Hope Deferred Makes The Heart Sick

By Kathi Pelton

If you’ve ever dealt with “hope deferred” you know that deep heartsick feeling. When my husband and I began trying to start a family we experienced years of hope deferred. Throughout those years we watched most of our friends make announcements of “We are having a baby” or “It’s a boy” or “It’s a girl.”

Our only announcement each month was from our fertility doctor saying, “No change—no progress— no baby.” And every month without fail—I’d hope again (wishing that I wouldn’t!). Each month I’d dream again, I’d pray again…and I’d be devastated again. I began to hate that I would cycle from hope to despair every thirty days when there was so much to be grateful for in my life. I didn’t want to be heartsick but I couldn’t shake “hope” that would lead me there.

My husband and I had been given prophetic words by those that had no idea what we were facing; which just raised our hopes even more— only to face the month after month— year after year disappointment which made me all the more heartsick!

For the past eight years I’ve been walking with one of my children through this same journey of hope deferred. Having gone through it myself does not make me an expert at navigating the sea of emotions that have waves of hope build and then crash on the shores of her and her husband’s life like getting punched in the stomach each month. But because of Jesus— hope relentlessly returns.

For me— I have a beautiful and happy ending to my story of hope deferred! We not only adopted a beautiful baby girl but I also gave birth to two boys and a another girl! Double-double for all the heart ache and hope deferred! I am praying and believing for my daughter and her husband to have their arms filled with “desire fulfilled” very soon! I am praying for you to have your desire fulfilled as well.

“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire (longing) fulfilled is a tree of life.” Proverbs 13:12

That was one of the verses that I clung to during my years of hope deferred. The amazing thing is that the 11 month old baby girl that we adopted had been named by her 15 year old birth mother. The name she chose was Desiree’— which means “longed for!” Only God…she was our longing fulfilled!

Why am I sharing these two stories; one still in the grip of hope deferred and one in the reality of desire fulfilled? Because there are many of you who will read this that are in the pain of hope deferred or you know someone who is.

Did you know that there is an aspect of hope deferred that is beautiful? It is the word “hope!” The very thing that was deferred was also what was my assurance. Quite honestly in the midst of going through those years “hope” didn’t feel beautiful because it felt like a set up for disappointment and pain. But looking back I now know that hope is what moved me forward, it kept our dreams alive and our faith secure.

“Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” Romans 5:5

We hope because the love of God has been poured into us! We cannot escape it and if we were able to— we would have to abandoned the love of God. We’d have to lose our confident expectation that is rooted in our faith. The hope of being loved by God will never disappoint— this is the hope that comforts every other hope; it is the hope that will never be deferred, never be withheld, never be delayed and will always be the foundation of every other desire and dream.

If you are experiencing the pain of hope deferred then run fully into the arms of His love! In His arms there is not only every desire fulfilled but a comfort that only His love can provide. In the grip of His love we have hope renewed, trust refreshed, joy in the midst of pain and beauty in the midst of barrenness.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6

As I have gone through seasons of pain and hope deferred I have learned to not lean on my own understanding but to lean into His everlasting arms of love. It is there that I don’t need answers to the “whys” or feel like I must harden my heart to protect myself from the pain. In His arms the hope of His love is poured into me without measure— washing away heart sickness. His love is always gives me more than I can ask or imagine! I may weep there but I’m also comforted in the grip of my true Hope! Jesus is the hope and desire of every heart…even if they don’t know it.

“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.” Hebrews 10:23

In Hebrews 11:11 we read of the fulfilled promise of a son for Abraham and Sarah— but though the promise took many years to be fulfilled it says this,

“By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past the age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised.”
‭‭
SHE JUDGED (considered) HIM FAITHFUL WHO HAD PROMISED!

That is true hope! We must know and believe that He who promised is faithful! There is no separation between His promise, our hope and His faithfulness. They are braided together and to separate hope would be to judge Him as unfaithful.

“…but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31

“Hope in the Lord” will renew you and strengthen you to continue to run. Some days the only place you can run to is His arms but in that place love will be poured into your heart without measure.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

No matter what you are facing— you can put your hope in the fact that God desires to prosper you and not harm you. He has beautiful plans for you…to give you HOPE and a future of hopes fulfilled as the love of God poured out upon you.

I will leave you with these words from Psalm 33:18,

“But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love…”

His unfailing love is your desire fulfilled. Keep hope alive.

———————————

Thank you to all of my readers who have stood with me in prayer and financial support during this time. Your kindness has been like breath in my lungs and honey to my lips! My husband and I pray for you all continually.

If you would like to give a gift of financial support go to: https://www.inscribeministries.com

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