Hope Deferred

The Bible said it.  “Hope deferred makes the heart sick.”

Explains a lot.

My heart is sick.  My hope has been deferred…with little chance of ever finding fulfillment. 

 In reality, at least in my experience, the rain falls on the just and unjust, but not always on the person who needs it the most, nor on the one who’s life would be saved by its life-giving droplets.  I have not found fulfillment.  Practically none. Almost all of my hopes have been unrealized.  This is not an exaggeration. Almost all of them have slipped through my fingers and fallen away.  Virtually every single one.  It’s painful.  Especially now, looking back over the accumulated losses.  It rips me apart.  Sucks the life out of me.  Like a toxin in my soul.  Eating away at what little is left of me.

My heart has become sick.

I had a lot of hope.  Back then.  Even 13 years ago, before my ex left me for another woman, I still had hope.  I was broken.  I was numb.  I was tired.  I was unfulfilled and depressed.  But I believed.  Believed.  Deep inside.  I believed God would somehow redeem my sad marriage.  A marriage that started with great optimism and incredible hope and joy.  A marriage that was essentially over within two weeks, even though I didn’t fully realize it or the ramifications at the time.  But I wouldn’t give up.  No, not me.  I believed in loyalty.  In faithfulness.  In redemption and healing.  For years, I believed.  For decades. I believed in God’s ability to work and ultimately perform miracles, even during the most bleak situations.  I believed He would, at some point,  give my (then) husband a love for me .  I believed He would reveal my worth, both to me and to my ex-husband, and that He would give him a glimpse of any good qualities I possessed.  Then he would not just view me through eyes that saw only my bad characteristics and all the imperfections or the things I lacked.  Not just the damaged and broken places.  I believed He would give my ex an appreciation and maybe even an adoration for me.  Compassion.  Desire.

Stupid.  Stupid.  Stupid.

After 22 years of hoping and believing, he left me.

He gave another woman the one and only thing I ever deeply desired.  He gave her the only thing that would restore me.

This is not the only hope that has been deferred in my life.  But it’s a really big one.  A huge one. Because all I’ve ever really wanted was to be loved.  Accepted.  Wanted.

 I was asking too much.  It seems I have always asked for too much.

I gave him my youth.  The best years of my life.  I handed him my heart and my love.  Yet he never loved me.  In fact, he rejected me and I felt his disdain and disappointment, doled out in daily doses that poisoned and killed what little was left of my heart.   And finally, he tossed me away completely, threw me aside and walked away into the arms of someone else, destroying our marriage and her marriage in the process.  Destroying me.

 That was the day my hope died.  Totally died.

That was the day my heart, my soul, was injected with poison.  That was when the disease within me became fatal.

Looking back, it wouldn’t have taken all that much to save me.  Love.  Just a little dollop of unrestricted, genuine love would have done the trick. 

But to be loved has never been in the cards for me.  My one desperate hope, unfilled.    My heart dying a thousand small deaths every day.

Hope deferred.  Makes the heart sick.

My heart is very, very sick.        

And now, it’s too late.  It’s been too long. The disease has taken too great a toll.  There is no cure for what ails me.

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