Hope is the word I selected for 2019. In recent years whatever word I choose has played a big influence in my life, a resolution that truly sticks. Maybe it is the hyper focus on that word, maybe it is the time I take to learn and understand it, truly absorbing into my person, or maybe it is a reverberation effect that what you put out in the universe comes back to you, or just maybe a little bit of all. But whatever it is these words leave an imprint on my year and my heart so when it came to 2019 I chose very carefully.
Over the course of this year hope has sprung up in so many different places it has turned pretty funny. In fact if you had asked Danny his word of the year on January 1 he would have looked at you a little like you were crazy – but today he will tell you we share hope and he is finding it pop up all over too. Family and friends send me instances when it crosses their path. In fact just the other day one of my most favorite people on this planet repeated back the definition they have learned of Hope from my preaching of it, and how it really has come alive in their world too. But the truth is Hope found me long before 2019. In fact it sorta goes back 2017……
During the throws of transplant healing (will I ever get back to telling the story – yes….someday, but if you search you can find the other posts on it here) hope wasn’t really the word – in fact it was more of hopeless. The turbulence of the process, the healing, the amount of help let into our world and the pressures that surrounded us where huge and we cracked….more then once. When I was living it, I would define myself as completely and utterly broken and lost. It was as if I was this pile on the floor that wasn’t able to find any sort of direction to go, so I just plopped down and gave up. In fact, I did this many times in mass and adoration – literally yelling to God (in my head): “I give up! You win, I literally will stop doing anything and just let you take this over. I am no longer in charge of my life.” Now the funny thing was I gave up because I couldn’t find any way this would heal or how to get us out of this dark place, yet I have no idea why I thought that meant “God won”. Luckily, I believe God knew what my heart was saying: “God I am so hurt and broken and this seems so messy, I give up on doing anything else with it…. I have to leave it for you.” The good news was what I thought was a pile of mess just on the floor, God knew to be clay that could be molded too new.
Before I could ever find hope, faith and true joy – I had to be hopeless and open to any sort of help We were blessed in our life to find that help in many different ways and places, but the one that left the biggest marks on my heart was one of my direct link’s to God, St. Jude. My mom gave me a St. Jude prayer card during the whole transplant mess and right around the time I was feeling like giving up. The Patron Saint of Hopeless Cases, who invites the broken to come to him for intercession with God. Pretty powerful and dead on for my current situation. But what made it even more special was this prayer card was my Grandfather’s. He had passed back in 2002, but growing up we had a special bond and he always told me I would do great things. Often when I was in the throws of hospital life prior to transplant season I wondered if this what my Gandaddy had meant. I would choose a path that others would say no to, I would love for love and be a faithful wife in extreme circumstances, that I would find the ability to share my story and help others…. and I prayed to him often asking that he watch out for me and help me to be the brave person he saw. How beautiful this prayer card with this message would make its way to me in this season.
Over the course of this year and especially these past few weeks we have seen hope come alive in our world. It has been a blessing and a privilege and I am in awe constantly of the paths of our lives. But I think it is so important to remember and share that before we came to Hope… we had to be hopeless. And coming to God broken and lost is actually one of the best ways…. cause its the way we will really are open to listening. Now St. Jude is one of my most precious prayer warriors and I am so grateful to be able to spread the message of hope he brought to the world…. and can still bring to those who need it. And Gandaddy, thank you for being my precious angel too – your messages are still finding me and the gift of Hope has lived on.
Thank you so much for reading and remember to make it a great day.