“In Him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of His glory. In Him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation and believed in Him were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of His glory.” Ephesians 1:11-14 (emphasis mine)
I’ve struggled with hope. Hoping that my circumstance would get better. And also feeling like they never would.
Tullie came home on oxygen when she was six weeks old. We were under the impression that she would be on oxygen for about a month and then she’d be done. A month went by, we went to the doctor and then we were referred to Children’s Hospital to their pulmonary clinic. We visited pulmonary clinic once a month for 10 months. During that time, her oxygen was turned up, her heart had been stressed out a couple of times (which it healed on its own), and she was on oxygen for 24/7 for 10 months.
Before going to each appointment, I would think, “This is it. This is the one. We’re going home with no oxygen.” Each time I left, I left in tears. My hope was becoming wrapped up in not having oxygen in the house anymore. Thinking that somehow if the oxygen was gone things would be more “normal”. I felt like Tullie is unique enough why add this oxygen to her face?
When I was on bedrest with Eli all we had was hope. With each day that he stayed in the womb there was hope. For three weeks we had hope. The day he passed away I knew that my hope was in Jesus, but that seemed too far away. I felt hopeless. Helpless. Sad. Empty.
Tullie had been off of her oxygen for a month or so and they wanted to do a sleep study to see if she would need her oxygen at night. I thought, “That’s not a big deal. She’ll be fine. She’s fine during the day.” They called a couple of days later, saying that they wanted to see us and that she had to be on her oxygen immediately. I was a wreck. I thought we were done with this. Come to find out she was on oxygen at night until she was 3 1/2.
There were a lot of times during those three years that I felt hopeless about something, but somehow I wrapped myself up in that oxygen. Putting in this place that once it’s gone there will be reason to hope. I know it sounds so silly, just as I write this. Ridiculous really. It felt like the only thing that would eventually end.
In November 2008, Tullie had a sleep study and I didn’t hear back from the doctors till December regarding the results. That’s a long time considering in July the study had gone horribly and I heard from them the next day. The day Lisa called, the nurse practitioner, she said, “Tullie doesn’t need oxygen anymore.” Me, “What? Really?” Lisa, “Yeah. Really. We’re all surprised.” I couldn’t believe it. It was a total no oxygen dance around here! We were thrilled! I called my parents to share the news and come to find out my dad was not well. We didn’t know what was wrong and my mom ended up calling an ambulance and Ellison and I were on a plane back East the next morning. My oxygen party was short lived.
As I looked back on it a couple of weeks later, I thought that it was so interesting how God would overshadow the day that Tullie didn’t need oxygen anymore with a family emergency. The oxygen wasn’t nearly as important as I made it out to be. It was consumed me and where I placed my hope.
The verse at the top of this post struck me “…so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory.” (vs. 12)
I was not hoping in Christ. During that time I felt like God was good to everyone else except us. I wasn’t remembering where my hope was suppose to lay. Because all of my hope was laying with physical things, like oxygen that were going to fail me. My only hope is in Jesus. What He has done for me and where my eternity lay. When my hope is in Christ it is for His glory. All of our earthly things are going to fail us. There is no security in them.
Our only hope is Jesus and certainly not oxygen or the lack of.