I was excited for last week. I have been really struggling with HOPE, and when I started…I kept thinking. I’ve got this. I’m going to spend all week researching conference articles, TED Talks, and uplifting stories, and I will find Hope. Then I looked up today and recognized that last week passed me by. Last week I did not find one article on hope….I was feeling such despair and I have been in struggle.
I am going to give myself a little break and a bunch of self-compassion because last week was busy. My children got out of school early each day because of parent teacher conferences, I have a few part-time jobs that have been demanding of my time, and I’ve been working through some of my own trauma.
Sigh…..as I let out a deep breath.
Last week was a hard one for me. If you asked me if I have faith I would say “yes”. If you asked me if I believed that God can help people I would say “yes”. Do I have hope that he will take away your pain and suffering? The answer is still “yes.”
I’m going to keep giving myself compassion because although life has been busy, I have also kind of been dreading this assignment. In analyzing my thinking, and taking a step back to step 1 with Honesty…I think I have some fear. I am afraid that I might search and search for Hope and still not find it.
My shame kicks in and starts to tell me all kinds of negative things about me. Ugg! Talk about stuck.
Last week I had to really look at whether or not I exercise those things towards myself. It seems that I have faith and hope and believe that God will help you, but I doubt that he will help me. I feel all the hope in the world for you and feel little hope for myself.
SO what is hope anyways?
Hope: A deep desire or yearning for an expectation to be fulfilled, without any basis or proof that it will be.
I hope that I will be able to conquer trauma. I hope that I will be able to lose weight. I hope that my children will grow up to be good men. AND I SIT BACK AND WAIT!
I can attend EMDR for my trauma, I can exercise every day, and I can faithfully teach my boys what it means to be a good man, but even with all of my effort, I have no guarantees that what I hope to happen will happen.
So why do we hope? What do we get for all our effort?
Studies prove that when people have hope they actually have a better chance of healing. A change in mind set can alter neurochemistry. Hope can release endorphins and increase positive mood. There is proof that when individuals have HOPE they are more likely to heal from illness, lose weight, and reach their goals.
There are two parts of HOPE.
The first part of hope is belief. To beleive that something can happen. That the change we are seeking is actually within our grasp. The second part is expectation. We expect that God will help us.
All week as despair seemed to own me, it took until yesterday for me to see some light. There was a beautiful lesson in church that was specifically for ME. It was about prayer, but this time the teacher did not talk about all the beautiful times where prayers were answered. She focused on the sad times when they weren’t. I could relate. I have had many times when I felt like God abandoned me. When I prayed for miracles and I saw none. I knew he had the capacity to change my entire world, and instead, he let me visit darkness, and sadness, and loss of hope. When I was searching for the end of the tunnel I came around another corner to find more difficult things awaiting me. I wanted light….I was sure that I would see the end. He couldn’t possibly ask more of me, could he?
He couldn’t possibly ask more of me, could he?
Couldn’t God see that I was tired? I thought my divorce was the steep part of my journey, Now I see that I was mistaken. Trauma is the steep part of my journey and some days it feels like it is winning. The speaker referred to a talk by President Henry B. Eyring. It is called families and prayer. In the talk, he is writing about his father and how he was in excruciating pain when he was dying of cancer. At one point he fell out of his bed to pray. His father asked, “Why do I have to suffer so much when I have always tried to be good.” The answer came, “God needs brave sons.”
In that moment I sent up the same prayer. Why do I need to suffer when I have always tried to be so good. In that moment I knew that God needs brave daughters too.
I don’t know why I have been asked to face the battle of my trauma. I don’t know why God has asked me to write it here. What I do know…is that I do believe in him. I do believe that he can heal all of us. So on this day, I am being brave and trying my best to move forward and face my demons with faith and hope that he has a purpose for me.
Another inspirational message comes from Nick Vujicic, what an amazing example. I was watching his TED talk and he said that he prayed that he could have arms and legs. He said that to this day he keeps a pair of shoes in his closet, but he has seen and decided that if God won’t send him a miracle, he will be a miracle. I want to believe that to be true, so today I am going to believe that God has not sent me a miracle yet, and maybe it isn’t time for me to see that miracle, maybe he will use my pain to help one of you. And if he does….then all the pain is worth it. Maybe there is someone out there that needs to know they are not alone.