I am afraid this will be sort of a bummer post... I hope not. I hope I can bring it around to what our hope is. I want to hear what YOUR hope is.
Depression and anxiety and substance abuse plague our family. Family members who seem like they shouldn't struggle, who have everything going for them, do. Including me. I battle depression. I battle feeling like its all just too much effort and work to go out into the world and present the picture that everything is great. I feel the need to put on a smile, because quite frankly who wants to be around Debbie Downer?! I battle carrying the burdens and concerns of the whole freaking world because I really do care. I catch a news headline, because God forbid I actually watch or read any news, and the awfulness going on in this world is unfathomable. Beheadings (political and otherwise,) religious persecution in our big free socially developed world, ISIS, drug abuse, kids feeling the need to numb themselves, gangs so people can feel a part of, anger and violence, poverty in our American nation of plenty...filled with warehouses of food and gadgets that we all think we cant live without. We all walk around not looking too closely at one another because it hurts too much to do so. We see the need that is just too vast, too massive for us to fill and we feel helpless and lost.
If I look too long at any of the above I want to lose hope. I want to curl up in a ball and go to sleep. No wonder mental illness and depression and anxiety are rampant. No wonder our youth are self medicating. Who can thrive in this world? How did we get here? I feel like I am teaching my children how to survive, how to find joy and peace and refuge that is hidden away in little places, despite all the darkness that swirls all around them."Look for the light, look for the good," I tell them. I hear, "Its hard to see mama." I pray that the good doesn't get so crowded out they can't find it anymore.
So what is our hope? I want to hear what your hope is? What keeps you going?
Mine is my faith. The idea that there is a power greater than myself in this world and that He has a plan. That He allows people to live out their free will, but He provides the choice, the option, that when that stops working for us, we can turn our will over to Him and find new life, light, and hope. My faith is simple...I am no Bible scholar. I just know that Jesus loves me and met me during my darkest time and He accepted me and I had never felt more loved and cared for than at that moment. I know that He said that dark days would come upon us....but we could focus on His light. So I try to keep my eyes fixed there....fixed on what His word says, fixed on His plan and not my own, "show me your will God and help me to carry it out." I try to stay focused on what is mine to care about...that is where I trip the most because I feel like its ALL mine to care about, but that is impossible and drives me to insanity. So I learn to put my cares into God's capable hands and trust Him to manage and care and love in all of His perfection that I can't begin to fathom. I keep believing and trusting that God's will is good.
"And this is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is the light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. " 1 John 1:5
We all need something to believe in. What is yours?
Hold us and keep us dear Lord.