Mourning and Hope? I must be crazy. Those two things could not possible exist at the same time, so why have I paired them in a sentence?
Friends, I’m in mourning. More on that in this post. But I’m not without hope even if my post “The Death of a Dream” sounded like it to some of you.
Before I get started on this post, I want to thank everyone who commented on the dark post detailing the death of my dream. You can read it here. Make sure you scroll through the comments.
Some of them made me cry. A few made me smile. All of them bolstered the hope I hold in my heart.
One dream has died. One dream never came to pass as I envisioned. The passion for dreaming is dormant, but I trust that spring is coming.
Mourning is Essential to Grief
My dream of being a published author was born when I was in third grade. I wrote my first lengthy story in a green spiral notebook and then I lay on my bed and imagined it in book form, on library shelves, in the hands of all my friends.
For years, I dreamed of being an author. And then I was. But it’s interesting how dreams rarely match reality.
My reality was nothing like the dream. For one thing, I was published in genres I didn’t really even LOVE reading. For another, most people hadn’t ever heard of me or my books.
And that dream is dead. My biggest fan sent me an email (and commented on my initial post.) She thought death was too strong of a term.
But it’s not.
Because I needed to surrender the dream of being a published author to the Creator of all dreams. And the only way I could do that was to lay it to rest. Finally. Fully.
And then mourn it.
When my grandmother and mother passed to their heavenly rewards, I learned the truth about grief. You won’t make it through it if you don’t allow yourself to mourn.
I’m using that principle for my writing dream. And I encourage others to use it whenever they have to “release” their expectations before they’re fulfilled.
In fact, I said as much in response to this meme on Facebook:
And I meant no disrespect to those young men and women who’ve been drafted out of their high school classrooms to fight in a real war. But, it hurts when people discount your dreams.
And I had plenty of them as a senior in high school. So do all the seniors who have had their year stunted and blunted by the COVID-19 virus and ensuing pandemic.
All I said was that we should respect their loss rather than minimizing by posting, “Yeah, but it could be worse.”
Believe me, that doesn’t help anyone. Even if it’s true (and it usually is no matter what the situation), it minimizes whatever a person is feeling. It tells them, “Your feelings don’t matter.” But, friends, they do.
Feel the pain. Mourn the loss. Move on.
That’s what I’m hoping to do with my writing.
Where Hope Dwells
Admittedly, I felt a bit hopeless when I wrote “The Death of a Dream.” A bit but not completely.
Because my writing is not the source of my hope. Hope is not in my bank account or retirement account or good health or even in my husband and family.
My hope springs from the Lord of All. I’ve been leaning into Him during these difficult days.
But He doesn’t give me the answers I’m seeking. Not at the speed I believe He should.
So I get impatient. And I write blog posts and journal entries and other things to let my thoughts and emotions out. Most of that, no one ever sees. I don’t write them to be seen but to help me process my emotions and formulate my prayers.
It’s true that my passion of creating stories is absent. But the pull of words remains strong. Most days, I type in a journal I have on my computer and some days I write in one of three different journals (for different things and in different formats) I use to jot down my thoughts and feelings using a pen.
I’ve lost my “why” in all the rush to carry out the plans I made for my writing career. And now, the “what” has disappeared, too. But that doesn’t mean I won’t rediscover them.
In fact, I know I will. Eventually. That’s the essence of hope.
I’m unsure how long winter will hold my creative soul hostage. Part of grief is working through the process. That’s what I’m allowing myself to do: embrace the grief by naming my losses and mourning them.
However long this winter lasts, I have hope that the spring of creative energy that has long been my gift will return. Whether it writes more books, I do not know. My hope is in the One who gifted me with passion. He will show me what to write when the time comes.
How do you connect mourning and hope? How do you mourn your losses? Or what words of hope can you share?