FOR HOPE'S SAKE
This has been a year for hope.
Not OF hope, hear me correctly.
I've encountered as many lows as I have highs, and enough rugs pulled from under me to make even the most optimistic person surprised. But...there's nothing like a good ol' slice of disappointment to reveal what's really rooted beneath the surface, and why. Oh boy was I wrong when I thought I had me all figured out...and God was kind enough to show me that, through utilizing my pains. He doesn't inflict pain or loss, He'd be a cruel Father if He did. But rather, He steps into it with us, and offers an extended hand for hope. You don't have to take it, you can choose to keep sinking...but if you do take grasp of that friendly hand, He'll pull you up from the ashes and show you a perspective you didn't think possible, and heal what you weren't even aware was festering. Pain isn't so painful when you understand what it is- an indicator to something needing healed; an invitation for hope. You see, sweet...pain, loss, and discouragement are NOT hope, they are opportunities FOR it. I'm beyond grateful that I have a resume not of my losses over these years, but my victories. Because somehow, someway, I always meandered my way back to the arms of hope, even if it took me a detour to get there. And due to this...today I stand, knowing myself more than I ever have before, victorious in many things. As I've walked through life's disappointments, I've developed massive resilience that I may not have otherwise. As I've chosen hope, my dreams ignited, my relentless heart explodes, and the love inside of me just keeps refusing to quit. You could look at your life and be impressed with the valleys, or you could grab hold of that trusty hand, and stand in awe of the mountains that have emerged out of it. Today, I'm grateful for the latter, and who I am because of it. When you stand on YOUR mountain tops, overlooking the valleys YOU once walked...what can you say you've learned? How have you grown? Who are you because of it? Mmm...we are all much closer in heart than we think. I'm proud of us. We're living.