Let me tell you why it is appropriate for me to write about Heather as this advent week of hope comes to a close: she is a woman of hope, truly.
For as long as I have known her, she has been a woman of strength and endurance. She endured the passing of her mother at a young age. She waited and hoped longer than most to bear children. She waited years to realize the dream of overseas mission work—which is something she felt called to for as long as she could remember. In the midst of that mission work, she endured patiently and with hope the ups and downs of frontline pioneering.
Since we’ve moved back from Spain, she has done still more waiting and hoping. She works at a job now not because she feels particularly fulfilled in it, but rather because she knows her family needs her to work at it. At times, her work environment is…shall we say…less than ideal. But, she presses on unselfishly thinking of others before herself.
So, it stands to reason, she’d be looking for a different job—one that’s more fulfilling and energizing. And that’s just what she’s been doing for more than a year and a half now.
In fact, before she found the job she’s working at now, she applied to a university that’s very close to our house. The proximity is just one small component of other factors that attract her to this place: it is the kind of university that aligns with our life’s values on many levels.
But in spite of her attempts to get hired at this place, she has not been able to snag a job there. She has applied two different times and been turned down both times.
Now, she has been granted two more interviews. One is tomorrow at an office which is in the same denomination as the university and the other interview will be at the university in question.
She came home today, understandably, stressed. None of us like to get our hopes up only to have them dashed to the rocks. Yet, if she is going to do well in the interviews, she knows that is precisely what she must do—show some enthusiasm and confidence which naturally leads to getting one’s hopes up.
So…what to do? Go into the interview with a fatalistic mindset and resolve oneself to rejection or…go into it with hope? What to do, indeed.
Tonight, she needed some emotional and physical rest. A hug and a small cry. A heartfelt prayer about light in the darkness uttered by her teenage daughter. Reclining by the Christmas tree shining gently in the evening. Some candles, a comfortable chair and a little soul-silence accompanied only by cello and piano. She has gone to bed now.
And the God of hope watches over her. He will neither slumber nor sleep. He knows her coming and her going. He has numbered her every breath and named each tear she has shed.
I do not know if she will get one of these jobs. I do know she is intelligent and qualified enough to do them.
But more than that, I know and she knows that she is God’s child and in Him she lives and moves. She is beloved more than any of us can ever know.
That’s hope. So sleep well, my love. The night will pass.