Prisoner of Hope

I sat on the deck tonight and blew bubbles.

A visualization exercise … imagine a future, the divine plan for my life, where all conditions are permanently perfect, then blow bubbles filled with that image and send them up to heaven, to God.

It may sound hokey, possibly pollyannaish … a “Glad Game” of the soul … but I am a prisoner of hope, returning again to the fortress, expecting and receiving double what was lost to be restored (Zechariah 9:12).  And I am shameless in my confidence that it will be so.

I can remember warm spring nights, much like this one, a few years ago.  I would get the sweet girl in bed and escape to the night on the deck.

I’d slip out without saying a word.  This wasn’t too hard since not a word had been said to me for months.  It was more than the silent treatment, it was as though I did not exist, dehumanizing disregard, comprehensive indifference.  Little did he know, this began to shift from being something that hurt me to something that blessed me (Genesis 50:20). I was becoming less concerned with making things work for us, and more aware of stockpiling my emotional resources for myself, my daughter, and the future battle for freedom.  He was so thoroughly disconnected from me that he didn’t hear the sliding door open as I slipped outside … such sweet relief.  I was only three steps from the house, but it felt like a different world … crickets chirping, a soft warm breeze blowing through the trees, geese flying overhead.  Had he known I was on the deck enjoying a peaceful moment, he would have put the kibosh on it, by proclaiming me crazy (nothing new) or trying to convince me it was weird for me to be on my own deck enjoying a nice evening. He never did because he never paid enough attention to me to know that I wasn’t in the room with him.

Anyway, back to the good stuff!  I’d go out there and dream of another life.  It was during one of those nights, laying on my back, staring up at the stars that I began to imagine and write to my future life, future love, Father Love – my FL. It was the antidote to the painful poison in my marriage.  I started believing that God did not intend for me to live that way forever and that not all men were like my husband.  I prayed about it and visualized a sacred future full of loving connection … God’s Divine Plan for my life.  I believed that life was out there somewhere. Maybe in the physical form of a person who was struggling, feeling unloved and unwanted like I was, also dreaming of and praying for me and the fulfillment of a hopeful future (Jeremiah 29:11). I imagined we were both looking to God who would eventually bring us together.  It was and is a beautiful hopeful vision and it brought me peace because I trusted and could rely on the One inspiring it. I might not be able to pick up the phone and talk to this FL, but I could pick up my journal and communicate.  One day, I might risk the vulnerability to share it and it would be received as a blessing … my own Glad Game. I was expectantly aware – I thought I might be sitting outside meditating or writing and someone would walk up and say, “There you are.  I’ve been looking for you everywhere.”  It was enough for me for a time.

Eventually, a real flesh and blood man did come along.  He was so kind to me, he embodied that tenderheartedness that I had been eagerly seeking, I wondered at times if he was the one to whom I had been writing,  To me, for a bit, it felt holy.  He reminded me of who I was, he empowered me to do things I did not think I could do.  He saw me at my worst and made me feel beautiful.  It was lovely and I was and continue to be grateful for his friendship during the most challenging and difficult time in my life.  All while he was enduring his own kind of hell.  But, he came and he went … it was a season.

So, tonight I sit outside again.  I open the door wide and leave it open.  I turn on a light, so I am not sitting in the dark … so bold am I in my freedom.  I am in control of my doors and my light and my whole beautiful life and I love it.  I sit on the steps with my dogs and blow my hopes and dreams into hundreds of bubbles and send them gently floating up to the God who works wonders (Psalm 77:14) and loves me wildly (Psalm 45:10-11).  Perhaps, my FL is not out there somewhere, perhaps that heaven is within me, calling to me through Psalm 45:10: Listen daughter … don’t miss a word … forget your country, put your [blue] home behind you. Be here – the King is wild for you.

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