Growing Hope

Pregnancy is one of those phenomena I find difficult to describe. Everyday, I feel our daughter growing stronger and bigger inside of me, as I grow larger and more excited and more curious about what she will be like. Along with all that growth, my energy and my ability to focus has not been what it was, and so, writing as often as I’d like has not been possible.

There is so much I have wanted to say over the past several weeks. I had a whole post planned out in my head for Vicky Beeching, who recently came out and has faced quite the backlash, but also some wonderful support. I still plan to write out everything I wanted to say, but not today. So for now, let it be said that I was so encouraged by her bravery and touched by many of her supporters.

I have had a lot on my mind as far as sexual assault and domestic violence. The recent NFL controversies, sexual assaults on college campuses, and an assault involving local high school students has had me reflecting and also planning on what all I can do as an education professional and a counselor. I have worked closely with sexual trauma for several years now, and I am always looking for ways to help more, prevent more, and educate more.

I could say more about the international conflicts, about LGBT homeless, about my own frustrations with my career and wanting to use my counseling skills on a full time basis again – desperately.

I could talk about the economy, the election season, freedom of speech, and  – Ferguson- My God, help us. There is so much to say.

The truth of the matter is that there are so many horrible things going on in the world right now. And the truth is also that there are good things – acts of courage, acts of kindness, acts of selfless giving.

Throughout the Gospels, we read about “the Kingdom of God.” When I was younger, I always pictured a palace, a crown, gaudy royal things that didn’t much appeal to me. Honestly, those images still don’t.

But now that I understand more, I see the simplicity, and I realize that the simplicity and the smallness is the point.

The Kingdom of God is like…

a mustard seed…

yeast…

a pearl…

a buried treasure…

little children…

Small, beautiful, full of potential.

Always growing and working behind the scenes.

This week was not very good for me. I had my hopes up for a big positive change, and those hopes were let down on Friday morning. A family member has made some horrible choices and is self-destructing. Illness was bad.

But still, through being sick, through being told I didn’t get the position, through hearing the latest bad decision of a loved one,

our daughter kicked, and moved, and grew inside of me.

Life, even in the darkness, was growing and is still growing behind the scenes.

I am so quick to forget that the good is still at work, that the sweet will soon come to contrast the bitter, and that the sun will, indeed, come up again.

Yesterday, we dug up our sweet potatoes. To be completely honest, D dug them up while I watched and went back and forth to get things as needed- bending over and working isn’t as easy now that I am about to move into my third trimester!

We neglected the bed of potatoes. The weeds had all but completely taken over. We hardly watered them. We had way too large of a garden this year, and it was more than we could manage. So, the potatoes were left on their own.

We were pretty sure we would have a very small amount of sad little scrawny sweet potatoes. But, we were wrong. We had a good amount overall, many small, but several large.

Even among the choking weeds, drought, and neglect, life was still at work – growing and becoming full of more life to give.

Right now, the life growing inside of me serves as my reminder, as does the garden we plant and tend to. What reminders can you use to continually remember that the good is at work behind the scenes? That life and hope are growing? And that the sun will shine again?

I hope you’ll think on it, and that you will share in the comments if you are willing.

With much hope and anticipation for the better.

Love,

C.