A book I'm reading, The Allure of Hope by Jan Meyers, is meaningful to me as I look back at 2008 and into 2009. Some favorite quotes from it are posted below, though don't do the book justice:
regarding the Biblical metaphor of labor/birth for hope:
As our desire grows, as the anticipation of the birth deepens, we have to surrender to something much bigger than ourselves....we have to show up, but it is going to happen whether we agree to it or not...we give birth by giving ourselves over to His intentions for us....we start by living our own story....It takes courage to live the story we are given.
and about what we do with other stories when they crash or collide into ours:
Our stories are given to us by God; they are never meant to impact only us. Rodney Clapp says that the New Testament doesn't even imagine an autonomous person....Sue Monk Kidd says of this, 'As the True Self is born within us, the initial movement of soul is from the collective 'they' to the ground of an authentic I. That's holy ground, yet God calls us to a ground even holier; God calls us from the authentic I toward a compassionate 'we'. Relationship with God and people He brings into our lives becomes the door of hope.
Regarding the tension of living fully in the present and yearning for heaven, for what is out of reach, the far off country of CS Lewis and about the losses we experience as we want what is out of reach and surrender to the waiting:
Whether it's the loss of a child, parent, love, or friend, loss...can feel more like the loss of a vital organ: a heart, or a brain, or lungs. To live through such loss is to relearn to feel, to move, to think, and to breathe....Some wounds were not meant to be entirely healed here on earth. Sometimes the wounds are all we have to remind us of the one we love.
Like His story, ours when given over is one of betrayal, blood, asphyxiation, love, resurrection, forgiveness, and restoration.
...which gives me hope!