, living testimony of Christ.
Ultimately, everything comes down to two choices in this life: follow Him or don’t.
Choose Him, my friend. No matter how hard it may be. When you are sitting on the fence, place your feet on the side of Hope. Let your despair run down the drain in the mornings. Step out and face the day with a fresh dose of Hope.