My life has been filled with such events. I had lived through many crazy unpredictable storm changes in my life. As a child I dealt with type 1 diabetes. As a teenager I dealt with blood clots and into adulthood came a stroke, bells palsy and of course breast cancer and lymphedema. I have had times I just wanted to pull my hair out. I never fit the "norm". I didn't get out and do normal things like the other kids did. By the time I was 21 I finally began coming into a sense of who I was outside of my illnesses.
For one , I met Johnny. At first he seemed to many as my "rebellion stage". What a rebellion stage Johnny has been too! My whole life changed. Everything about me changed if we are going to be really honest here. God took the battered remains of who I thought I was and through Johnny brought me into my own. I began to see myself through his eyes, and you know what? I was beautiful and unscathed in all my silly ways when I was with him. He found me refreshing and different. In time I became his wife and the mother of our precious children.Did the storms stop? Defiantly not, but I was given a hand to hold and a willing partner to walk through the storms with. Together we are strong, and together we have held on to Hope.
I have learned life doesn't always turn out the way you thought it would. But I have also learned just because you think a turn is in the wrong direction doesn't mean God does. This is my point: we all struggle, we all fall and we all suffer. We grieve, we endure pain and we feel loss. Life is not easy. But, yes here is the but, if we focus on the good in our lives, and the beauty... we have hope. I know I talk about hope all the time, but it really is the glue holding our lives together.
Hope inspires us to move forward, to look at our lives with meaning. Carrying just a pocketful can brighten any day. When life is hard, but do we just give up, give in? No, we fight. If we continue to doubt hope, then we sink into the quick sand of defeat. Once we sink into the depths of fear and pity, it is so much harder to get out isn't it? Hope is life, the very breath we breathe. Hope lives inside us, in our children, and in their smiles. Hope carries us, but only if we allow her to do so.
There comes a time in each of our lives where we are forced to face pain and sorrow. The beast comes in many forms with many different faces and claws. We are all touched in some way by her menacing ways.Yes we all suffer through and deal with the devastation differently but the only way to free ourselves from her chains is to dig ourselves out of the sinking sand. We have to grab hold of hope and allow those scales to fall off of us.
We do not have to be overcome by the pain, the fear or the curse we feel we are under. All those things can be endured as long as we see the beauty surrounding our lives. You may ask where is all this beauty found? Well, it is in the life around us, in this very day we have right here, right now. But if we fall into the mind set of death, and fear and darkness we lose our hope. True all those things will come, eventually, but until the day comes we have today.
Having hope does not mean we will not fall, or even fail but what it does do is enable us to leave behind a legacy to our children. Our own battles today can ensure we leave strength, determination and hope to our children's children's future generations. Hope is powerful if we only embrace her open arms.
I am not saying life isn't hard. It is and it can be miserable at times, but hope can help us cope. Hope can and will allow us to shine and to walk with a new sense of purpose. We all need a little hope, don't we? Just reach up, grab it off the branches and allow hope's fruit to fill you with her endurance. Again, I ask each one of you to carry a pocketful with you everyday... you never know when it will come in handy.