I have dumb hope. For the record, hope is not dumb. Not at all. But I can’t help but feel that mine is naive. One of the definitions of naive is natural and unaffected; innocent. I don’t know why but I can’t help but hope against the odds. If there is a slight chance of things changing for the better, I’m taking it. It’s as if I remain unaffected by the circumstances. I am definitely aware of them though and for the longest I was plagued by depression because I started focusing on the negatives. A nagging, lingering depression that threatened the very thing at the core of my nature, which is this innocent hope. A hope that believes for what seems ridiculous. Although, once I embraced this hope, I have done and seen things that seemed crazy, but turned out crazy good.
I expect good, but most of the time, we don’t get good. We get good enough. We get what we “deserve.” Or we get nothing at all. Because of all the times we get those other things, I was so close to accepting that jaded view of reality. I’ve been so close to being consumed by the darkness of disappointment. But God would not allow me to stay there. Every time, I am lifted out on the wings of a song, a word, a hug from a friend. No, something deep inside me tells me we were, this world was, made for good. And it’s worth fighting for. Sometimes that fight looks like believing, even when it hurts. Oh, it’s a sacrifice but I don’t see any other way. I just can’t give up.
I can’t stop contending for my daughter’s healing. Because the very word of God says that He bore our infirmities. The life of Jesus says He came to set the captives free, healing those suffering from seizures. It’s right there in Matthew 4:24. I have to believe it if I truly believe in Him and I do. But man, does it cost me when she has another intense seizure, when I see what the medications do to her little body, when she cries out to me with pain and longing in her eyes. And yet, I hope.
Because I have seen the fruit of this hope. Call it faith. “Faith is the substance of things hoped for” (Hebrews 11:1). I saw my oldest daughter’s life transformed by the love of God. I saw her emotional healing from sexual abuse take place as we pursued God. I have seen my husband healed of His allergies through faith and prayer. I have laid hands on people who did not feel well and they have recovered. I have seen the power of God change bodies and lives and so, I believe. Even when I don’t see it yet.
And sometimes we do see it, off in the distance. Covered in fog and small, but present. It reminds me of this walk I took with my husband when he was just my new boyfriend and we were in a new, different city together. I could see the Golden Gate bridge off in the distance and said, “Let’s walk to it.” It was a naive statement. Just because I could see it, I thought it was attainable. And so we set off on what would be a journey that took from early afternoon to sunset, easily eight hours. We walked. This was before every phone had GPS, so we just kept our eyes on the goal and forged our own path. There was lots of walking along the ocean, journeying into the city, laughing, playing, and expecting to make it somewhere awesome. And we did.
Here we are over eight and a half years later with three beautiful kids and that long walk feels like a metaphor for our life. So I hope for the best, expecting good as we move forward. I see all of the ways that God has touched our family and changed our lives and I can’t help but be thankful. What else is there to say. Change isn’t easy but it’s worth it. I’ve changed so much. Habits and thought patterns. I really thought I had it all figured out before. Thank God for being so gracious with me.
John actually means “God is gracious” and with the birth of our son, John Samson, I can’t hep but feel his grace over our family. We haven’t had our own place since we returned from our missions trip, but I know it hasn’t been without purpose. God has been present and working as we’ve stayed with friends and family. I know there is more to come as we become established and go back to living the American dream, you know— house, car, kids, nice job, debt. Haha well that last one… But seriously, I know there are more missions and adventures to come. More testimonies and miracles. More. There is just always more. And we are willing to give it all up to follow Him. We’ve found freedom in that.
Following Christ is really a test in humility. Because you have to be willing to put away every notion you had about living your life and try something new and uncomfortable. And truly no changes ever come about because you force them to but as you look to the cross and lean into it’s sacrifice, you find yourself changed.