Have you ever stood on the beach and walked out thinking the sand was firm only to find it was butter soft, so your feet just melted into it? Shifty sand is a difficult place to stand, and it reminds me greatly of how life can be. One minute your world can seem sweetly secure, and the next moment something entirely unexpected can rip at the very fabric of your life. In those moments where things shatter and you find yourself suffocating in a cloud of rock-bottom dust, it can be lonely.
When my babies were born prematurely, I spent a long time holding gratitude in one hand and shattered dreams in the other. I was angry. I was grateful. I was depressed. I was fine. There were many days just spent waffling back and forth from one extreme feeling to another. My family prayed countless prayers, therapy helped me start facing the pain, and watching my children grow has planted more joy in my pieced-back-together-heart. So many things have helped pull me out of that deep trench of grief, but my rebellious hope in the Lord is the benchmark.
I’ve been turning around the idea of rebellion in my mind for a while. It’s a loaded word that often draws me back to some sweeping film or novel. Typically when I think of rebellion, I fixate on some rogue faction that does something utterly unacceptable by most of society. Yet, even with these headstrong characters either fictional or real, there is something inside me that is intrigued. They seem so brazen with this unflinching confidence, even in the midst of a battle not yet won.
I believe walking by faith takes a measure of rebellious hope. Sometimes the win doesn’t always look like victory to everyone else. Many times our stories just look broken to those around us, but we serve a God that enters into even the darkest places where we ache. He sits with us in our grief and, instead of trying to “fix us,” He reminds us that we are worth every effort to be rescued.
Ask someone who is battling an invisible illness or the unseen wounds that so many of us carry, and I am confident that they would tell you a story of ridiculous hope. Sometimes just getting up and out of bed in the morning is an act of resistance, when your pain or anxieties corner you into feeling small.
So what do we do with our wild and precious hope?
We pray. We pray like we know we will see the goodness of the Lord, in the land of the living. We enter into the hard conversations with people, and we refuse to let our hearts become numb to the pain of others.
We celebrate. We choose JOY! When one of us soars, we all soar because we knit our hearts together and the celebration stokes fiery coals that keep us all warm.
We reframe our negative thoughts. We take an emotional reboot, and fight for hope by speaking life to our own hearts and those around us.
We enter into community. We choose to be vulnerable and let others into our pain. We share our stories to remind each other that we are not alone.
So, when the sand starts shifting and everything you thought would be one way seemingly turns out another, grab your rebellious hope and plunge headfirst with all your pain into the sea of God’s love for you. He will steady you. When the dust finally settles and you’re standing on the other side of your long awaited promise, he will be right there still quieting you with his love.
The Lord your God is in your midst,
a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing.
– Zephaniah 3:17
Asha Grinnell is a lover of adventure, family dance parties and spending time by the sea. She is married to the man of her dreams and a mama to two little darlings who keep her on her knees and her toes.