November 7th, 2008



I've always thrilled to roller coasters. Even before I developed my unusual rating system, even after the ratings fell away. The thrill of anticipation, the rush of speed and release of control. I came, I rode, I screamed was for a time I rode, I came, I came -- who knew what silence could bring? Of late, I've found a more treacherous roller coaster. I find myself drawn again and again to the idea of founding my hope in the destination instead of the journey, in temporal values over eternal.

Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. Hebrews 11:1

I began this year by publicly proclaiming my hope in God for His plans for me in the coming year. I included in my list of faithful knowledge about the coming year: 2008 will see God work in my marriage to bring Flar and I closer together; to return lost intimacy and connection. I alluded to this again in my Valentine entry, and recorded the beginnings of this journey when I wrote out my faith story, also for LJ Idol.

For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland. Isaiah 43:19

I haven't been attending No Stones lately. I like to tell myself that I'm letting some of the lessons learned sink in more deeply before I dig back in. In this season of abundance of work hours, I'm enjoying the Friday nights home with Flar. And I've been kind of coasting on this hope. Believing that God would do this great work without my active participation.

I enjoyed talking more openly with Flar, but I wasn't doing any work toward more. Then came the storm of hope. When it looked like Gaucha might leave Flar, I was there for him to pour out his despair. We had made these first tentative steps so that he could turn to me with his tears. But I slipped loose my own anchor, setting my hope on Flar turning to me, rather than holding onto faith in God's plans as yet unrevealed. Oh, it was so hard to feel the depth of Flar's hurt, but there was that deep inside of me that saw it as a path back to me. The roller coaster ride began. One day the world was ending, the next she was coming back to him.

And then a very smart lady asked me "what's changed in Jesus, this week from last?" And I got just a little bit of the selfish kicked out of me.

But a funny thing about storms. It seems to be the hard times that bring us together. When I was in tears over dashed false hopes, we started talking again. About wanting us to be stronger. About being willing to work on us -- no matter what happened with Gaucha. Flar agreed to go a marriage class with me at Quest. Even though he doesn't wanna be involved in this God stuff. He agreed to block out his schedule to go to all six weeks of Sunday afternoons. And we're starting next week.

We've been reminded of how far we are from where we want to be. But I can look back at merely six months ago, and be amazed at my faithful hopes. Based on God's promises -- not any indications of likelihood. My imagination pales at where we will be in another six months.

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11


The preceding has been my entry for LJ Idol Season 5, Topic 7, Hope