Sunday, September 28, 2014

What is our hope?

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.


Anonymous said...

I, often, feel the weight of the world just as you describe. There are days when getting out of bed is the hardest thing for me to do and I can't wait to crawl back into it at the end of the day. I was never like this before addiction entered our lives but everything that my son has gone through, that our family has gone through, has taken a huge toll and left a wound so large I don't even know how to begin to fill it. But I do keep trying...and in doing that, I guess I find some purpose.

When Robin Williams passed away, I was so startled by his suicide. You just assume someone with so much success and wealth would have so many resources. Anyway, I remember thinking how lucky he was to finally be at peace. I felt that same way when my mom in law died - finally, she is at peace and she'll never again have to worry, feel pain or anguish.

The things we see and deal with, being the parents of addicts, changes us in so many profound ways. No matter how much we work on ourselves or try to make the world a better place, our kids are still struggling and at the end of the day I don't know how any parent can find solace when our children have not.

Like you, it is my faith that keeps me moving forward. That and the hope for a better tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

I love this post even with all its heaviness because it is what I have been meditating on in the last few weeks.

My hope is in Connection (with a capital C). I feel Connection to God, to other humans, animals and nature is what we need to keep grounded. We are not alone and need to keep this at the front of our minds and hearts. We can even, strangely enough, feel connection to material things. I know I love my wedding rings. I have two angels that sit on my mantle and the remind me of Connection.

My Connection to you, sweet Annette, is one of the many things that keep me going. I look forward to meeting with you in the Afterlife. xo

Mary said...

Our hope comes from the Lord. We are never alone. We are never unloved. Each day has it's share of beauty. Yes there are plenty of bad things...but there are plenty of good things as well. People helping people, people loving people, children laughing and playing, artist creating amazing works of art, beautiful sun rises and sunsets, stories of hope & strength & love. Maybe I am a Pollyanna, but those are the things I focus on. The world has always been full of troubles...that will never change. Worry just steals the joy of today. It does not fix the problems of tomorrow. I think I read that somewhere, and it is so true.

Anonymous said...

I have been reading a lot of "afterlife" books, as I floundered with my spirituality. I felt God had left me when I was bombarded with many crisis at once...a year and a half of chemo and radiation, my son's addiction, another son's traumatic brain injury, my daughter's breakdown from all the trauma, and my mother's death. It didn't make sense that everyone else had a seemingly "normal" life, and mine had gone to pot. From these readings, I am starting to believe perhaps I chose this life for the lessons to be learned, and my children chose me (with all my love and imperfections). It is what gives me hope...that this life is just a blip on the radar, we are here to learn, and to feel happiness and feel pain. So I take joy where I can find it, apologize for past hurts, and move forward to a better relationship with God and others.

Liz said...

I must believe in a happy ending for my beautiful daughter or I'll fall apart.

SoberMomWrites said...

The world has always been a very scary place. Acts of violence from one human to another or one country to another have always existed. Where there is fear and ignorance - there is violence and hate. It's just that in this age of instant information it's in our face almost immediately. We see, hear and feel everything that happens in the world in real time and it can become overwhelming. Add to that more people in general all over the world and it all increases exponentially.

I'm grounded by my faith - and I see my faith played out, every day in little ways and it reminds me that God is alive in all of us. A teenager helping an elderly couple with their groceries. A neighbor bringing food to a family who's mom is sick from cancer treatments. The power of social media bringing help to things as small as a lost dog to as big as millions to ALS. It's all out there...I just have to make sure I look for it when I'm feeling overwhelmed and sad about the bad things that are happening. And I have to make sure that I'm letting my heart shine to all who come in contact with me.

My hope is that everyone is able to look for the good, which is plentiful, while they view the bad...and then all strive to find the God that lives within us and spread that love.


Pam said...

Dearest Annette,
I do love reading your blog!

My hope comes before the sun rises in the sky most days. When I awake to the beginning of a new day!
Some days are better than others, but I do try every single morning with the beginning of the day to remember....TODAY IS A NEW DAY, full of hope and possibilities!

I rise early every morning, and almost every morning I get to see the sun rise. If I happen to forget to grab my hope for the day, when I see the light begin to appear over the horizon I am reminded.

That is where I get my hope!
Thank you for your post!

The neverending battle of child's opiate addiction said...

I know this sounds terrible, but I stopped watching or reading the news, the less I know the more hope I have.

Signe said...

'Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.' I think the challenge is being able to live a good life in that peace that surpasses all understanding, with the world in its normal spin buzzing all around you. To be able to walk in that calm is what gives me peace and in turn keeps my hope strong. We need to guard our hearts and not fear.

Syd said...

Annette, I believe in starting the day over and in feeling feelings rather than fearing them. My HP is the great energy that connects me with others and with Nature. I also have friends in my life through the program and I have my wife who is my touchstone. I open up to those I love when I am down. A problem shared is a problem halved. I also am an optimist who thinks that all will be okay eventually. Maybe not the way I planned it but it will be okay. Maybe that is faith too.