There is No Shame in Hope

It is relatively impossible for me to talk about hope without talking about spirituality. Because in my opinion, if there is no faith source, how can there be genuine hope? What is there to have hope in?

If everything that surrounds me that I can experience with my five senses has failed me, it is natural to lose hope. If a lover leaves, a friend betrays, my job bullies me, or my finances don’t show up, I may lose hope in those things. Those things are “of this world.” But if my hope is in something greater than myself, I can maintain that hope even when everything else has failed…even when maintaining hope doesn’t make any sense. As I am writing this, a Bible verse that I have often tried to understand comes to mind:

Romans 5:3-5

New International Version (NIV)

Not only so, but we[a] also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

I used to wonder how in the world could hope “put us to shame?” But now I understand. When we have been rejected or failed over and over again and still keep trying…when everyone is saying to face “reality” and we continue to believe in miracles…and when all the critics tell us to give up hope…but we don’t…

And we stand up for our hope and proclaim it loudly…

IT WILL HAPPEN FOR ME!

There could be shame in this because some people may think we’re crazy.

***

The night before my father passed away, a nice young doctor came in to his hospital room to check on his vitals, etc. My mom and I were visiting my dad, who had been in the hospital for about a week after having had heart failure. We really hadn’t understood what was going on with him, until this doctor, after examining my dad, turned to us and began to have an honest conversation with us about his condition.

As my mom touched my dad’s hand she said,

“He’s so cold. Why does he feel so cold?”

The doctor replied,

His body is shutting down. There is not much else we can do for him now.”

There was no hope for him to live. My dad died the next evening.

I think when we lose hope…when we get disappointment after disappointment, rejection after rejection, failure after failure…

We get cold…

And we shut down…

Our challenge is to stay warm and to stay open. As long as we’re alive, we not only have a second chance, but a nine hundred and thirty second chance and beyond. Because if we stop hoping, all that we hope for may soon pass away.

About Michele

Writer, musician, researcher, liberal, public servant, animal lover, Christian, 12 stepper, White Sox and GH fan.

Posted on May 10, 2012, in Thoughts & Reflections and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. If we become cold and shut down, that permeates to those around us. For the dying, in that moment, it is to be expected and we grieve appropriately. However, when the living become cold and shut down, that also permeates to those around us. I think if we were all aware of how much our thoughts, actions, and feelings affected others, we would be better off. But when people are deep down in the well of depression, it is difficult for them to see past the narrow brick walls surrounding them and the light at the top seems so small. I do get depressed and cold at times, but I always try to remember to keep it short and not waste my time living in that state. There is always hope for a better day tomorrow and it will come, but not if a person suppresses it. Then the cold and darkness become the norm. And that, is just tragic. I thank God for the hope He gives me!

    • You make an excellent point, and something I will address this month as well. I know when I was in my deepest depression, there was no hope for me in anything. That’s the tricky thing about depression, it makes you think that things will never get better, and nothing anyone can say or do can make you just “snap out of it” in that moment. Looking for purpose within the realms of depression is a good way to start. Thanks for visiting and for your insights!

  2. This article really opened my eyes Michele. Hope is the one thing I have been clinging to during my darkest time. I feel like I didn’t have it but then realized I did because of my spirituality. I really believe that what you said is the core of hope we all long for, “hope is in something greater than myself.” I also agree with hiyacynthia’s comments about becoming cold and shutting down permeates to those around us. This is a struggle for all of us and there is a great quote I just came across that really sorta summed it all up for me, “The more you dislike people, the more you come to mirror them, you lose your own image & you portray their deficits.” That really opened my eyes to being stuck in the “coldness” of others limited beliefs and not being who I really am which IS warm and full of hope and happiness.

  3. Beautifully expressed …

  4. Hmmmm….Hope is sometimes all we have, thank you for the reminder. I needed those words today.

  5. This is lovely, Michele, just lovely.

  1. Pingback: Confessions of a Major Depressive – Hope Through Depression Part 1 « Words of Compassion, Creativity, & Knowledge

  2. Pingback: Confessions of a Major Depressive – Hope Through Depression Part 3 « Words of Compassion, Creativity, & Knowledge

  3. Pingback: Hope for Tomorrow « Words of Compassion, Creativity, & Knowledge

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