Sometimes, it’s just not OK. You’re not OK. Life isn’t OK. Things are not OK. There is pain, disappointment, anger, fear and it feels like more than you can bear. You can’t stand up as it crashes down on you. You have nothing left. You’re lost. You can’t escape. But oh no, you’ll just have to go through it (yep that’s a ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’ reference).
To be in a moment where it feels like you have nothing left, is the worst place to be on earth. And yet, I’m here to say, it is possible to walk on, to stand, to get through.
There is something that gives us what we need to conquer the giant in front of us. We see people do it all the time.
- A husband stands outside the room as a team of medical staff help his wife fight to deliver their first born through shoulder dystocia.
- A woman who has married three times before, in the face of her doubts and those around her, chooses to believe this one, in her present, is her forever love.
- After the despair of a miscarriage, in the unrelenting grief for a child that was never held, a couple get pregnant again.
- A first time entrepreneur gives up her steady job and spends all her savings on stock for her dream business.
- A husband gets up, catches a train, walks into the office and puts his all into a job he knows is not for him.
These are all real-life examples. These are people I know. I have watched friends and family go through these things and I am amazed that they could do it. What got them through?
Hope that the doctors know what they’re doing, hope that they made the right decision, hope that something outside of themselves will bring change, hope that this time it will be different.
When we are in the depths of despair, like literally on the floor, can’t move: there is hope. Hope helps us to achieve the impossible. Because hope feeds the leap of faith. It fuels grit and determination. It pushes us forward to the light at the end of the tunnel. As the original Superman says, “Once you choose hope, anything is possible”, (so said Christopher Reeve).
I am so thankful for hope. It’s a gift that rises to the surface when there is suffering. Have you noticed that? We don’t talk about hope when all is well, when we’re strong and sure. Hope comes to play when we are unsure, when things are out of our control, when the outcome is out of our hands.
I don’t think that hope ever leaves us. I think it is sewn into our souls from the moment we are given life. The Bible refers to it as one of the three things we need when all else is stripped away, “and now these three remain; faith, hope and love…”
Without hope, life would be too hard. If life is hard for you right now. Let hope rise to the surface. You were born with faith, hope and love, and although they may be pushed down, bruised and battered, they never leave. No matter what happens, every human being has these three things inside of them. You have them and you have enough of them to live your life.
Music helps me find my hope. It connects with my soul so I can be vulnerable and connect with what’s going on inside. Through my life, there have been songs that I have literally drowned myself in, just to accompany me through the emotion I am feeling at that time.
After my daughter was born I was so broken. I had lost a lot of blood in the birth so I was anaemic and our little communicator would often just scream through the night. She had colic, which meant after her night feeds I would have to hold her upright in my arms for ages before I could put her down. I remember after a middle of the night feed, the normal half an hour had turned to two hours. I moved downstairs to the living room so Gareth wasn’t disturbed and I was circling our dark living room, feeling so alone, overwhelmed by disappointment and a voice in my head telling me I was failing, that I was getting it all wrong. First time mum anxiety was heavy upon me.
I had music on, and Ingrid Michaelson’s ‘Keep Breathing’ came on. For the next hour I put it on repeat and I walked round, sobbing. It let me connect to the hope I needed. It reminded me I just had to keep breathing, take every hour at a time, know that they would turn into days. Each day would bring change. My baby would grow, I would learn how to look after her, we would get through this. And we did. There was my hope. And what I hoped for (a whole night’s sleep), eventually came to pass.
The beginning of this week was Blue Monday, apparently the most depressing day of the year. I get it. It’s cold and dark (in the northern hemisphere), Christmas is over, we realise that just because it’s a new year, it doesn’t mean everything in our life becomes shiny and new. It’s all a bit grey.
Well we survived it and now it’s the weekend. And it’s less than six week’s until Spring. Take that Blue Monday!
You may have made a resolution or you may have a challenge coming up this year. Or you might be having a tough time right now. You might be in the middle of the storm and you feel overwhelmed by the waves crashing down on your head. Well there is hope. It’s inside you. It can’t be taken away. It’s yours for life. So allow it to do its work. Don’t push it down. Don’t ignore it. Put some music on (you can borrow my song if you like) and invite hope to rise to the surface.
Hope will move you forward.