We’re all ready to put 2020 behind us. Stepping into a new year brings a sense of hope. It’s as if a magic wand will appear, the old will be gone, and the new will come. We make resolutions or set goals to maximize the year before us. However, we know it’s not that easy. The last year follows us into the new year, making it almost impossible to close the door behind us.
Our stories continue.
2020 has shown all of us that we may not realize our best-made plans. The unknowns of life might completely derail them. Too many things are simply beyond our control, and many times, it felt like we could not move forward. There were many days that all I could do was wait and hope.
Maybe you’re one of the many that experienced the death of a loved one because of COVID or other life-threatening conditions. Or perhaps you lost a job or business. Whatever your particular story is, we all experienced what it felt like to be isolated from those we love most. The isolation was real and seemed never-ending.
Emotionally, 2020 might have drained your spirits dry, giving your emotions free rein to take you to a hopeless reality.
The stories of hopelessness are endless, but hope is endless as well. We can keep hoping even when everything is falling apart.
There have been many times in my life when all seemed hopeless, but I continued to hope. When my baby girl died at only 19 months old, I carried so much grief but kept hoping for another baby. After 11 months of hope and grief intermingled, we were blessed with another baby girl.
Despite the joy, I continued to carry grief over the loss of our daughter. The abuse of my pastor immediately following her death kept me guilt-ridden, shame-filled, and hopeless. Yet, I kept hoping for healing, peace, and freedom from the losses I endured.
More than two decades later, I realized I had never fully processed the grief of losing our sweet Angie.
It was the beginning of a New Year, and I worked with a psychiatrist because I was losing hope. He encouraged me to write out my list of desires and goals – the things I hoped for.
So I sat down once again to reflect on the past. Another year had gone by, and I still had an ache in my soul. I wanted to be free from my past.
I began to list out what I hoped for, and last on the list was, “A baby from somewhere.” I felt like I needed a baby I could be close with and hold. Where would this baby come from?
It seemed like a strange desire for my New Years’ goals, and I knew it was almost impossible. During that time, Auntie Anne’s was exploding, and I was constantly traveling. How would I find time to connect with a “baby from somewhere?” I closed my journal and sighed.
I can look back now and see that hope has been a lifelong friend that has never left my side.
Within two weeks of making this list, hope came alive. Our youngest daughter told us she was pregnant. At first, I was shocked, and then I remembered what I had hoped for and wrote on my list. Within eight months, we had our first grandson, and he became the baby to hold, love, cuddle, and enjoy. My hope was realized, and my heart began to heal.
What is it you hope for? Can I offer you three steps to remember when all hope seems lost?
Step # 1: Write down what you hope for and be specific.
Step# 2: Wait and be patient.
Step# 3: When your hope is fulfilled, experience your longing being satisfied.