The Restlessness of Hope

I said I wouldn’t do it again.  I promised my heart I would spare it the frustration, but then I went and did it anyway.  My husband got a small lead on a job, and I sent my heart ahead a little while to dream and ponder and hope for a new life in a new place, the thing we’ve longed for so long.

The call came out of the blue.  He interviewed for a local job a couple weeks ago, and they’ve said three more weeks until they decide, but honestly I’m not terribly excited about that one.  Of course I want it to work out, but it’s temporary, and it’s local, so there is no adventure in that job.  But the one out of the blue–it’s distant, and it’s permanent, and it would mean an end to this waiting.  Practice is supposed to make perfect, but I can’t seem to apply that to patience.  The longer I wait, the more I hate waiting.

Headhunters are always encouraging, and this was no different.  In three days they called three times to make sure he was willing to move ahead on this.  They contacted his references (a first) and made it sound like there’s a real shot here.  So, to be fair, we went online and looked over the city where the job lies.  Not impressive, really.  Not a climate we could love, and it’s missing churches in denominations we prefer as well as home school support groups.  For lots of reasons, it’s not ideal.  But it would mean an end to the waiting and the beginning of something new, which made it a paradise.

We told them of course we would relocate–you know all about beggars and choosers–and then it was finished.

It could be weeks before we hear anything.  Likely, we’ll never hear anything again.  The wise course is to continue as though it never happened.  Keep our hearts engaged here fully and completely and do what God has set before us today.  Stop wondering about what might be.  We have a plan–graduate school–and it’s sensible to stick with that unless God gives us a clear path in another direction.  A clear path is pretty much a job offer, nothing less.

Hope is funny, though.  It’s powerful.  Every time my husband has a lead, my heart goes ahead and lingers in the new place for a time, dreaming of the future I might have there.  I go online and look around, trying to imagine what the place might be like, and where things are, and which people might become my people.  It’s exciting and completely and utterly frustrating.

I wish I hoped for important things with such restlessness and discontent.  If I hoped for heaven with such fervor, it would change everything in my life.  I wouldn’t work so hard to make this world my perfect paradise because my heart would have moved on.  It would be busy looking forward, planning ahead, packing up for the new home.  Things here would mean very little if my heart hoped for God and his heaven like I hope for jobs here in this place.

I suspect I’ll never stop looking ahead when my husband gets job leads, and maybe someday that hope will be realized. (Yes, I’m still struggling with some of that faithlessness from my last post!) But I know for certain my hope for heaven will be realized, so I need to send my heart ahead to look around and get excited and dream a little bit about what it will be like and who my people will be.  I think, if I could master that, I would feel less frustration here, and I’d be much more willing to do whatever God asks than I am now.  I would accept the restlessness and not try so hard to find perfect satisfaction in this world.

So, here’s to focusing my hope on the right things and possibly gaining a little patience with the things of this world as I do.  Regardless of how things pan out in the near future, the long term view is amazing, and I need to spend more time gazing there than I do now.

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2 thoughts on “The Restlessness of Hope

  1. I like to remind myself of conversations I’ve had with senior saints when I get like this, Jill. I love reading your posts.

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  2. Jill you write so beautifully. I can so relate. I’ve done the same things in the past. Unfortunately practice doesn’t alway make perfect but God is perfect and so is his plan. Amanda

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