"Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life”
When Will and I found out we were expecting last October, we were ecstatic and fearful all at the same time. Having just come off of months of mourning the loss of our first pregnancy, we longed for a baby, but knew that it was possible we could lose the pregnancy again, and were hesitant to fully rejoice. One day we decided that even though we didn’t know what the outcome of the pregnancy would be, we were going to chose to hope. We were going to celebrate with expectant hearts for what we longed for and for the hope of new life. So, we did what any could American would do… we went to Target :) (we were still in the States on a break at the time). We decided to buy something for our baby as a way of “hoping well” and taking a step of faith in believing this pregnancy would result in a healthy baby. We bought a knitted bunny hat (gender neutral because it was way too early to know if we were having a boy or girl).
During this same time, we were still trying to recruit a team to join us in South Sudan. We were hopeful that we would be able to return within a year or so and were still heading in that direction. However, we knew that anything could happen and that nothing was guaranteed. We knew one day we would have a home again, but we didn’t really know where or when that would be. As a late birthday gift, I bought Will a small key chain of a drum. The drum represented being ready to rejoice and celebrate what God was doing at any moment. The keychain was a statement of faith that we would have a home again one day.
Fast forward 10 months to this week. Will was showing me which keys go to which doors of the new house we just moved into and I was struck by the drum keychain. I had completely forgotten about it. Seeing it again reminded me of God’s provision. We had a house! Something we have longed for for a year and a half now had come to fruition!
Just a couple days later, I went through Ellie’s clothes to sort and organize them. As I was sorting items, I came across the bunny hat and realized it would fit her now. As I put the hat on Ellie, my heart was overflowing. A longing fulfilled right before my eyes. What we had hoped for for so long was finally in front of my eyes.
This week I am overwhelmed by the joy of longings fulfilled. We are finally stable and in a home. We have a beautiful daughter whom we get to watch grow and change each day (she learned to roll over today!).
But you know what? In all of it, I have been overwhelmed by my greedy and selfish heart. All that I have wanted this past year is finally coming to fruition and yet, I find myself finding something new to complain and bicker about each day. Today it was that the power has been out for 2 consecutive days and our cheese is possibly going bad. Yesterday it was that we are still living out of suitcases because we don’t have shelves or dressers yet. I am so easily dissatisfied!
What I’m learning in all of this is that by my complaining and bickering, it’s as if I’m not allowing the “tree of life” to take root in my heart. I’ve moved onto the next thing I long for (being “fully settled- whatever that means…). When I continue to focus on the next “hope deferred”, I take my eyes off of what God has already done and the dreams He’s already fulfilled!
So today I’m repenting of my dissatisfied heart. I’m asking the Lord to forgive me for constantly looking to things and circumstances to make me happy and praying that HE would be my satisfaction and joy. Today I’m choosing to count my blessings, but more than that, to praise the provider of the blessings. I have so much to be grateful for and it is silly to let things like spoiled cheese (although it’s a bummer…) take priority in my mind over what the Provider is doing in my life.