If there is one thing I have learned over the past year it’s that hope never leaves. It is always present, always ready, and always available. Just like grace is free, so is hope. However, we must sometimes reach out and ask for it, and accept it within ourselves.
I have been on a nearly year-long journey with a serious health issue. At first, I was in a denial state. I pretended that it was not as bad as it might have been. It was something that could be resolved easily. I just had to keep a really positive attitude. After the biopsy, the doctor sat down with me and explained what I had, and what needed to be done about it. Appointments had been made, tests were ordered, and I was suddenly in a whole different world. I must have looked like a dummy, because she kept looking at me while she was talking, and I had not really moved. She finally asked me if I was okay, did she need to call someone for me? I smiled and shook my head, and was the epitome of calmness. I could have won an Academy Award that day. But I was fooling her, and myself.
I continued like that for a long time, well after my surgery and subsequent treatment. I prayed every day, I wrote in a journal daily, I read my Bible. I didn’t talk about it a lot, but of course people knew. And I walked through it every day with that smile on my face. But I was not smiling on the inside.
I was terrified, but denied it. I was confused, and I felt like I was in a bubble, totally separated from everything I had ever known. I was no longer healthy, no longer in control, and no longer sure of anything. Sometimes I did find myself asking God why.
But during this journey, I found my hope. I found my strength. I found new life. I also found how going through this trial made me stronger and gave me a new capacity for compassion for others. It has taken me a long time to arrive where I am now. I went through a time of not being able to talk with some people. I all of a sudden could not bring myself to write. I avoided places and people, and did not reach out to others I cared about because I was insulating myself. But one day something became clear to me, and I began to walk out of the world I had been hiding in. And what I found was something so very much more inviting than being all alone.
You see, Jesus was there. He was always there, even when I didn’t want Him to be. That is hard for me to admit. I love Him. I have always loved Him, and depended on Him. But I had to go through this time of loss and fear, and then see Him for who He is … My Hope. He is also Your Hope. He is the friend who is closer than a brother, the One who listens when no one else will, the only person who wraps His arms tight and strong around a fearful heart.
He is Our Hope! And He has never left, and He never will! He is still here! Reach out to Him; He will be there, no matter what your trial may be.
“We who had fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” Hebrews 6:18-19
What similar trial have you faced that left you shaken, and feeling alone and hopeless? Please share your comments with us, and allow us to pray for and with you!