Updated: Apr 2
Prelude: This is series is dedicated to all of the people in my life who when I wanted to give up, "Still Dared Me To Hope!"
Hope, how one word can be so powerful to the point that it changes lives?
I recently found a box with all of my journals dating back to 2002, so much hope written on those pages. The younger version of myself had so many goals and dreams that I wanted to achieve by the time I turned fifty. I had so much hope for my future and being the ambitious person that I was, I was so sure that I would live the life that I had envisioned for myself.
Reading page after page and reflecting, it sometimes seemed like I was on this rollercoaster ride with hope; with all it’s ups and downs, twists, twirls and sometimes flipping completely upside down, especially when what I wanted didn’t happen. As I opened each book, I realized how through the decades I wrote the same passage over and over again every few years:
“Hope held, hope deferred, hope lost, hope found..”
Thus, my rollercoaster ride with hope, but in the end, it is always found.
It’s easy to hold onto hope when things are going right, it comes from a place of confidence and security. It can be something as simple as you hope the coffee shop did not run out of your favorite “pumpkin spice latte", you find a perfect parking space in a crowded lot, get that well-deserved job promotion or that a new relationship will blossom into something beautiful.
To have hope when the sky is bright and the sun is smiling upon you, feels invincible. Hope that resonates during those times is exciting, exhilarating to the point that you eagerly take deep breaths in, filling your lungs with every bit of air and enjoy the moment. You vision yourself as a “Victor” on top of Mt. Everest with your hands held out shouting “I am here! I am on top of the world and ready to conquer it, bring it on!!” You have plans for your future, detailed ones in fact of what life will be like in the next 5, 10, 20 years, it’s promising even with the challenges you forecast ahead. The road is clearly paved and there should be nothing to stop you from reaching your goals. You have the midas touch and at this point, everything is going right according to your plan and all that you touch turns into sweet, shiny gold.
We often forget what it took for us to get there, on top of that mountain during those moments of glory when all is perfect.
Hope Held From Deep Inside
How about having hope when things start to get challenging and not everything is going your way? The type of hope you have to search deep inside to find when all of the logic in the world says to you “There is no substantial evidence that the very thing you are hoping for is going to happen” or when the odds against you says “Really, you still have hope? Look all around you, what in your current situation do you think can actually change for this to happen?”
Yet, I still DARE to hope.
I defy logic and challenge the odds against me when I DARE to hope. In this scenario, I have become a warrior ready for battle, not willing to give up and become defeated.
What happens inside of you when you stand up and dare to hope? When it seems like you have been bruised and beaten on the battlefield fighting for days, maybe months or years. You are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed, you have been knocked down by life’s challenges, but not destroyed. You pick yourself up with all of the strength that you have, barely standing, swaggering from side to side, trying to keep your balance with one eye open and the other eye closed. Why? Because there is this tiny grain of “hope”, faith that you can win this battle and once again become the “Victor” that you were meant to be. You are not going to give up!
It's a battle sometimes when we dare to hope. We have different camps around us, all meaning well either telling us to give up and walk away, others who have hope for us when we can't and some who are baffled and confused with you. The most important thing, is no matter what camp they come from, make sure you surround yourself with people who are not afraid to enter the battlefield with you, especially who lift you up when you are down.
Yet, there are times you will feel alone or like you need to take this one on and enter the arena by yourself. Lifting your sword towards the sky as you shake your shield with the other hand, you proclaim “I STILL DARE TO HOPE!” I will not give up on the dream, I will not give up on the vision, I will not give up the faith and I will CONTINUE to fight the good fight!
Oh, but your opponent camouflaged, sneakily hides behind the trees, sees you standing with your head lifted up high with confidence. You don’t notice, because your eyes are focused towards the heavens, rejoicing because no matter how beaten you are, the sun’s rays gleam upon your face, giving you a glowing smile letting you know that you “got this” and that you will be the “Victor” once more.
As the sun sets and the moon rises, your enemy cowardly reveals himself in the darkness ready for a good o’l fashion rumble. You have been up all night battling, the moon and stars although they guide you through the darkness, still yet, can only offer you a cold chill in the night. You long for the sun to rise again, to warm and give you strength. It seems like days since you saw the sun shine, when in fact, it’s only been hours.
You look towards the mountains, waiting for the sun to reign again and offer you some help and solace in its rays. The heavens open up in all of it's glory beaming upon you, waking up the earth while pushing the clouds away so that you can find strength in the sky. You close your eyes, losing yourself for one quick second, steadily breathing as you bask in the warmth, resting, dreaming, hoping, rejoicing for the battle is about to be won because you got “Magen” on your side. Alas, you let your guard down for a quick rest forgetting that you are still on the battlefield, it’s daylight and the enemy is not to be seen.
In one quick second, which feels like a billion lifetimes, your adversary comes in behind you for a sneak attack, in shock, you’re not quite sure what hit and knocked you down.
Exhausted, you feel defeated just lying there on the ground trying to gather your strength to get up, you're not about to surrender, not in this lifetime at least. Suddenly, you feel lifted and find yourself standing firmly on the ground with your sword in your right hand because "Hope" is still to be fought for and you realize that you are not alone...
….. and Yet, You Still Dare To Hope
Stay tuned for Part #2 “Hope Deferred…”
Did this blog interest you?
Don't miss out on our next blog!