“Sarah, he said he really thought things were going to improve for us- that he knew God was going to change our circumstance for the better.” My husband was turned towards me in the kitchen three years ago with those words that he was repeating from a friend lending him a dose of encouragement. An unmistakeable wash of hopefulness crossed my husband’s face as he said these words because that’s usually how he is- perpetually hopeful.
Conflicting emotions began warring within me.
I was left not knowing how to respond. My emotions and body were so fragile at the time, yet I wanted to believe these words were true. I wanted to believe that my now two-year rough down-spiral in health was coming to a close. I wanted to believe that the new symptoms my newlywed husband was experiencing was just a passing flu bug. I wanted to believe with everything in me that normal would be found by us again.
But it was only the beginning.
Two weeks later, the hourly seizures invaded my life followed by ataxia, mobility issues, and a severe impairment of the functionality of my life.
I kept hearing that mantra repeating in my head “this too shall pass” that my mom would say, sighing under her breath and looking forward to the tomorrow when the sun would rise and the gloom of her problems would be flooded by light.
I heard those four words uttered so much growing up that I thought they were a promise from God or a universal law like gravity. And I’m embarrassed to say that it wasn’t until these past five years where I really started to examine those words and realize how much they’ve penetrated my psyche towards believing that these words were a promise.
We’re not promised a better tomorrow and I feel so guilty now for saying those words as a pep talk to the listening ears I was wanting to encourage over the years. What is true is that hope can still be found even in the struggle. We also have the choice to reframe our mind and hearts to finding moments of joy, finding something to make us barrel a big belly laugh, and we have the choice to reach out and grab the hands of people who are willing to walk with us in our valley times or close ourselves off from any helping hand.
The picture I have in this post is a picture I took myself of a few items that I’ve had throughout the years: a glass perfume bottle with a sterling silver rose closure filled to the brim with beads of pearls I snipped from a necklace at twelve and two items from my wedding: two flowery organza hair pieces and my Big Day earrings.
In each moment I had the hope that this too shall pass. I had the hope when I was twelve and first bedridden snipping the pearls from my necklace that my tomorrows would be filled with exuberant health. And I had the hope when I was walking down the aisle that all I had to do was make it through the wedding and then, then I would be able to devote myself to better health.
I still have my own hopes right now that include independent functionality for both my husband Michael and myself that we don’t currently have yet. But I also know that those hopes should never supersede our one promised hope: Christ. I don’t have to hope for a new body one day. It’s a guarantee! When we’re all on the new heaven and new earth, there will no longer be a “this too shall pass.” Every hurt will have already passed.
I don’t know about you, friend, but that’s something I can actually get my hopes up in!