By Jennifer Hill
Hello, I’m Jen. I’m new to writing this blog. My husband said he didn’t want to be married to me on Christmas Day.
There you have it, the concise introduction — a three sentence and 27 official word summary of my current moment.
My current moment. A timeline in my journey, a fork in the road, an opportunity for reflection, a chance to start over, a road to a brighter future, a welcome from Christ to get back to know him.
I have to be honest. I’ve placed all of these cliches outside my door for now, next to my welcome mat. Others I left painted on the farmhouse-decor signs that I gave away when we cleared out our house to sell. These messages silenced when I had to remove everything about me, my marriage and family, and my faith when we prepared to sell. When we prepared my home to become a house and my address to become a MLS#.
I know I will return to them, these comforting truths about our walk with Christ, as this is not a crisis of faith, but rather a crisis of hope. In the past few months I’ve sought hope, to hear it, to embrace it, only to discover it has been packed away in a box somewhere, likely next to the hairbrush and curling iron I can’t seem to find.
In my current moment, my hope is like the cushions we left out on the couch on the back porch and never brought in from the sun, storms, rain, cold, dirt. The beautiful outer layer now disintegrates to touch as the inside foam pops through the bare spots.
Our couch cushions, we were able to just flip over,because a cursory inspection doesn’t show the ugly damage underneath.
But life isn’t cursory and I find it hard to wake up, eat, sleep, and breathe, as my hope begins to disintegrate to unusable pieces.
I do believe it is time for me to seek out the solution, time for me to commit to not just flipping over the cushions to hide the hurt. I need to strengthen, to reinforce and to protect the gift of hope, so that it can’t fall apart so easily again.
I need to find the hope that conquers anger and prevents me from manifesting anger (every night) against the man that I feel cast me aside. The hope that embraces the tears that cloud up my contacts so I have to wear my glasses all the time (and whispers how cute I look in glasses). The hope that will give me the strength to rise and muster through the required work of disassembling the life I knew, but also understands the times when I just want to stay in bed.
And, through the grace of my sister in Christ, I want to open this journey here to you. Tattered hope doesn’t have to apply just to a marriage. It can relate to the suffocating disappointments that impact all areas of our life – family, career, health, finances. Learning to thread hope back together is an important path to becoming the well woman God has designed us to be.
I’ll close this introduction with a recognition of hope in my current moment: as I say goodbye to these blank painted walls, I know that behind them are the penciled verses we chose for each room and added before the drywall was put in. I’ll remember that there is a Bible laid in the dirt and is now a part of the foundation, and I’ll find peace knowing the permanence of the blessings that were written in the concrete before the porch was poured.
In my current moment, I leave the house, but the hope in their promises remains.
But God will never forget the needy; the hope of the afflicted will never perish.
Psalms 9:18, NIV