Today is the first day of the Advent season. Within the Christian churches the first candle that is lit is a candle of anticipation, of hope. It’s an interesting thought, interesting word. I blogged about hope and what it means to me here a few years ago and decided that sometime this week I will go back to that entry and expand it. But for today I just want to focus on the word hope..the meaning of hope.
The online dictionary I found defines it in a few ways…
1. To wish for something with expectation of its fulfillment or to look forward to with confidence or expectation
2. To have confidence; trust.
3. To expect and desire.
4. One that is a source of or reason for hope: the team's only hope for victory.
5. The theological Christian virtue defined as the desire and search for a future good, difficult but not impossible to attain with God's help.
I think we have all had times where we are filled with that kind of hope as in wishing for something, looking forward to something. For some people, their lives are filled with this kind of hope…with the confidence that it will be fulfilled. It’s an expectation and a desire and it keeps them going.
And what life that is… to look forward, in eager expectation, for the things that will happen in your life. To wake each day eager to begin, filled with the desire to complete each part of your day so that you can move on to the next part. This kind of hope sustains us, fills us with excitement and keeps us focused. But for those who are suffering, unsure of what each new day will bring this kind of hope isn’t always, and maybe even often, easily come by. There are miraculous stories of people who are suffering from life threatening illness, disease or circumstance that simply live and keep going on hope. I know, I did it. Each and every day from the time I learned I was pregnant with twins I hoped that I would continue to have an easy, healthy pregnancy. I had a confidence that more than bordered on naïve. And that was okay…because without that hope what did I have…worry and fear. I did have those things at the start and not every moment was filled with only hope but hope was always nearby, always a comforting friend.
And each hour that passed after we learned our boys had TTTS was filled with hope…and confidence. I never gave up hope that everything would turn out fine, I was petrified but I never went down that road where I didn’t come home with two babies. I just kept going, trusting all was well.
And each day after we lost Cole, especially after my water broke and I ended up in the hospital , I awoke feeling hopeful. Hopeful that a heartbeat would be detected, hopeful that there was still movement, hopeful that my boys at home would make it through without their mommy, hopeful that my marriage would survive this stress…. And I wasn’t disappointed, things did work out, hope sustained me.
But what if it hadn’t worked out, what would I have done? Where would hope be then? Well I guess the answer lies in what happened between finding out I was pregnant with twins, being diagnosed and then losing Cole. It wasn’t what I ‘hoped’ for…how can loss ever be what someone hopes for. But I did survive it just as I know that I would have if we had lost both of our boys.
Just as I know now that the trials that my life is full of now is not beyond hope. I wake each day with a confidence that I ‘won’t go down today’. I am fully aware of how tough things are for us, I live it and I know that the fallout of multiple months without 2 working parents will be felt for years to come. But I have hope, I know we will make it through, that we will learn from our mistakes…finally, that we will be better, stronger and more content. I have hope.
What more can I ask for?