Saturday we had an hour of strong, productive, “real” contractions. Not those pesky Braxton-Hicks that ache when you move, but the kind that radiate throughout your entire nether-region. After 3 babies, I know the difference. This is it. Close together, breathe-through-them strong. Bumpo Chad and Aunt Gigi were nearly giddy that they’d timed their trip perfectly. JJ headed to bed early in anticipation it would be a long night and a longer day. 

And then it stopped. 
I went to bed utterly defeated. Add to my list of failures “go into labor.” Surely that was just prep work for the real thing the next day, right? Practice. “Early” labor. 
I’m still several days from the “due date” yet here I sit captive to anticipation. This sliver of hope that it’s here perches on my shoulder and chirps in my ear. So why is it that a coming joy looms like a dreary cloud? How can future happiness put me into such a funk of current momentary sadness?
I think this is the underbelly of hope. 
My Hebrew teacher indicated that the word for “hope” in the oldest of scriptures carries a meaning of waiting and anticipation. When we say “I hope I have a baby today” we generally mean “boy it sure would be nice and this is what I want.” But the ancient roots lead us closer to the idea that we know it will happen, we’re waiting in its anticipation.
The challenge with true hope isn’t the wondering if it will happen. It’s the patience to endure the time until we see it. 
We toss out the word hope on our garden decorations as if we’re choosing to believe that things can be. But true hope means living in the unknown of how or why or when and trusting that those questions will be as they should. Hope is less about what we want and more about trust in a way better than our own. 
But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord.
I wait for God, my Savior;
My God will hear me.
Micah 7:7
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