Saturday, August 11, 2012

Awakening Hope

Even if you are not ready for day

it cannot always be night.

--Gwendolyn Brooks, poet

Where I live in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, sunrise can be spectacular. The fingers of early morning crawl across the eastern plains, gradually lluminating the city skyline, and increasing in brightness to reveal—like footlights on a stage—the splendor of the majestic snow-capped Pikes Peak. You can almost hear the Director signaling His creation, “Cue the morning; let a new day begin!”

The sun bids the darkness farewell, and the earth awakens.  It is a fresh start in your Heart Land as well, as your residual breakup pain fade and hope wakes up. Heartache is turning to healing. 

At the break of day, birds chirp cheerily, the alarm rings (not so cheerily), and sunlight streams through your bedroom window announcing the arrival of morning. The aroma of fresh coffee or hot tea beckons.

But for some people it’s hard to get up and get going. It this half asleep-but-not-yet-awake stage, they rouse and stir a bit, yawn and stretch, and then roll over and go back to sleep. They don’t want to get up yet. It’s too early, or they’re too tired, or they simply have no motivation to get out of bed. Perhaps they want to hold on to the last vestiges of night and linger in the darkness.

Others, bless their “I’m a morning person” heart, are exuberant at the crack of dawn. They spring from slumber to waking with the lively energy of Winnie the Pooh’s friend Tigger, full of bounce and ready to start the day.

Either way, getting out of bed is a choice. Just as having hope is a choice.

You can choose to stay asleep in the darkness of bitterness, resentment, and hopelessness. With the curtains closed tightly, and no light penetrating your heart, you wallow and mope, and keep moping.

Or instead, you could choose to follow the way of hope, and keep hoping, choosing to move forward into the full light of day—into the fullness of the abundant life of greater peace, joy and wholeness. 

The outcome of each path is entirely different.

Not yet ready for daylight

If you are not yet ready for day, you may hesitate moving forward many reasons. Perhaps you seem to have a hard time letting go of the past.  Your mind keeps wandering back to Memory Lane when things were good and life was happier.

For whatever reason, hope is stirring, but is thwarted.

Perhaps you feel like you’ve been emotionally sleepwalking, going through the motions of life, but you’re not fully aware or awake on the inside. Or, you may be physically present but not engaging conversationally with people or with life. You don’t really want to wake up on the inside because you don’t want to feel the pain and it’s just easier to numb out. Your circumstances still seem dark so maybe you think it’s only natural to sleep on the inside.

The problem is when you’ve been hurt and your hopes have been dashed, it can be hard to move forward and have hope—not only in a new relationship,but in life. Especially if you’ve had many breakups, you get tired of the repeated discouragement. It hurts. It’s hard. And you never want to go through it again. So you put hope to sleep in your life because you don’t want to be disappointed again. You are stuck in your story.
And it’s time to get up.

 (Reprinted from "When Love Ends and the Ice Cream Carton Is Empty" by Jackie M. Johnson, Moody Publishing)

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