Catching at Hope

Thursday, March 3, 2005

Oh why is heaven built so far,
Oh why is earth set so remote?
I cannot reach the nearest star
That hangs afloat.

I would not care to reach the moon,
One round monotonous of change;
Yet even she repeats her tune
Beyond my range.

I never watch the scatter'd fire
Of stars, or sun's far-trailing train,
But all my heart is one desire,
And all in vain:

For I am bound with fleshly bands,
Joy, beauty, lie beyond my scope;
I strain my heart, I stretch my hands,
And catch at hope.

~Christina Rossetti

I've been wanting to scream at the world that I really DO think about things other than my upcoming wedding and the new experience of having a boyfriend-turned-fiancé, but I suppose I will settle for recording some of it here in a quietly profound (?) fashion.
I'm a dreamer. At least, I used to be. I still am, if I dare to let myself dream after the last several years of disappointments. I had put my dreams away--had no wedding plans, no hopes for a husband or children, no promise of a future that held anything but my own independent "I have to do this, so I will--there's no other way" mentality to push myself through life...

Except for one thing. I found something solid, a hope, a future that I could grasp with everything that I had in me, even when I had nothing else to hold onto because my world was falling apart. It was a hope I could not see here; it was a longing for a place where I would be home and safe... It was an ache that grew in me for Heaven, to see the face of God, to walk side by side with Jesus, who called me His friend.

This last summer, something happened to me. Someone who had once showed me God's unconditional love refused to come to the hospital to allow me to show him that love that he no longer lived to me. When I left the hospital, I was reeling, empty, questioning God's love. How could someone who once loved me with His love be so cold, so unfeeling, just to make a point? Is that what God was doing? Does the end justify the means where God is concerned? Had He allowed me to suffer--even *caused* me to suffer simply to make His point?

The months passed, and I tried and tried to pull my heart back together, to keep believing that I really believed in God and that I really believed His love was unconditional and worth having. There was a song that I found that contained a line, "It's the fear that I'll fall one too many times, it's the fear that His love is no better than mine."

Over Christmas, God used one of my best friends (Esther, from England) to point out to me that I was serving Him out of an obligation, trying to bring something--someone--to Him that wasn't true. I wasn't speaking to Him the truth of what I felt. I was trying to justify myself instead of throwing myself on His mercy (a mercy I didn't know how to trust any longer). I was trying to be something that I thought He wanted me to be without thinking about who He was or what He really wanted.

So I told God the truth. I was in love with Pete. I hadn't been pouring me out to Him--just what I thought He wanted to hear. MAN, that hurts ME when people do it to me; what does it feel like to God? Slowly God was bringing me back to the point where I understood that He loves me just as I am, no matter what I do or what I have done, or what I will do--though He knows that too!

I'm kind of bunny-trailing for background information here, so I'll go on with my talk about dreams.

When I opened up to love Pete, it occurred to me that I could dream again. I could think about a wedding, imagine a future with someone, think about going back to school, getting into music, being a helpmeet, having children (maybe), setting up a home--all this normal stuff that normal people dream about that I had just put away after my MS diagnosis and disappointment in my relationships.

But I didn't get much farther than, "I get to spend the rest of my life with my best friend. We get to decorate a house together, and I want a candlelight wedding."

On the trip up to Connecticut two weekends ago, God revealed to me that I had been translating someone's determination to make the point of his never into God's love, assuming that He was determined to make the point to me that I had to be okay with Him alone before I could love anyone else--and He would do whatever it took, break my heart in whatever way He thought I needed to get me to see that.

I was looking up at the moon and thinking through everything He had newly taught me about His love, and He whispered, "Kelly, live now."

What, God?

And a sense of peace and hope came over me that could only have come from Him. I don't know how to describe it--except that it was... Freedom.


?ete said...

WOW! A God whose goodness is shown not because of arbitrary declaration of, "I AM GOOD", but of "I AM." He is good.
A God, MY God, whose justice highlights my own sin, but in His mercy He also justifies the sinner. He is good.
A God who's Son provides *everything* I need to know Him intimately and for eternity. He is very good!

I thank my God upon every remembrance of you today, dear gift from Him.

Anonymous said...

You are so loved, dearest and fairest...

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