By Rebecca Holloway
It was almost a year ago that I wrote “Hope Deferred” about how Evan’s delays made my heart sick. I read that verse again this week in my Bible reading.
Again, I prayed and asked God to help my heart not to be sick and to finally “fulfill our dreams” and bring on the “tree of life.” (Proverbs 13:12, NLT)
I went about my day and didn’t really think about it again until later that afternoon.
Then a fresh, new wave of grief fell over me – a sadness that had never even occurred to me before.
As I have mentioned before, I was resistant to having a second child because Zach was such a handful when he was a toddler. I supposed all toddlers are. I was just not prepared for all the boyness that came with our boy.
Plus, right after Zach’s first birthday, I had lost my mother, so the whole time is clouded by that grief. One of the things that finally broke me down and made me realize we needed another child was that I was an only child.
I had wished for a brother or sister to play with, and when my mother died when I was 32 years old, I wished for a brother or sister to help carry the load of what I was facing. Stewart nor I wanted Zach to grow up alone.
Last week was Zach’s spring break, and I always struggle to find ways to occupy him when he is out of school. If it were up to him, he would spend the entire break on the couch or in front of the computer. But he had begged me to have a friend come over, so we did that.
As the two big boys were laying on our living room floor watching a movie, Evan crawled over and tried to climb up on the pillow with them. As he did that, I thought, “Zach wants his brother to be his playmate so badly. And even after almost four years, Evan is still not able to be that for him.”
Suddenly, I was so heartbroken for Zach.
Many of you have told me how you pray for Zach, especially when Evan is very sick and all of our attention is on him. Those are good prayers to pray.
Don’t get me wrong – Zach and Evan have a bond that cannot be matched. They love each other fiercely.
Zach is very protective of his brother and tries to take care of him all the time. They do laugh and they do play together some times.
But they can’t play together enough to keep Zach occupied when he’s out of school – not that any siblings would want to spend an entire school vacation playing all the same things at the same time. My boys just don’t have the opportunity to try.
But then the next morning, both boys ended up on my bed while I was reading my Bible. They were snuggled under the covers and giggled wildly about something. It did my heart good.
I snuggled down in the bed with them both, and we talked about what we were going to do today. Evan laughed and smiled his priceless smile. Zach was talking 100 miles an hour.
The day after that, they played together all during nap time. Neither of them napped.
They just played quietly – each doing their own thing.
But they were together.
The Lord showed me that those giggles and the love were the dream fulfilled.
The dream just doesn’t look like everyone else’s dream. It is ours alone.
Sometimes, I have to give up my deferred hopes for the hopes that God alone has for me. And that is a tree of life.
It is pure joy.
Life is full and sweet, abundant. Even though our hope still may be deferred, we can be assured God is working on the dream.
Rebecca Holloway is the wife of Pastor Stewart Holloway of the First Baptist Church in Pineville, La. Her article was posted originally as a One Minute Blog.