Hope is God’s Work… and the Work of His People

A friend reminded me of an earlier post that referenced the question, “Why hope?” My friend observed that my current position on hope seems in conflict. I am bothered by this perceived conflict. The reality is, though, that in my experience, God has an uncanny way of showing up, when our hope is on the chopping block.

I watched a couple of films by The Work of the People tonight on hope. And the first, featuring Curtis Paul DeYoung emphasizes that hope is God’s work.

http://view.vzaar.com/7758681/flashplayer

This resonates with me, because I am at a point of exhausted despair in my marriage. I have protected that flame of hope for years now. I have cared for the hope that things will be better. And now, I cannot care well for myself, and continue to carry an uneven burden of caring for that hope. It is my husband’s turn. I offer him the choice. He can either find a way to keep that hope alive – to feed it and nourish it, or he can allow it to burn out. I will no longer single-handedly shelter hope.

It is a comfort to hear reminders that many saints experience Dark Night[s] of the Soul. And, it is hard to be truly present in this space. It is a deeply lonely space. It is a challenge to invite even safe friends in, because I fear burdening them when I am real, honest, raw about this. It is difficult to just be here. It is uncomfortable for them to join me here.

My friend asked today if anyone at my church was aware of the present situation. I answered honestly. Yes, but no. You see, a year ago my husband and I (primarily me) co-led a couple’s group for our church. It was a group that shared in safe authenticity. But the burden of leadership, and not wanting to call out my husband prevented me from sharing the most painful reality of the quality of my marriage until last October, after the group essentially stopped meeting. I disclosed in conversation with our pastor about the church’s need, and my inability to continue to lead in this capacity. I am still in a leadership position. But I believe if I did ask for a separation, I would be removed from that position – despite the fact that I am considering asking for a separation with a hope (there’s that word again!) for reconciliation after demonstrable change and finding common ground within the context of my current marriage.

The pragmatist in me recognizes that such a reconciliation is unlikely. Such change is unlikely. And the deck is stacked against us.

He knows that I am considering asking for such a separation. He has agreed to see a counselor. I have been seeing a (different) counselor. We’ll see what happens in the next couple of weeks.

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