I was at an excellent conference yesterday, sponsored by SPARE Counseling and I learned a new word. Or, at the very least, a new way to look at an old word.
One of the lies that most of us believe while we are in the midst of suffering, any kind of suffering, is that it will go on forever, that our pain will have no end. Oh sure, we may know in our heads that someday things might get better (or not, depending upon what or who we have lost). But our overwhelmed and injured hearts cry out a different story. “It will always hurt like this. I will never be happy again. My world has come to an end!”
That is why I love to hear the stories of people who have come through suffering. Sometimes I just want to see their faces. Are they smiling? Can they smile? How can they smile?!?
These faces fill me with hope. They prove to me that it is possible to make it through. Others have done so and are now even able to smile, or (gasp) laugh. Maybe, just maybe, if they could, I might be able to also… some day.
That’s why I love my new word. It’s a blunt reminder that the way I feel in the midst of suffering may not be the truth. There really might be a different kind of day ahead.
May your days be filled with H.O.P.E.