I read the title of the message, Let Hope Arise, on the large screen in the front of the church. “Hope, I got this,” I thought.
After the speaker began, I realized I didn’t have hope, at least not in every area.
I regretfully admit that I felt odd as we repeated the speaker who led the chant, “Something good is going to happen to me.” I don’t think I have spoken those words in years.
Even though I don't commonly profess that good things will happen to me, I don’t consider myself as a pessimist. At one time a few years ago, I was definitely one. After some health scares with my daughter and reaching unprecedented stress levels, life seemed hard as it revolved around my child's daily medical interventions. At that time, I commonly thought:
“I’m never going to live without stress.”
“My child’s never going to be healthy.”
“I can’t imagine my life ever feeling easy while managing my child's care.”
I was a real joy to be around in those days, just ask my husband. I never intended to have a pessimistic attitude, but it came from unexpected health issues with my child that wore me out in every way. Even though I was a person of faith, challenging events with my daughter’s health created a way for negative thoughts to creep in and eventually stay.
After some time, I got out of that funk and became more positive. I started to tackle medical challenges with more grace. The daily medicines and interventions with equipment just became part of our routine, and I accepted them for what they were. At times, I didn’t feel stressed at all. I even experienced real joy again.
Was I optimistic in every area? Well, that answer is no.
Even though, I had a major overhaul in my thinking, experiences tried to dictate my expectations for the future. They weren’t always based in God’s truth. Certain times of the year proved to be challenging for my daughter's breathing because of allergens or viruses spreading in our community. After a few years of frequent hospital admissions in certain months, those experience taught me that they would be commonplace in our lives.
Sitting in church that day listening to a message on hope brought me to a realization. What am I hoping for with my daughter? I certainly don’t hope that she’s in the hospital, but I have come to expect it. Maybe that’s the problem. My expectations are rooted in experiences but not God's Word. Each time my child leaves the hospital, I wonder how long it will be before she’s back. That doesn’t sound like hope in tune with God.
I have concluded that some areas of my thinking have become dead to hope. I wasn’t even aware of it. That’s the scary part. I accepted my line of thinking based upon our reality without considering God’s truth.
I want to have hope again for good things. Can something good happen to my daughter, especially during the months when she's struggled in the past? Can I have hope for what seems impossible for my child?
I HOPE I can have real hope again. What about you?
Evana is a wife and mother of two children. Since becoming a parent, Evana has spent many hours driving to specialty appointments, praying beside a hospital bed, and learning about her children’s diagnoses. Evana is also a pediatric speech-language pathologist and serves children with autism, feeding disorders, and other developmental delays. You can connect with Evana on Twitter, Facebook, and her blog, A Special Purposed Life.