recently, my husband Thomas asked me where in my cycle i was, and if i dread it when the expected day of beginning my period gets closer. i thought about it and was bemusedly glad to honestly say no -- i don't dread it, i still take the chance of feeling hopeful every month, right up until the moment of red truth.
dreaming about things doesn't come easily to me. i have a hard time visualizing a future that i would like. i even have difficulty daydreaming about concrete things that i know will happen; for example, fantasizing about an upcoming vacation. so this persistence of hope, month after month, isn't exactly in my personality.
sometimes in the early morning, when i'm in that liminal space between true wakefulness and deep sleep, i find myself asking God about things because i think i can hear Him better when my brain isn't being so noisy about mundane things, or so sure of itself. so i puzzled: why do i have this hopefulness? why am i not "shielding" myself from disappointment by being my usual pragmatic self?
and i heard: because this is the strength I give you, child. I am near you in the bleeding and in the not-bleeding, whichever may come. you have faith, and you have love, so I'm helping you out with the hope. don't question it. draw your strength from it.
so. it seems the more i hope for what i do not yet have, the more i find myself grateful for what i already possess. the "greatest of these" may be love, but for now, and for me, it's hope.