About Me

 

 The greatest thing we can do is to show up for our lives and not be ashamed.

 -Anne Lamott

 

I'm a creature of the word, learning to tell my honest story.

I offer it here because telling stories is the road back home.

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Wednesday
Aug012012

Mad Hope

On one of my last nights in Northern Virginia, I left my messy house full of half-packed boxes, and went and got a brownie sundae at Chick-fil-A.

I knew I would hate myself for it later on. Because that's just where I was at (still am at): fighting with sheer will to put the clamp down on the mean words inside my head.  Self-hatred (for whatever reason) was riding my back like a mangy monkey with poky fingers. All I could feel was anger, or nothing-just numbness. Not believing in the blessing, choosing fear over confidence, afraid to dream about what we were heading towards.

I knew I needed to be super duper kind to myself; on that night, the best I could come up with was brownie sundae from the drive-thru.

While I drove the dark streets of the town I've known since I was eight years old, I put on a mixed CD given to me by a friend of mine as a gift for the coming road trip out to Colorado; I'd listened to it several times, but I hadn't really listened to it, and as I drove, the song "Bigger than Us" came on. And I just started bawling.  

"Shadows fall across the road that we're on. Like lightning flashing, get a glimpse and it's gone. Some mad hope got a hold of my heart. And it will not let me go."

Suddenly, I've got words for the song my heart's been singing my whole life, only it took losing most everything to help me hear them.

All I've got to cling to on this journey is a memory glimpse of the path ahead, burned on my retinas in the middle of the storm. 

And then this mad hope that what I saw in a fleeting flash of light should not be doubted when the sky gets dark.

 

I'm bawling in my van, driving to Chick-fil-A, pumping my fist in the air in triumph and defiance.

We made it through, dammit. The hubbins and I, we've got a love that's bigger than us.

"Like walking wounded, through the battles we've come. The healing's started, but it's not done. Must have been grace that brought us here. The strong hand of love's gonna carry us home."

I could feel the open palms of God cupped around me, guiding me forward.

 

And everything swung into focus again. It's not about boxes of half-packed stuff, or leaving everyone I love behind, or about house fires or affairs or feeling like I can't get my head above water for half a second before some new and scary wave washes over me.

It's about a mad hope in a love that's bigger than us.

This is why we're moving. Because we made it through. The hubbins and I, we're still together. We've got four kids. We want to suck the marrow out of life. We want to live a good story. 

Hope is a little like insanity.  
Who believes in what they can't see? Who goes after what they might not get?

 

I played the song over and over, getting more and more proud of my madness.

I kept up the fist pumping. I sang my guts out like a survivor at a stoplight.

Until a big ol' GMC pickup packed with four dudes pulled up next to me and honked.

And I started laughing hysterically cause all I could think was, "you don't want a piece of this pie buster. This here van is full of a whole heap of crazy. You are staring at a broken woman."

I imagined the guys being like, "Hey babe." And then I slowly turn my head, ice cream and tears smeared on my face, a maniacal glint in my eye, and coo back, "Heyyyyy. Whatcha doin?"

And they'd be like, "Whoa, lady. Sorry. From the side view, you looked sane."

And I'd be like, "Sanity's overrated, boys.  What I've got is mad hope. And I ain't ashamed of it."

And then I'd rev my engine, and speed off in my minivan, still pumping my fist out the window.

 

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  • Response
    Mad Hope - Home - Trinity Wilbourn

Reader Comments (3)

I love it! This is so beautiful! This broken, tear-stained woman is pumping her fist for you and your mad hope and the story God is weaving in your life. Love you.

August 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBriana

Ohhh. Love this. Love it when you combine the mess and the beauty and the laughter in a single post. I add my fist pump here for you!

August 2, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercara

I can't stop singing this song. Thanks for reminding me of it! I thought it was good when you played it for me in the car, but now it's got a whole new meaning for me. I love when that happens.

August 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBriana

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