What does a picture of a bathing suit and wide brimmed hat have to do with hope?
Yesterday my almost four year old was on her absolute worst behavior. And I was moody. Either one on their own is not cool, but manageable. Together? Not a good combination at all.
By 8:00pm, I had hit my limit. The problem was, there was still at least 30 minutes before bedtime AND when I’m cranky and want to have a few moments of peace, my daughters become extra clingy. Also not a good combination. At all.
By the grace of God, we made it to bedtime. When they finally went down, I fell on my bed in exhaustion—physical and emotional exhaustion hit me like a ton of bricks. What also hit me was a sense of hopelessness. Young children can be dope to parent, but it can also be downright grueling. And when it’s grueling, it feels like they are going to be young, needy, and fussy forever. Yesterday was one of those days where I felt like the merry-go-round of parenting went from fun to dizzying and like it was never going to stop.
In the midst of my exhaustion and hopelessness, I felt a close kinship with the Psalmist, particularly the sentiments expressed in Psalm 42. In verse five we read, “Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him For the help of His countenance.”
My soul was disquieted. And as I identified with the soul condition of the Psalmist, I made a decision to also implement the remedy prescribed for said disquietude. Hope. So I got up and began to live into hope. I decided to get excited for and begin to prepare for my upcoming girls trip to Anguilla. As I sorted bathing suits, I pictured the sun rising over the blue ocean. As I folded shorts, I felt the white sand in my toes and the warm air grazing my shoulders. As packed sundresses, I could hear myself think, a rare luxury as the mother of an almost four and six year old.
This exercise was not solely about packing, but was rather an exercise in hope. Looking forward energized me to press forward. Anticipating a lovely time strengthened me to face a more trying time.
I’m sure Anguilla will be lovely. But if nothing else, God allowed this trip to be the ray of hope ahead that allowed me to ease my disquieted soul. I encourage you, dear readers, when life is tough, to find some glimmer of hope and to hold onto it for dear life.