Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Hope Deferred

There's a proverb that says, "Hope deferred makes a heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life." Boy, have I found that to be true.

I'm realizing that I'm in a season of waiting. Actually, it seems that I've been in this season for awhile now. It's not just about waiting for Alicia to come home. It's waiting for relationships to blossom. It's waiting for dreams to be fulfilled. It's waiting for finances to grow. It's waiting.

One major lesson I'm learning is the concept of "delayed gratification". Simple concept, yet so hard to swallow. I, like many in my generation, have been raised on bigger, better, faster, easier. I want things, and I want it now. Microwave, TV, internet, cars, High Speed Rail - everything is about how can I take care of my needs taken care of now? How can I satisfy my cravings now?

But I'm realizing, that at least in my life, that's not how God works. He's often about the process, and not about the results. Sometimes I get an instant answer to my requests. But most of the time, it's wait.

Question is, how good am I waiting and can I endure and press on even when the results seem non-existent or too far off to even seem real?

I am such a kid in someways. If I don't get my way, I get pouty and depressed and start whining. Then I go into my little shell of me, me, me and end up making the lives of those close to me miserable - namely, Linda.

But what's the solution? What do you do, when you've made a decision that you're pretty sure is one of God's will, yet . . . nothing. Or at least nothing that I can see. What do you do when you're working hard, pouring your heart into planting a metaphorical field, and you look around and see dirt. It's been months and months and just dirt with barely a few sprigs poking out. Where's the harvest? Will it come? What if it never comes? Do I keep going? What if I put all of my efforts into something and it doesn't work out? Will I have wasted my time? Should I just quit now?

As I stew on these questions, I am reminded of all the great heroes of faith in the Bible. Each one of them had their own waiting period. King David waited over 20 years after he was anointed king before he actually took the throne. Abraham was 100 years old when his promised son, Isaac, was born. Joseph waited almost two decades before his dreams came true. Moses led the Israelites for almost 40 years in the wilderness. And so on . . . I think sometimes reading these stories, it's easy to skip over the passage of time. Everything is quite condensed in the Bible. But the time is there, and all that waiting, it couldn't have been easy.

So I take heart. God has his time. And he knows us. He knows how much you and I can handle. And I believe, I believe, that as I obey him, as I work hard under his direction, that in time I will reap a harvest. For he has promised countless times in the Bible, that (in my words) if I stick with him, he'll take care of everything.

So I pluck up my courage, and forge ahead friends. Will you join me? What dreams do you have that have yet to come true? What do you hope for that has been deferred from you? What do you crave that hasn't been satisfied? What have you worked for that hasn't born much fruit? Press on. God never promised that the journey would be easy, but he did promise that it will be worth it.

Alicia continues to press on towards the goal of coming home. She gained 41 grams yesterday, and is now 1738 grams (3 lbs. 13 oz.) today. She is really quite adorable and has already won the hearts of many. She absolutely loves being held. When she's in someone's arms, she will sleep and barely stir for anything. When I hold her, I can't help but want to give her the world.

I do wonder, though, what is holding up our transfer to the upstairs step-down unit. I spoke with doctors at another hospital yesterday and they said that at their hospital by 1500 grams most kids can be transferred up. Usually, those that stay behind have problems. But it really seems like Alicia is doing well. She's on the thin cannula, but most of the time, it's not even plugged in to her nose. Why? Because she pulls it out. =) Her eyes, as of yesterday's eye appointment, have improved dramatically. She's eating for the most part on her own. I think it's time to chat to pick the doctors brains and see what they're thinking.

In the meantime, we're thankful that we've been able to build some great relationships with the nurses in our NICU. Thanks for your prayers. Because we're the second longest resident currently in our unit, the nurses are usually pretty lax with us in terms of visiting hours. We often stay beyond our time, and they never ask us to leave. Last week, Linda even got to spend five hours with them in the NICU. So that's a huge blessing.

This morning, when I called to get the daily stats, the nurse was sweet. She was practically giddy when she told me that they took her out in the middle of night and cuddled Alicia as they fed her. She gushed over how cute Alicia is and how they all enjoy holding and cradling her. I'm sure Alicia is eating it up. =)

Well, we keep pressing on. I'll keep you posted.


  1. I hope the drs have some good answers for you and that Alicia gets to move upstairs soon.
    I love that proverb about hope deferred. So true. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on that!

  2. Campbell,

    I just wanted to let you know that my family and I are praying for you and Linda and Alicia. God does have His own timing, something I am learning now as well. I've just read through a whole bunch of your posts, and I am so blessed by your and Linda's example of trust in our God. Thank you so much for that.

    Psalm 13:5-6

  3. The girls are still praying for Alicia every single night. We love you guys! Let us know when you're up for chatting.