I have said these words throughout my life, often followed by such statements as “…you feel better,” or, “…things get better for you.” But what is the source of my hope?
In childhood, my hope was rooted in my family. In early adulthood, my hope was rooted in myself. In the early years of marriage and parenthood, my hope was in my husband and children. Hope is a great thing to have, but when obtained from the wrong source, it will ultimately fail time and time again.
Eventually every child sees their parent for the person they are, mistakes and all. I am not, cannot be, and will never be, perfect. I have, and do, and will fail. To place my hope in myself or another will always lead to disappointment.
This is great philosophical discussion when times are good and there is hope to be had, but as the old adage goes, “When the times get tough, the tough get going!” Except the question is, “Where do you go? Who do you turn to when life feels hopeless and tough?”
In summer of 2013 my happy, seemingly perfect, hope-filled life crumbled. If I’m being really honest, it was falling apart long before then, we were just hiding it better. External and internal factors had put my marriage in a vice. My husband was unemployed. We had two little kids and no health insurance. The love and life we shared was now under intense scrutiny. Every move was assessed and evaluated. Suddenly the hope I had in my husband, my children, my family was gone. It felt like a weight crushing me, a life void of hope – my marriage was ending, my children suffering, I felt completely alone and overwhelmed. For a while I poured my energy and focus into local resources for foreclosure, uninsured medical care, and government subsidies. Maybe my hope could be found there! But eventually I grew weary from months and months of phone calls and paperwork. Even when we were approved for assistance programs, nothing got better. Giving up seemed the safest option, not in a fatal way, but in a way that looked like living life on autopilot – giving as little of myself to those around me in an effort to protect my heart from further damage. After all, I didn’t ask for any of this, I had been so hopeful!
We were invited to LifeSpring during the darkest point of my life. Through this community, I have witnessed and experienced for myself true hope. I found a people GATHERED HOPEFULLY in the presence of the Lord. I fixed my eyes on God, the author and perfecter of hope through Jesus, and was saved. Yes bad situations have been bettered, but more than that, hope in Christ made room for forgiveness. And that has been life changing.