What gives you hope? Grab-onto-it, change-your-outlook hope. Where do you find hope when life is hard? Really hard. Like cancer hard? How do you renew your hope in hard times?
I find hope in nature. In winter it’s the fresh, pure snow, in summer it’s the warmth of the sunshine, in autumn the faith God has in the trees to shed their beautiful “hair” because a season of rest is at hand, and I find hope in the flowers of spring. Spring is my favorite season. It’s full of hope and promise.
As I walked down the sidewalk to my car a few days ago I saw the first sign of spring. I knelt down and spied a small tuft of the tips of the crocus.
I was ecstatic! It meant spring would soon be here!
What I saw was just the beginning of a new season. One filled with hope and peace. Two days later I spied the unopened blooms of two croci. The flowers were tucked inside as if to protect themselves. But I knew they would soon bloom and line the sidewalk in shades of purple and yellow.
A promise of what was to come.
Promise In Hard Times
Like those flowers, when I got the awful news that I had cancer, I wanted to tuck in as tightly as possible to shield myself from the world around me. I wasn’t ready to bloom. It felt cold. I was a flower on the sidewalk of life. A struggling bloom in a tough spot.
On the days I couldn’t see my future potential bloom, I needed folks around me to shine the light of hope. I found hope out my window. Hope in nature. In God’s design for the world. If He called the crocus into bloom, He had plans for me too.
I journaled about this, snapped photos to remember God’s perfect creation. Spent time in prayer and thanksgiving for the season He was creating even when I didn’t love the season in which I found myself. Sometimes music helped too. It can shift a mood and focus to weather the struggle.
Just like the flowers that struggle to bloom, we have times of struggle too. But that doesn’t mean God’s not with you.
How about you? What do you hope for? What promise of God are you waiting for?
Maybe life hasn’t been easy for you. In good times and hard, He is always with you.
How To Renew Your Hope In Hard Times
What are some practical ways you can remind yourself of this source of hope?
- Memorize a scripture verse. (There are plenty of short ones with great power!)
- Write a letter to someone else to encourage them. Raise your spirits, by raising another’s.
- Invite a friend to meet at a park, take a walk and find three lovely things.
- Pray with a friend. Each of you prays for each other – a request and a blessing.
- Rejoice with others when they celebrate.
- Remember a time when God brought you out of the challenges of life.
“Now may God, the fountain of hope, fill you to overflowing with uncontainable joy and perfect peace as you trust in him. And may the power of the Holy Spirit continually surround your life with his super-abundance until you radiate with hope!” Proverbs 16:1-3 NLT
Where will you find your hope today? I’m not saying “where will you find a fake smile” or “how can you find glee” in a cancer diagnosis. No way. I’m talking about hope. Something bigger than you. It is there for you. Sometimes help from a coach helps weather the rough seas of life.
In good times and hard, He is always with you. I’m here for you. I’ve been in similar shoes. Reach out. I’d love to talk to you.
Jeannie Schmidt: Two-time cancer survivor. In 2002 her diagnosis of breast cancer offered Jeannie her most challenging leadership role yet. She persevered through three surgeries and chemotherapy while continuing to manage a team of people in the corporate world, as well as lead a department of a non-profit organization. 14 years later she faced yet another cancer diagnosis. Now she uses her hope and practical tools to lead women through the rough seas of life.