Happy Anniversary.

It’s funny how we always look ahead assuming that “the best is yet to come.”

Five years ago today was the last time a man passionately kissed me.  The last time a man told me he was in love with me.  The last time someone couldn’t run fast enough through an airport terminal to get to me.

It’s funny how after you have your heart broken to the point of no return, you look ahead assuming that God has something wonderful up His sleeve and it’s “just around the corner.”  When someone hurts us so badly that breathing takes effort…when we fall apart because someone else sinned…when we try to stay faithful and please the Lord despite the truest of agony, we assume that God’s sweet blessing is imminent.

But what if it isn’t?

I spent Friday night wearing old jeans and a bathrobe, complemented by a face with no makeup and red eyes. 
I should’ve been out.  I should’ve been catching the reflection of city street lights in the shine of my many gold bangles and tipping my head back so that laughter could spill out.   I should’ve been hand in hand with the man who made all the past pains and awkward dates seem distant.  I should’ve been wrapped up in arms that feel safe.  I should not feel the pressure to constantly be apologizing for who I am, what I think or how I feel.

The word “should” sure does pack a punch, huh? 
“Should” claims to know what is best.  “Should” takes God out of the equation. The mindset of “should”…the angry prayers that include “should”…the conversations that turn to “should”…are actually quite dangerous.

Thinking we can wish our future into existence… Thinking about what we “deserve”… Thinking about what a good God might bring and what a mean God is withholding… dangerdangerdanger!

If you would have told me on October 20, 2003 that on October 20, 2008 I would be sitting in Cedarville’s computer lab, anxious about a Biology exam…stressed over the pennies in my bank account…grieving the loss of a dear friend…and sifting every pain through a heart so full of holes it resembles a dart board… I wouldn’t have believed you.

Why?

“Because,” I would have said “life shouldn’t turn out like that.  Not after a 5 year fight for faithfulness.  I deserve more than that…no no, surely you are mistaken.”

I would have handed you a hankie to clean your crystal ball and asked you to look again. 
If I knew what life would actually look like now, I don’t know that I would have made it.
As hope ebbs away, through constant & never-ending disappointments over all the “shoulds” that turned into “could nots” or “would nots”…what does it take to press on?

Do we keep hoping?
The trite answer is “yes” …keep hoping. But what do we hope for? Because if I honestly recounted what I hoped for (degree, husband, adopted multi-ethnic toddlers, steady paycheck, 3 story red-brick-ivy-covered-deconstructed-black-shuttered town house) would ANY of that echo God’s heart?

Or does real hope…at least the hope we are supposed to hold on to… simply look like this…

“God, I hope in You.  That You will do whatever You want with me, and that I’ll love You more.”

Scary.

My mom texted me this week to let me know that the beautiful diamond and platinum engagement ring and wedding band my Grandma just recently gave me were sized to a perfect 7. 
Why the rush?  I laughed at the irony…here I am single as single can be, with a ring sitting unused in the safe upstairs.

And right now I fight…fight to long to hope in Who is real…and not simply hope to be sliding my finger through those beautiful gifts before my next Heartbreak Anniversary.

Hope.
What a loaded word.

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7 Responses

  1. Girl,
    I feel you on this one. completely.

    we need to chat. for sure.

  2. Fellow blogger,

    An interesting read. Well done. 🙂

  3. Hope is a lot like faith. Faith means starting up the staircase when you can’t see where the stairs end.I love your big, hole punched , slightly broken, but entirely open heart.

  4. Life never seems to end up like we imagine…Ryan and I constantly say, the grass really does always seem greener…errrrrr! I love your challenge, I can’t say that I always have the strength to give up my dreams and go with God, but we can be certian that “happily ever after” is a reality if we believe, the one comforting thought I hold onto about the future! Love you Kate….and your huge heart!

  5. so here’s what i’ve discovered.

    sometimes hope brings more pain than the truth. or than the absolute disaster that’s now requiring a measure of faith.

    i’ve decided that hope can be the thing that gets you through or the thing that proves to be your undoing. because somehow, i feel like hope conjures up remembrance of the past pain and sometimes i just wish that it would leave me the eff alone. if hope leaves, maybe the numbness could actually help me forget that everything is wrapped up in rogue hopes and unanswered prayers.

    all that to say, that hope is not as romantic as it sounds. because every day that it exists, your heart is broken in the stark actuality of the loneliness of reality. so best of luck, friend…best of luck holding on. i always wondered why people said that. you know “hold onto hope.” now i get it. most days i want it to go away. because it’s only natural to hope to a certain point before you throw in the proverbial towel. you’ve got the kinda heart tho that rocks out the hope. again, best of luck.

  6. you amaze me more and more with every word you say. you’re the most genuine, loving person i’ve ever known. ever.

    hope.
    ~bobbi

  7. Oh Kate…These words were my words, (ok not exactly, you are a much better writer than I am:) pretty much EXACTLY when I was where you are at this age.
    I know you probably get sick of hearing me say it, I know that I did when people told it to me… but then again it did give me hope and with that came more praying and increasing faith…. God’s got a man all planned for you.

    Nico and I laugh had we met in High School, probably wouldn’t have dated… college, NO WAY :), right after college, nope… it took me 27 years to get ready to be the woman God needed me to be for Nico AND 27 years for God to create Nico into the man God needed him to be for me.

    Does the waiting suck??? You know me, not going to lie… YES!!! But trust me… it is so worth it to KNOW and yes I mean KNOW that you are with the man that God has created for you to a “T”

    So keep the faith, know that you have tons of people praying not just for you and your future husband, but for you while God works on both of you to mold you into the types of husbands and wives you both not only want, but that you need to create that outstanding marriage with God SMACK DAB in the middle and at the heart of it

    Love you lots!!
    Abby

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