Several years ago, I wrote a very committed rousing article on hope. At that time, I was fresh off a break from writing because I lost all hope (or so I thought).
Our family made a major move from one state to another and it was devastating, drowning, testing, breaking and highlighted horrendous hidden issues that I was not aware of. I CLAWED MYSELF OUT OF A DEEP DARK PIT AND HELD HOPE NOT JUST AS FAITH BUT AS FACT. As I wrote my experience and revelation down on paper, I felt sure that this would never happen again. Hopelessness. I was solid in that I understood how to maintain a steady supply of hope coursing through my veins. I learned a powerful lesson in how dangerous it is when we as human beings let go of all hope. And I was arrogantly, 100% sure that would never, ever happen again.
And then It did. I miscarried for the first time and then a month later I lost my father who I had just reconciled with.
AS I UNPACK THIS FOR YOU, FEEL AND HEAR WHAT HAPPENS TO A PERSON’S BRAIN WHEN PAIN IS NOT PROPERLY FILTERED OUT AND HOPE IS UTTERLY AND COMPLETELY GONE.
There is little recollection of the details of what went on from the day I lost our baby to the day and days after my father passed. They are smudges on the wall. Any time I try piecing them together the earth breaks from underneath me. And I can see straight down into hell. My brain literally jumps from one specific moment to the next. Nothing in between. Only the moments that impacted me the most.
I remember after my dad’s funeral I could not wait to get home. Sleep was like sleeping on needles. My skin crawled. Conversations and hugs where tormenting. At one point my daughter started to cry uncontrollably at losing her grandfather. No matter how we tried to console her she just needed to cry it out. THE SOUND OF HER SOBS FOR HIM MADE ME ANGRY. I WANTED HER TO STOP. AUTO PILOT WAS THE MODE OF CHOICE IN ORDER TO BE A HEALTHY MAMMA FOR THE SAKE OF MY KIDS. Every don’t cry, it’s okay, let it out, grandpa loves you, I could muster was faked. Once we finally got through the agonizing funeral I could not get home fast enough. I clung to the door as it opened. And that house swallowed me hole. It felt like it was built just for me to come and die. As if it had been waiting like a blanket of death desperate to wrap itself around me and choke out all the life.
I went from “I’m fine” to “don’t talk, touch or help me.” The only thing I could control was my weight. That was the focus. I was barely eating, and workouts consisted of every dreadful thing I had seen my husband do, to his poor college football players during summer training camps (where egos come to die) years ago. For some reason I felt like I should be punished. I was killing myself!
I HAD NO HOPE NOT EVEN THE SMALLEST BIT. The only reason I stayed alive is because I am married to probably the strongest man God ever made. One that can take a beating while giving a serious beating to anything he feels has threatened the lively hood of his family. IN THAT MOMENT I REGRETTED MARRYING AN ALPHA MALE. THEY WILL PUSH YOU WHEN YOU DON’T WANT TO BE PUSHED! And so that’s what he did until we could push me together. And eventually I stood back up again.
But after finding my way back to life. I was terrified that I had lost my hope. It was shocking to experience what happens to the soul when all your hope is stripped away from you. YOUR BODY TURNS ON ITSELF and prepares you for death. You get comfortable with the idea.
This brings me to the present as my hope is being challenged once again along with the hope of my children. We are trapped at home. My two kids with enhanced needs are having a little harder time coping with what is going on and my neurotypical kid has had enough of his brother and sister’s “loner” bull crap (they do not want to play with him). I have used ordering take-out of their choice to pacify them, but it has run Its course. No amount of structured days full of at home activities or “Friday fun day” that consist of their 200th trip to Walmart to buy toys can take the place of annual vacations, Chuck-E-Cheese melt downs and the pain of water in the brain from doing flips in the pool after I told them not too. THEY ARE PISSED AND I DO NOT BLAME THEM.
Racial tensions have boiled over. A monstrous fear and its best friend: MISPLACED ANGER are producing division and bloodshed. So of course, my hope is being challenged again. And I’m certainly not the only one. The question is how do I hold on to it this time? How do I stop it from slipping through my fingers again?
Hope is GOD given. It was meant to remind you that you will never be cut off. But that is what is happening isn’t it? People are afraid they are being cut off. Cut off from their heritage, cut off from their rights, cut off from bare necessities, from pay checks. Cut off from being able to care for their families. Cut off from their right to choose what they do or don’t have to wear (MASKS). Cut off from civilization. PEOPLE ARE SCARRED THEY ARE BEING CUT OFF FROM LIFE AND THEY ARE BOTH PARANOID AND TERRIFIED OF DYING. And as a result, chaos, an inability to communicate and lack are running ramped. Hopelessness has taken over our great nation. As free as we want to proclaim we are, we are not. We are shackled in chains. Prisoners of what we think is most important. Civil rights, heritage, health? But what if we lose all that? What happens if all you hold dear you lose? What if you don’t have a choice and its ripped from you? No amount of protesting, gun power, hatred or vaccines will save it. It’s gone. Only one thing was created to withstand a nuclear bomb. It is the light that lights the light. It is what keeps us forging ahead when you cannot see the ground beneath us. IT IS A GOD GIVEN GIFT. Hope. We are prisoners to everything else, yet the very thing tailored specifically for us and that is pertinent to our survival we will not except. Or it’s at the bottom of your list. You need it just like you need air. I don’t think I ever understood what hope really was until I completely lost it. When people feel hopeless, they become angry and bitter. This is what we are seeing all over the nation. Hope means protection, it is wisdom. Hope is a force greater than anything physical on this earth. And this is what I've shared with my kids. I know what it feels like to live with and without HOPE; With it is life. Without it is death.