Saturday, February 10, 2018

Half Agony, Half Hope

I recently came across this quote by Jane Austen that astutely captures where my heart is now... "I am half agony, half hope."

On January 1st, I moved to Virginia for a ministry job that I love. It's an answer to prayer and such a JOY to be doing what I'm passionate about and feel called to.

Exploring my new area is fun. God has awakened this adventurous spirit within me, something that has always been there but in many ways lay dormant because of loss. I am grabbing hold of my life as a single woman. I recognize that there are MANY perks to the single life. I'm able to move to another state for a job. I'm able to move in with a girlfriend. I'm able to go to the ski resort with friends because I feel like it, or to a UVA college basketball game, or hiking, or to the coffee shop to enjoy a dirty chai (which I've been super into lately, by the way) for hours with a book or my laptop. I am able to try new churches and spontaneously grab dinner with a friend on a weeknight without prior planning. I am able to dream of short trips overseas to visit friends or potential long-term trips to work and live. I am incredibly thankful that the Lord has given me passion and purpose in my singleness and that I am able to appreciate the gift it is and the independence and freedom I have.

But let me just say that I am at the point in my life that I feel soooo ready and eager for the inconveniences and changes that come with being a wife and mama to littles (on Earth).

I appreciate while I ache.

Half agony, half hope.

Agony for the life I long for, hope because of where I am and for where I hope to one day be. Agony because I can't see what God is doing, hope because I know He is still moving even when I cannot see.

On a day where I am smiling most of the day, thanking the Lord for all the big and small ways I see Him in the intricate details, going before me and preparing the way... at the end of that same day of hope and joy and life, I lay awake in my bed and tears come. Tears not because I am displeased or discontent with my life. But tears because this is not the life that I thought would be. Tears for the life that I long for with every ounce of my heart and soul.

I can feel guilty for even wanting that life. Like it's somehow wrong. After all, for some reason God has chosen to withhold these things from me. Would it be the more godly thing to not desire? I wish many times that I could be completely focused on Eternity that things of this world, even good and beautiful things, didn't phase or attract me.

But I can't pretend that there isn't a part of my heart that feels like it's meant to be a mommy. I can't pretend that a part of my heart doesn't long to wear the white gown and pledge my love to one man for the rest of my days. I know that God alone truly satisfies, but I also know He cannot be those things to me and as much as He fulfills, those parts of my heart are empty and desolate without the children and husband I have never met and may not ever even be real.

I can't pretend I don't feel like the only one waiting for all the things I'm waiting for... a man, a home to call my own, babies to raise... I can't pretend I don't resent when people who are single say they understand my yearning for a family when really how could they if their empty arms shouldn't already be filled like mine should be? 8 loooooong years. My heart thorbbing when everyone else gets their happy ending after not waiting nearly as long as me. When people have rainbows and I'm still in the dark, walking alone, even without the comfort and solace that comes from having a spouse.

I can't pretend that I don't resent that I resent these things.

Even with all the agony, there is hope. Hope because I know one day all the agony will wash away, whether my waiting ends in this life or not. And hope because I know that my God is still good and I will continue screaming it into the dark night of my soul. Hope because as John Piper wrote, "God is always doing 10,000 things in your life and you may be aware of three of them." I know that in the agony, He is working.


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