January 1st, 2020- A Renewal of Hope

Hope is defined as “desire accompanied by expectation of, or belief in, fulfillment.”

A couple weeks ago, I told someone that I believed I no longer had hope- that hope was not in my emotional arsenal anymore. She asked me what I thought the word “hope” really meant, and after we wrestled with the idea for a bit, we decided to just look it up. And boy did I ever feel mentally hit by a semi truck.

The word “accompanied” struck me. Hope can’t just be wishing for something to happen, because the thing that makes it powerful is the faith that perhaps it CAN and it WILL. That component had all but entirely evaporated from my outlook on life.

At the end of this past year, it seemed like suddenly my luck was changing… things were aligning almost unbelievably. Someone finally got me to realize and admit to myself what I want out of this life. Then, someone I barely know gave me the chance to sing again. THEN, someone else found me through the internet, and he taught me to believe in myself. THENNNN someone I met in the space of 20 minutes encouraged me to believe that I CAN make an impact on this life- and challenged me, and supported me, to do it. Suddenly these angels were appearing in my life to light the path ahead.

It was as if a year of loss, frustration, trial, uncertainty and heartache had started to reveal its intentions… actually… several years of these things. 

What I realized is that I had started to finally regain hope.

I had such distrust after the ultimate letdown in life, a loss to a battle with disease. I didn’t have faith that anything could work out for me ever again. My biggest fear had been realized.

In 2015, I only wanted one thing. For my mom to live. Desperately. And that desire had been denied, tragically. So I told myself to not desire anything again. Not really. Because how could anything turn out the way I wanted, the way I hoped, if that hadn’t? 

And this year I rediscovered the courage to desire.

Today I found my journal entry from New Year’s Eve, 2018. It is a lesson in hope.

Dear Mom,

I’m in the plane, on my way home to Nashville. This was a strange, hard visit this time around. By the end, all I could think of was how to start this new year off right- because 2018 felt like garbage. I saw some new things and made new friends… I bounced around from job to job feeling so very lost. I fell in and out of… something… with a few men. I didn’t accomplish as much as I had hoped. I wrote more than ever before, and I am proud of that. I have helped people this year. I have felt appreciated by friends and strangers alike. I’ve messed up a lot and always compe back to myself with more knowledge and self-awareness than before.”

When I read such disappointment and worry and concern I just want to hug her and tell her to just keep going… that things will start to get lighter.

Suddenly, I am starting 2020 with the beginning whispers of belief that it can happen. Life can send me some good things. And I am so grateful. I have not expected much out of life these past four years, and so my elation and wonder at my good fortune right now is almost overwhelming. I say right now, because I know that things can all change in a second… but for now, I am just enjoying in it. I am allowing myself to have this joy again.

To have hope. To believe.

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