I did not see it coming, though maybe I should have.
When the clock struck midnight on January 1, 2015, my heart was already a month ahead, waiting for the clock to catch up. The year began with a restless anticipation pulling me forward. I did not expect anticipation to color this season for me, but 2014 had birthed a deep, vibrant hope within me and I discovered, with some discomfort, that real hope seems to involve anticipation.
After spending years with a very domesticated, safe, and almost painless hope- my heart had seen hope redefined in 2014. Uncaged, hope became wild and my fear, that hope was dangerous, was confirmed. As I sat with hope swirling around and within me, I considered that the dangerous hope I’d avoided was possibly the only hope worth having. I considered the possibility that hope that lacks the threat of devastating disappointment isn’t hope at all- that maybe real hope- big hope- is more akin to faith- that thing which can create feelings of disappointment, but can never really fail us.
When late February arrived it ushered in a question: Was I willing to unleash this hope from the confines of my heart and into the reality of my day to day life?
I started a business at 22. It did not seem extraordinary. It did not seem unusual. Raised by workaholics, immersing myself in starting a company felt as natural as a generational alcoholic allowing themselves, sip by burning sip, to be lulled into a cloud of intoxication for the first time. On a steady diet of 60 to 80 hour work weeks my company became both my income and my identity.
11 years later, 2015 asked the question, “Would you give it up?”, the hope God had planted and fostered in the previous year said YES, and with the “yes” came a raging torrent of hope. Hope for how God might be writing the next chapters of my life very differently from the dry chapters in my past. Following just a step behind the hope, disappointment stalks and waits. Business deals are delicate creatures, never final till the ink is dry on the contract, so I sit now in a season of “maybe”, of being pregnant with possibilities, of my heart unwillingly re-familiarizing itself with “already/not yet” theology, knowing even now that while God often conceives in our heart the desires that he desires for us, sometimes His plan includes using the miscarriage of hope to realign our hearts and our hopes with His own.
With eyes open to this reality, I am choosing to hope. I am choosing to pray for God to give me a vision of his plan for me. I’m allowing my heart to dream of exploring far away places and of finding purpose and of vocation closer to home; to dream of a new chapter of work and vocation that nourishes my soul and His kingdom.
My hope may fail, but my God will not. If my hope fails, I will ride out the disappointment, bless him for the goodness of this season of dreaming, whisper to him that he is still good and still safe, and I will survive to hope a dangerous hope another day.