Driving Drew to school this morning, my gaze shifted to the horizon. A dome of clouds covered the sky above, save a sliver of light around the perimeter where the land meets the sky.
I pointed this out to Drew, as we marveled at the soft, unassuming colors, easy to miss. But I took in the sight, the light, the beauty of the break in the clouds at the horizon’s edge.
Hope. I’ve been camping on that word in my mind lately. Our conscious mind tells us we want resolutions from our problems. We want our long months of unemployment to end. We want healing for a loved one. We want to feel life in our wombs for the first time.
But what I think we really need, perhaps though we don’t recognize it, is hope.
We received some difficult news about my mom’s cancer battle two days ago. Because of her declining health and how the cancer cells keep outsmarting each treatment we give it, her doctor decided to take her off her last cancer drug.
Mentally, the news was unsurprising. We knew this cancer wasn’t curable when she was diagnosed over three years ago. We knew each of the treatments — several types of chemo, radiation, and an experimental drug — would only give her more time. And we’ve had more time than we ever anticipated.
At every step in this journey, the hope has been that this next treatment would add days to her life. That hope has kept us positive, grateful for the time we have.
But what now?
In a way, life seems like the clouds today. Like a dome of sadness is encamped over us. But I’m realizing that my greatest need isn’t resolution. It isn’t healing for my mom. It’s hope. Hope brings with it a peace that even the most miraculous resolutions don’t.
Driving back home after dropping Drew off at school, I turned hope over in my mind some more. What hope do I have, at this moment, in this circumstance? Where is the horizon of brilliant light? I have to look to see it.
So in mental bullet points, I listed:
That my God is in control, that He will provide for each of us every step of the way. This doesn’t mean it will be easy. Last month, after writing about anticipating my mom’s scan results, I jotted this down in my journal:
Expecting the spilling out of my emotions on the page to purge my anxiety, instead I buckle and cry a deep, blubbering sob. The one that makes your eyes puffy all day. I had just written that I trust Him. Do I? Then why am I sobbing? Yes, I trust Him.
I think of Jesus when He wept at the grave of Lazarus, did he cease trusting His Father? Of course not. He felt the weight of the emotions while continuing to trust. What an example for me.
That the life is not the end. Hallelujah, because Christ defeated death, though her body will die my mom will not die. When she received Jesus, she was born into a life that doesn’t end. Though the rest of my lifetime without her seems like an eternity, it’s not. Praise Jesus.
That I will be okay. My mom said good-bye to her mom when she was just a few years younger than I am now. Her joyful, trusting, steadfast life is a testament to the hope of healing in grief. Her strength and example give me strength to run my race as fervently as I’ve watched her run hers.
Looking back at these three areas of hope, I see my mom. She points me to hope. She always has.