How to Rekindle Hope

It’s not that boxed books rekindled hope, but rather the working together of order, purpose, and vision.

Two weeks into the Great Pandemic, I was panicky. Lazy. Sliding into the depths of despair and without resistance. Never mind that I’m a natural homebody and filled with faith that God will carry us through. Having my territory reduced to my own four walls had me feeling a bit like The Pit and Pendulum prisoner, the perimeter of my cell ever decreasing – the pendulum ever swinging to saw me in half. Thanks, Poe.

If you haven’t read that one, maybe read it next summer when you’re up for some fear-inducing horror.

Though sheltering-in-place is not quite a shrinking pit, and though the ever-elusive “end date” is not quite a maddening pendulum out for blood, a few weeks indoors with constant dire news frays the spirit.

It took one small step to get me up off the floor and headed for hope.

Lord willing, we will move from Alabama to Alaska in fifty-seven days. Yes, I am counting, and yes, it could all change. But, it hasn’t changed yet. If it’s not the pandemic freaking me out, it’s moving. And if it’s not either of those life-events, it’s day-to-day motherhood.

Yes, I am one of those kinds. I let my worries pile up like mounds of unfinished projects; I let them haunt me like boxes haphazardly tossed into master bedroom corners.

When my life gets like this, making progress can feel like pushing a snowball uphill. (Just stop and picture that.) Still, I had to do something. Anything. I had slid far enough into the pit of despair.

First, I brought order to one little corner. The sight of organized U-Haul boxes lightened my worry-load just enough. I decided to box every book we own, and because you can’t de-book a hutch and leave behind odds and ends, I started boxing a few decorations. Because I still have fifty-seven days, I organized my decorations by type. You see, a sense of order gave way to purpose, which gave way to vision. I’m once again envisioning our move and future life in Alaska, and it’s got me feeling something I’ve not felt in a month or two.

Today, I realized that order in a time of chaos produces a sense of purpose, which clears the mind for vision. For hope! It’s an active way to show God I really believe him when he says, “this too shall pass.”

So, I proceed – according to the CDC guidelines – with life. Doing what I can do – what I am called to do – when so much feels chaotic and downright scary, revives my hope. And as surely as we are hard-wired for rebellion we are hard-wired for hope.

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