I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge,
That myth is more potent than history.
I believe that dreams are more powerful than facts
That hope always triumphs over experience
That laughter is the only cure for grief
And I believe that love is stronger than death.
~~Robert Fulghum. Storyteller's Creed.~~

I have mentioned before that somehow, however contradictory it may sound, I have hope for the future, but sometimes I just don't have hope for the present.

Hope - believing that a better or positive outcome is possible even when there is some evidence to the contrary.

Everyday there is mounting "evidence to the contrary" everywhere I look. The news is full of terrible things--proof that this world does not and should not make sense to us. If the happenings of the earth make sense to me, then I have a serious problem. Even the things that are not controlled by humans (like this) do not make sense to me. They can't make sense because I cannot see the Master's plan. However, seeing all of these things only makes it more clear that without a hope in God, I am forever going to be stuck trying to make sense of this life.

Whatever happiness or expectancy hope engenders within a person, the feelings that must come first are anger and courage--anger at the way things are and courage to see that they do not remain that way.

For someone to experience the happiness of hope, I think that they have to get through the anger and courage first. Sometimes that journey is instantaneous. The very first time you see those two pink lines you have no firsthand knowledge of the anger at the way things are. The first thought that crosses your mind is not about all of the babies in Heaven who have left grieving mamas behind. Since there is no anger, courage to see the world differently is not needed and you can jump straight to hope. Trying to rekindle hope after a tragedy is completely different. That journey is long and the obstacles change on a daily (or sometimes hourly) basis depending on where you are in your grief.

I'm somewhere in between anger and courage. I am still angry every time I see a new blog that is dedicated to a child's memory. I am outraged when I hear about women like this when there are so many who would do almost anything to have one. But, I don't yet have the courage to truly believe that things will not always be this way. Don't get me wrong. I know that a day is coming when all will be made right and we will walk the New Earth with Jesus. I know that His grace is sufficient for all of my needs. I know that this world is broken. I know all of these things, but this is that hope for the future that I mentioned. Everything will be okay, but everything is not okay now.

For now, I am struggling with this lack of hope. Tomorrow will be eight long months since I last held Raelyn in my arms, but this is not the source of my pain right now. I rejoice in the fact that she is living in Heaven, free and whole, even though I miss her dearly and I wonder what she would be doing now if she were still here. My lack of hope comes from trying to give her a sibling. Every month that passes brings another torrential wave of intense hope in the beginning which turns to a crushing blackness by the end. Obviously, the gift of another child is not a decision that is left up to me. My head knows that it will happen (or not) in accordance with His plan and I trust in the fact that His plan truly is in my best interest. I just don't have the courage to let myself believe that things will change while I am still here on earth. Without that, I cannot have hope for the present, but I will keep pressing forward, leaning on Him.

Hoping does not mean doing nothing. It is not fatalistic resignation. It means going about our assigned tasks, confident that God will provide the meaning and the conclusion. It is not compelled to work away at keeping up appearances with a bogus spirituality. It is the opposite of desperate and panicky manipulations, of scurrying and worrying. And hoping is not dreaming. It is not spinning an illusion or fantasy to protect us from our boredom or our pain. It means a confident, alert expectation that God will do what he said he will do. It is imagination put in the harness of faith. It is a willingness to let God do it in his way and in his time. It is the opposite of making plans that we demand that God put into effect, telling him both how and when to do it.