“You must give up the life you planned in order to have the life that is waiting for you.” Joseph Campbell
I doubt I’d remember my dog being hit by a car since I was only three except I heard the story dozens of times. I think Mom repeated it to prove her point about being cautious with hope. The afternoon my uncle brought the puppy home, I played with her on the front lawn until she darted into the road. I have no recollection of the scene, just that Mom said I cried for days and she told Uncle Jimmy, “I told you not to get her a dog.”
Mom didn’t mean to relay messages like, “You can’t have what you want.”
Dad didn’t either when he frequently said, “Don’t get your hopes up.”
They meant their warnings to shield me from disappointment, just like when I’ve said similar things to my children. Instead of feeling protected, I thought they were saying I shouldn’t hope for anything and, even worse, I wasn’t worthy of what I hoped for.
Mom told me about problems she had getting pregnant when I let her know John and I were trying for our first child. She was afraid I’d have trouble conceiving also.
Dad cried when I told him we were selling our home of 18 years to buy my dream house, a fixer upper on a corner lot with hanging live oaks and more work than he thought we could handle. He asked, “Why can’t you be satisfied with this house?”
They both expressed disappointment the day I quit my job to venture into business for myself. Mom said, “I don’t understand why you’d leave teaching. It’s a good profession.”
Thankfully, the life I somberly planned (in light of giving up hope) wasn’t the one waiting for me.
The life waiting for me included a son and a daughter who are starting their own families.
The life waiting for me included years of renovations on our nearly century-old fixer upper that led to opening a home improvement business and landing an article about the house in This Old House magazine.
The life waiting for me included a few false starts like owning a cleaning service and working as a professional organizer, but it also included my calling to write.
Oh my goodness, how difficult it’s been for someone like me (fearful, doubtful, and cautioned against hope) to accept God’s goodness, believe I’m worthy, and hope for more.
A couple of weeks ago, I set up an appointment with a real estate agent to look at a house. I let her know upfront we weren’t in the market for buying and even if we were, we’d have to sell our house first. We were looking “just for fun.” I didn’t want to get her hopes up. I wasn’t very convincing when I stepped into the living area and said, “I want this house.”
I’m (still) a little afraid I’m not supposed to get what I hope for, but we put a For Sale sign in front of our house anyway.
What are you afraid to hope for? Can you believe along with me that it’s okay to have the life that is waiting for you?
In This Together,
Thanks for the photos, Pixabay.com. What a beneficial service you’re offering to artists everywhere.