I have a friend who lives on the street, drinks a lot of cheap alcohol and is estranged from the life he grew up in. When I talk about hope he counters with, “I don’t know what you’re talking about. I don’t know what hope even means”.

Fair enough.

I do believe that when I am talking to my friend who self-describes himself as hopeless, I have to be willing to share the reality of my own life when explaining the hope I know.

I don’t think that I have made it a secret on these pages that I have my own share of difficulties. My parents divorced when I was seven and my brother three. I have spent much of my life battling the desire to be a people pleaser and so-called perfectionist. I’ve had my heart broken. My husband has Multiple Sclerosis, which he was diagnosed with while we were first engaged, nearly 17 years ago. My Dad died suddenly and too soon in 2008. My Mom has lived in hospital for 10 years as of 2014- this the result of removing a brain tumour which would have caused the same damage had it been left alone.

These are some of the bigger ticket items in my life and of course don’t tell the whole story. The trouble with a list like the one above is that it fails to communicate the complications that arose out of each item. True too is that these are not strictly my OWN things, they involve many others. I am not an island.

The truth is, I don’t get why the storms around me have very rarely been calmed. I have shed buckets of tears, both in front of people and hidden away behind closed doors. I have screamed at and wrestled with God until completely exhausted. I have argued that it is entirely false that “God won’t give you more than you can handle”. I have thought that hope was in fact, all lost.

Somewhere in the midst of each struggle I have been given strength. I am this weak girl who has strength not my own. I am ever so slowly watching my heart being healed. I am learning to be present to the moment, where I catch glimpses of light and hope as simple as being handed a cup of cold water by my friend- the friend who until that moment thought he had nothing left to give.

“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed”. 2 Corinthians 4:7-9

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