Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Infinite Power of Hope


Should Disappointment, parent of Despair,
Strive for her son to seize my careless heart;
When, like a cloud, he sits upon the air,
Preparing on his spell-bound prey to dart:
Chase him away, sweet Hope, with visage bright,
And fright him as the morning frightens night!
-"To Hope" by John Keats

I had a wonderful conversation with a dear friend this weekend, a friend who is currently struggling with infertility. This wonderful woman is someone exemplifies what it is to have a 'mother heart.' Sadly, someone who is so qualified for the job, must wait.

As we spoke, she talked of dealing with the Disappointment that can lead to Despair. They were at a great place in their marriage, they had a new house that was bereft of the little feet for which it was bought. She had prepared. The time was right. And yet it wasn't. That was a bitter time for her. I could feel the ache in her words. And my heart pondered that bleak plain. I know that I cannot adequately understand her pain - we have been blessed with such a happy little boy without the trial of waiting that many couples face.

She told me that she knows that she and her husband will have the opportunity to be parents. She even said that she knows that she will have the opportunity to be pregnant. She has faith that these blessings will happen for her and her husband. But, I was struck once again how we may have knowledge of certain things, or have faith that all will work out, but we still must bear the trial. Some call it "enduring to the end" - a nice phrase until you're in the middle of an unbearable trial. Even with faith, we can find ourselves giving in to despair (the parent of disappointment) if we do not hope.
Hope has the power to fill our lives with happiness. Its absence—when this desire of our heart is delayed—can make “the heart sick.”

I may not understand her trial exactly, but I understand what it is to feel heartsick. I understand the bleakness that is despair. In listening to her, and supporting her, sister to sister, I could feel hope swelling in me, as I hope it did in her. When hope does take root, the weight of despair is lessened. I think "hope is sure, unwavering, and active." We spoke of her plans, her action, to combat and cope with her disappointment and sorrow, many of which involved serving those within her sphere of influence.

Once again, I was reminded that hope is what carries us through. Hope is the bulwark that protects our spirits from sorrow and despair. Hope helps us keep proper perspective. And, I also learned again that we need each other in order to fully hope. We need to be able to share what we know, to express what we hope for, and to express wherein we place our hope. And sometimes we need to rely on the strength of others to help us through those bleak experiences (easy to say when you're not in the middle of it, I know, but if I say it aloud, maybe I'll remember it when it's my turn to need strengthening).

Quotes from here

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