(This is dedicated to all my friends who, at this time, are struggling with the difficulties of life and finding hope again.)
Recently, I was discussing with a friend about all the negative experiences that we as people go through: abuse, betrayal, broken hearts, and so much more. As I spoke with her, I realized that almost everyone we know goes through deep pain…everyone. These experiences we have can leave us feeling worthless, rejected and hopeless. I would know as I have felt all of those feelings. Struggling through the darkness and depression can leave us feeling as if we don’t even wish to get out of bed in the morning.
A couple of weeks ago, I had just been rejected, again, by another man due to my religious standards of dating. I was feeling very down about relationships, my financial situation and much of my life. After work, I drove up into the mountains, found a quiet place and sat and meditated for a long time. I found myself having a long conversation with my Father in Heaven. I spoke of my fears, my worries, my feelings of rejection, of not being good enough and of hopelessness. For at that moment, I truly did feel hopeless. I looked at my past and saw that generally, things hadn’t changed much. I was still much in the same place, both financially and romantically, that I had been years and years before. I felt that the road stretched straight out in front of me and things would never change.
But as the tears ended and I grew quiet, I took a moment to look around me. Pine trees stood tall, old and full of wisdom. The stream bubbled encouragement and an eagle soared above my head inspiring me to look up with hope. I closed my eyes and as I did so, I felt peace flow down through me. I was reminded once again of who I am. I am important to my Father in Heaven, for I am his daughter. I am not forgotten.
I was reassured once more that my Father knew of my situation and that he did have a plan for me. I began to feel hope once more…a small flickering candle flame of hope, but it was still there. To remind myself not to give in to that feeling of hopelessness again, I reached down and took a small rock from the stream and named it my “hope rock.” Before I left my solitary, secret and peaceful place, I looked up at the sky and thanked Him for my blessings and said “I am content.” And I was. Though nothing had changed, my attitude had changed. I knew in my head that things could possibly change at some point…when God was ready. But in the meantime, I had loving friends and family, a job that paid my bills, and a life that really wasn’t all that bad.
On the way down the canyon, I received a phone call that was the beginning of a new adventure for me. A line I had written “What if life still held possibilities that I had not even dreamed of?” came back to me. Just moments before I had felt as if nothing would ever change and here was a call setting me on a new path of adventure!
My friends, hope is always there, it’s just that sometimes you have to dig a little deeper to find it. Your hope, at this moment, might be a flickering candle flame, but don’t let it burn out. Instead, let someone help you to shield it, protect it and help it to grow.
“Weeping endureth for the night, but joy cometh in the morning…”