When I undertook hope as my focus word for 2012, it was with desperation. I didn't just want hope; I needed it. Like food. Like water. Like air. I knew I was going to die without it.
There has been a change. Since writing about things I was afraid to tell you in June, I have felt lighter. My vulnerability was met with support, and I have been humbled and amazed by the response. Just the act of sending that out into the world was powerful, and that power manifested itself in hope.
From the outside it might not look like there have been big changes. The hard things are still there, and they are still hard. But I have changed. And I am able to see, and rejoice in, the small steps I (and my family) are taking toward real and lasting change.
This is why I've been singing about hope - morning pages - waking up early - homeschool. I am loving life. I am busier than I have been in a long time. Not busy in a way that wears or grates. Not frantic. Not busy in an "anything to dull the pain" rush. Not scheduling my day with unfulfilling things. Busy in a mostly organized way. I'm excited about opportunities. Putting myself out there, and looking for good things to come my way.
Hope is the real change. It took me eight months of desiring hope to really start to get it. But now I am feeling it all day long. I see it sneaking its way into every aspect of my life. I am so very thankful, and in awe of the grace of God.
With hope I can:
- Pour my energy into people and things that inspire me.
- Believe in myself.
- Stop the negative self talk that tries to invade my mind as soon as the whispers begin.
- Do one creative thing each day. (And write morning pages! They are a big part of this life I am rejoicing in.)
- Honor myself with space, forgiveness, and mercy.
- Unlock the chains of perfection. (Have you read Daring Greatly yet? It came into my life during this time of change and hope, exactly when I needed to read it.)
- Be kind to myself. For the first time in a really long time, I am actually being kind to myself. That is huge.
A few months ago I started stripping back the pain and cloud of depression; reaching out a tentative, pale, shaky hand toward hope. And I found that hope reaches back and gives strength.
What gives you hope?
Linking this up with Pour Your Heart Out at Things I Can't Say.