This past year we've learned a lot about hope. We've learned what it isn't and what it is. We've learned about things that are shakeable that we never thought would be shaken. Things that are not 'meant' to be shaken.
I don't know where to start in writing a blog. I feel as though I should write a long intro about where we've come from, what's happened, and where we are at now, but to be very honest, I don't have it in me. Every time I start, I just get overwhelmed. So, I'm starting here. Right here in the midst of it all. Smack dab in the middle of the hope and hurt.
I miss my son. Emotionally it feels like my arm has been ripped off or something even more heinous. It seems as though the 'dust should have settled' by now, but at times, I struggle with seeing clearly. It hurts really badly. Even now, especially when I'm busy with the girls, sometimes, when I mean to call for Todd, I accidentally call for Keano instead. And then I realize.. He isn't here. It's hard meeting new people and not being able to introduce Keano, but rather, have to tell a story. Oh, how I miss my son! It comes in waves. Waves upon waves...
Through out this year, we've heard many many times, that God has plan. ...and that plan is to sort all this out with a 'happily ever after.' But we don't buy it anymore. What if this is the plan? What if the plan is to suffer? How do you hope rightly or better, accurately in the midst of suffering? What do you hope for?
We saw terrible suffering in Namibia and to be honest, lived around it constantly. It wasn't hard to believe that people suffered. We saw it. We didn't have to imagine it.
But, it never happened to us. When it started, we fought. We fought with what we thought was faith. Turns out, we didn't have a clue. We never thought God would take us to this point. We thought that it was only to test us (for a short period!) and then give it all back. We didn't think he would break us like this.
When it first struck me about how much is indeed shakable. ...How much God hasn't promised us, I became scared. Terrified, actually. I realized how much I still have that He hasn't taken. I still have my girls. I still have my husband. I still have many of my extended family members. I still have food and water.
Then, hope came... and keeps coming.
When you realize how much God doesn't owe you, you hold very dear the promises he has given you in His word. Excuse the lack of references. There are many, but I see these as more foundational truths that are keeping me from cracking.
These are just a few of what I have been clinging to...
1. God is good and He is wise. We see only a snapshot of life, but God, He sees from the beginning of time until the end and He has the best means to bring about His good purposes in our lives and others.
2. God. Is. For. Me. He is for His children. I praise God, that this Momma's heart is settled in that I know he is for my son. Despite what hardship comes, I firmly believe that God is good, wise, and for Keano.
3. He is faithful. He is faithful to his promises. He will not leave us or forsake us. Though we are miles away from Keano, God is as near to him as he is to us.
4. There is nothing new under the sun. We are not the first, nor will we be the last to go through this suffering. God is not wringing his hands in anxiety wondering what on earth he is going to do now. He has had this all planned from the beginning of time. ...From beginning until the end.
5. His sovereignty in that He gives and He takes away. Though I might think at times I'm the one to take credit for what I have, I don't. He gives. ...And, He takes. Nothing is outside of his control. And, if he is good, wise, faithful, for me, then my heart can be at rest, despite pain when He takes.
6. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
My hope is no longer in what I want. It isn't in predictability. It isn't in what I have. It isn't in stability. It isn't in any guarantee that the road ahead will be easy.
So, this is God. This is the God I hope in. I don't hope in what he gives me or doesn't. I hope in who He is. ..And there alone, my hope is secure.
"Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus...."