It’s not always easy to hope for the things you hope for (pun intended)
There are a few things I enjoy like taking a road trip with my best friend behind the wheel. I get to see her instincts come alive, we have deep conversations about everything and nothing, we ponder life’s big questions, make plans, diss each other, listen to music or audio books, snack on popcorn and chips etc. #QualityTimes
Something was remarkably different as we drove out on the last Sunday of 2018. It was unusually quiet. You could hear a pin drop. I had a lot in mind, mostly what I shared on my last post – another year fades. She perceived my pensiveness but refrained from probing hastily. At some point, I broke the silence with a big announcement. Or so I thought. What I said next came from a very weary and conflicted part of my heart – somewhere in between trusting God and giving up. “In 2019, I will just live life, one day at a time.” I blurted as we drove pass three vehicles in a row. She gently took her foot off the gas pedal/accelerator and slowed down considerably, almost as if to say – “tell me more.”
Taking the hint, I swallowed what felt like a ball in my throat and continued. “What I mean is, I would NOT be setting any of those elaborate annual goals. I would only read through one devotional. No deep searching of the Scriptures, topical bible studies on youversion or the likes. ” I said resolutely, to dissuade her from negotiating a change of mind. She gave me one of those quick mothers’ side glances – the one that says “yea, right!” Her glance was long enough for me to read her mind. Yet just as brief as it was safe to get her eyes off the wheel. Then, she smiled beautifully and said “well, let’s see how that goes.”
Fast forward to a couple days later. I took three days off to fast and pray for 2019. I was less than a day in, when I caught myself designing a dream board. Yup, I was right back in the goal setting “game” 😊 (I hate how much my friend knows me).
Research shows that #GOALS is an increasingly popular hashtag on social media, comparable to liking (or envying) a post. For me, #Goals map my actions and keep my focus on the big picture.
By the third day of my retreat, I had crafted an elaborate “VISION 2019” for my walk with God, family, health, career, investments, relationships, travels, even for my hair 🙂 . The fun part was #HairGoals.
I have always thought God wasn’t quite generous with me when He was apportioning hair. I could very well compete for the world’s most scanty and thin hair. When I look into the mirror, all I see is my fast receding hair line. Fact or mind game? Not sure which. Either way, over the years, my hair has been on a steady budget. Whether it be shea butter, virgin hair fertilizer or black magic (interesting name, by the way); hair serum or hair vitamins; a variety of shampoo and conditioners; straight, nappy, long or short hair; Brazilian hair weave on, wigs, faux locks, protective braids, twists etc. You name it and I probably have experimented with it.
However, my hair still looks intractably “academic” lol. It is what it is. To be honest though, I am often quick to discontinue a hair product for lack of immediate results. So, this year, I plan to be more patient with my hair and to undo my braids in a timely manner. Easy breezy! Other goals were a lot tougher, just to set.
I wrestled hard, helplessly and even wept at the very thought of bringing myself to the point of setting #RelationshipGoals, yet again. “Lord, we’ve been through this, way too many times. Would it be any different this time around?” I whimpered as a crippling déjà vu feeling embraced me. It felt like someone had placed a huge stone in my stomach. New year, old dreams? To hope or not to hope? That is the question.
Finally, with a quaking heart, fainting trust and blinding tears, I mustered every bit of courage I had left and wrote – To stand in front of a small and intimate audience, my left hand raised gently. Gaze deeply into the tender eyes of my soon to be husband as he lovingly promises God before men to be my husband. To take in the moment and hold my breath. To savour and save the tiniest memory of the surreal occasion – his vow, smile, vulnerability, the melody of his voice, even how his lips move as he speaks … and thinking to myself “Where the hell (or heaven, if you prefer) have you been all these years?!”
I dried my tears and smiled, trying desperately to disempower the army of “what ifs” that was now rising against me. I did it Lord! I decided to trust you. Victory?
I still fear that at the end of 2019, this #Goal may just be another reminder of unfulfilled dreams. I shudder that I might end up waiting till hell freezes. Or maybe not. But, Faith is the “risk” I can’t risk living without.
On this hopeful note, I wrapped up my three days retreat. Later, when I turned on my phone, this message came in from someone: “Happy New Year 2019. Still waiting for Mr. Right? I hope you don’t disappoint us again [by not getting married] this year.” Well… #NoComment. I’ll take it as a reminder that hope and misery journey together.
Truth is, hope can be a struggle. It’s not always easy to hope for the things you hope for. But, blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, And whose hope is in the Lord. (Jeremiah 17:7). #JustHope
Thank you for your time. Stay tuned for the next post on January 26, 2019.
God bless you,
The Christian Bachelorette.