Mama musings: what summer reminds me about hope

summer1Here I sit with my computer on my lap. Charlotte is playing quietly in her room, Tessa is down for a nap. The dog is asleep on the couch next to me. Though we had a delightful rumbly storm blow through this morning, and more rain is predicted, right now the sun shines brightly and I imagine the air is hot and muggy. I offer a quick thanks to the inventor of air conditioning. My belly is full of delicious greek yogurt and frozen blueberries (and the chocolate chips I threw in just for fun). I take a deep breath and feel the tension leak out of my shoulders and neck. This is my definition of a perfect day. Later we’ll enjoy pizza and pop in a movie, and I will resist the temptation to scroll through Instagram and instead focus on laughing when Bert dances across the rooftops and sing along to “Chim-Chim-Cheree.” After tucking the girls into their beds, Chris and I will curl up on the couch with dessert and a glass of wine and watch a more adult flick, probably one we’ve seen before.

It’s moments like this that make it easy to see God’s plan, to feel His peace and rest in the safety beneath His wing. And yet, in the back of my mind dark thoughts still niggle. In the midst of this beauty, this serenity and seeming perfection, sadness, brokenness, and evil are very much a reality. A dear friend struggles to make peace with her estranged family when every interaction seems to cause another wound. A sweet young woman I recently met, who is in the very spring of her life, feels crushed by a past full of hurts and horrors. A mother who I know just slightly but feel a deep connection to grieves the loss of her baby girl, gone from this earth, overcome by leukemia.

My heart aches and I feel a kind of soul-sickness. The words on the screen start to blur and I struggle to reconcile the sunshine and the chirp of birds with all this hurt and heartache, the darkness and brokenness that are still such a real part of the world. And yet…

I’m reading a beautifully poetic book right now, Roots and Sky by Christie Purifoy. In it she chronicles her journey home from a wasteland of wandering, home to a centuries-old farmhouse and the promise of new life and a new baby. She talks about how even as she is seeing the Lord’s promises fulfilled before her eyes she still experiences the reality of loneliness, an endless house-repair list, and the dark cloud of postpartum depression.  After years of living in a land of endless summer she craves snow with a physical ache. When that first snow began to fall on Christmas Eve, my soul exhaled along with hers. Her response is profound,

I suddenly know, without any effort, that all the old stories are true. Of course they are. The Maker of this golden glory has come. He has walked this ground, and the world has never been the same. This isn’t an old, dying world. This is a world in the process of being made new. This is the truth that has always been hiding in plain sight.”

The simple faith that lights her words anchors me, and I remember where my hope is found. Yes, there is darkness. Yes, winter comes. But spring always follows, and then the carefree days of summer that are rich with flavor and light and promises fulfilled. And so I will cling to the hope that I have found in the Creator of this world. He is making all things new. This I choose to believe.

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