Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Proverbs 13 - Heart Sick

"Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
 But when the desire comes, it is a tree of life."
 ~ Proverbs 13:12  

I sat across the desk from my pastor's wife, crying. My dreams fell apart around me. Life looked depressing to me. I'd lost hope in several areas of my life.

I had my health, but that was about it.

My marriage continued along its bumpy path. Being a stepparent wasn't easy. I struggled trying to figure out that gray line that continued to blur. How much authority did I have? Not enough, in my opinion. So I kept trying to make it work for everyone without stepping on toes. I consistently walked on broken glass, wondering when Vic might snap again. This wasn't what I'd dreamed of when I said, "I do." I determined not to let it tear my relationship with my husband apart.

We'd made the decision I would stay home with the children while Vic worked when I was pregnant with Ezra. Being home with the children had been fantastic. I loved having the ability to do so. But finances were always tight, because union carpenters get laid off when jobs are completed. We were always digging out of a hole from unemployment periods. I wanted to help with the finances without leaving home to work. Yet, whatever I put my hand to do, Vic didn't support it. He said I pursued my hobbies, not a career. It's too bad I couldn't make more money. I started wondering if he really meant it when he said I could stay home. 

I tired from the daily duties of raising four knee-cap kids and a stepson who'd become a teenager. I didn't have much help around the house. Vic pitched in every once in awhile, when I asked him to. He worked hard all day in the freezing cold of winter or the sizzling heat of summer, so I tried not to expect too much from him. But my love languages are acts of service and words of affirmation, so I found my "love tank" empty most days. Pouring out and pouring out with little put back in, I ran dry.

Nan looked across her desk at me and said, "Hope deferred makes the heart sick, But when the desire comes it is a tree of life. Your heart is sick. Your hope has been deferred." 

I'd never read that Proverb in that light before. I recognized the disease of hopelessness in my heart the moment she said the words. God spoke that day.

Do you feel depressed? Insecure? Lonely? Tired? Frustrated? Agitated? Like you want to give up, throw the towel in, or walk out? I've been there.

Today, my marriage is strong, like that tree of life. My kids are healthy and happy (as much as children can be) and full of life. My relationship with my stepson is sound and mature (he is going to be 21 next month, after all). 

What changed? How did I get through to see my heart's desires come to pass?

I took it to God. I prayed for forgiveness for my own selfishness. I prayed for peace of heart and mind. I asked him to make the changes in me that needed to be made. If I need to be stronger, give me strength, Lord. If I need to be compassionate, give me Your compassion. If I need to let go, give me the will to let go and give it to you, God. If I need to see things differently, give me Your eyes, Lord. I turned to Jesus.

I loosened the reigns I had on our step-family situation. I heeded more to my husband's desires for his son. I let him go to friends' houses more. I didn't sit on him while he did or didn't do his homework. I let him learn that his choices had consequences. He wasn't mine, after all. I didn't need to raise him as much as I felt I did. His parents could do that just fine. If neither of them were available to consult, as long as he was out of harm's way, I let him do what he pleased. As long as it didn't affect my children.

I put my husband first at the end of the day. Rather than running all over the house after the childrens' felt needs, I sat on the couch and scratched his head. Giving him the attention he needed helped. A lot.  

God moved us a few years ago. Took us out of our comfort zone and sent us on the road for Vic's work. Honestly, I think it's the best thing that's ever happened to us. Change, as dramatic as it was, has been good for us. It brought us closer together as a family. It gave Zach the freedom he needed at eighteen.

One morning, as I sat reading the Word of God, I had a light bulb moment. I realized we didn't argue as often, we communicated more, and our rough spots seemed a bit smoother. I realized Vic treated me differently. God had moved us out of our comfort zone into His more comfortable zone. Our marriage stood on solid ground. 

And life happened in abundance. My desires were coming to pass. I found myself asking God another morning, "Well, what do I ask for now? You've granted my heart's desires from last season. What new life do I want to see on my tree next year?" 

A little over a year ago, God introduced another of my desires back into my life. Writing. I've found a career that I can do from home, even though my children are all now school-aged and away during the day. When summer comes around, I'll still be able to be home with them. My husband now understands that my passions and my talents are creative, and not just a hobby, but a way to bring income into our household. I love what I do, and I thank God for making a way for me to succeed in it. It's all for His glory, anyway.

So if you find yourself desiring more in life, wondering what happened to your hopes and dreams, and felling a little less than what you know you're worth, take it to God and say goodbye to hopelessness. 

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." (Hebrews 11:1) Put your faith in God, the One who can bring those things you hope for to pass. Look for the evidence of your faith as He causes them to be...

Photo Copyright 2011 Alycia W. Morales


  1. I appreciate these writings from Proverbs. Thanks Alicia.

  2. Love it, Alycia! Perfect!


Thanks for sharing your thoughts here at My Thoughtful Spot! I love hearing them!