It’s there, it’s there, it’s there.

As I emerge out of the dark stairway, I close the door quietly behind me and attempt to walk lightly down the next flight of hopelessly creaky stairs. After making far too much noise for 6:15am, I arrive at entrance to the kitchen. Ah, the kitchen. This is where my day begins. I rinse, I dry. I fill, I wait, it boils. I press the button, I wait, and in a few moments, the French press is clean, the water is boiling, and the coffee is ground. I pour, I stir, I wait. And then I press.

I go through the motions and it’s almost like my brain doesn’t even need to tell my hands what to do. My hands know what I need. My hands know how to help the rest of my body spring to life on these cold, dark mornings. It’s somewhat mindless, I suppose – but then again, my brain is too busy thinking to tell my hands what to do, anyway.

Thinking about today. What do I want to accomplish? Thinking about tonight. What will I actually succeed in accomplishing? Thinking about tomorrow. Come tomorrow, will I be the person I want to be? Thinking about next month. Next year. And years after that. Will I accomplish things? Will I be wise? Will my children love me? Will my husband adore me?

It’s not hope. I wish I could say it was, but it’s not.

It’s fear.

I stand in the dark kitchen. I hold my mug of steaming hot coffee and I may just stand in the same spot for minutes or hours or maybe just a few seconds. I’m paralyzed by fear. Not exhaustion. Just the fear of the unknown, the unable, the incapable, the what-ifs, and the almosts.

Fear is the opposite of hope. And yet, it structures my life and gives me clear guidelines: don’t go there, don’t invest in that relationship, don’t sacrifice, don’t dream, don’t assume. Live in fear. Live in predictability.

And just like that, I move forward. Unresolved, but still moving forward. I’m full of fear, I’m desperately seeking hope, and there’s some kind of invisible something that has clamped shut on me, like a trap, or a cage. I know what it’s made of and through the bars I can see where I’d rather be. But how do I get there? How do I get hope?

Who am I? Who will I be? Will I be lovable? Will I be loving? Are my dreams worth anything?

I know what hope is. I believe it exists and I long for its peace. I look for it the way an injured child seeks the comfort of her father’s embrace. I’m a bit frantic, and it seems that all is lost on me, but in the back of my mind, I know it’s there. I’m searching my surroundings and I’m seeking that place of comfort. It’s there, it’s there, it’s there.

And maybe it’s just a question of am I willing to try? Do I want it so badly that I’m willing to break out of this structured, predictable cage of fear? Will I open my heart? Will I choose vulnerability? Can I allow myself to be affected?

And it all becomes clear: I have no choice but to love. I have no choice but to pursue relationship, accept change, embrace unpredictability and relinquish control. I must act with power and courage.

I will hang onto hope because there is no other choice.

For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7



Filed under tea-timing

4 responses to “It’s there, it’s there, it’s there.

  1. zann

    Wow Ris! I love it. Thanks for this. Its encouraging.

  2. crnnoel

    I really really needed to read this tonight. Thank you… It’s so easy to feed into fear. Love and hope is where it’s at, but it’s so hard to get there.

  3. Lindsey

    This verse has become my “mantra” lately. Love you.

  4. This is amazing. Thank you. So helpful.

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