I've talked enough about depression here this summer for you to know it is part of my story. Depression strangles hope. Sometimes it's obvious. Sometimes it's sneaky and you don't really realize the hole you're in, until one day you look around and think, "what's the point anyway?"
Other things steal hope. Big things like trauma, loss, pain, and struggle. Smaller things too, like monotony, ungratefulness, and small children who just won't stop picking on each other for-pete's-sake!
I have experienced all of these things in my life. I am not a quitter - I have proved that to myself - but I have allowed all of the things I mentioned to steal my hope at one point or another. I allowed my eyes to stray to the waves instead of keeping them on Jesus, and of course I sunk.
Hope is often a matter of choice. We say yes to hope by turning our eyes upward, putting every earthly thing in its proper perspective. Hope that life will teeter on, bent but unbroken. Hope that there is still joy and love around that corner in your life. Hope that you still have an important purpose to fulfill on this earth. Hope that what we see with our eyes does not even begin to reveal all there is.
Depression, in particular, can make hope a very difficult bird to sight. If you honestly find you cannot say yes to hope, ask for help.
It is not normal to live without hope.
You might have coped in the desert without it for so long that you don't believe those words. I've been there. I've also been just on the other side, wondering how I could have remained stuck for so long. The difference is life in loin-cloth stick figures, and life in full-color cinema with sparkly gowns and high-heels.
Make a choice to say yes to hope, and if you can't, ask someone who loves you or a professional to help lead you out of the desert. Hope is a thing you can sometimes borrow and lend.
This is the ninth post in the series 31 Days of Yes. Click here to see a list of all the posts.