Posts tagged hope
Posts tagged hope
The words we use say a lot about who we are
Today’s been rough for me (so was last night, and really so have the last few weeks) in an emotional/mental health sense. Sometimes the only peace I find in the gospel (or anywhere) is the safety in having something positive - completely positive - to think about. Sometimes it’s just the knowledge, or even the hope, that I’m loved and that I’m not alone. I honestly can’t really spend a lot of time talking about that part of things right now because I’m struggling to keep things even minimally together.
But I appreciate you posting this, because it’s really true.
God does not ever promise we won’t suffer. I think He suffers when He sees our pain, honestly - think of all the times He remind the prophets about how much He loved Christ, sometimes right before talking about the incomprehensible pain Christ endured on our behalf.
I have a friend who has nightmares about medical procedures her children endured as infants; the baby has long forgotten it (usually within an hour or so,) but the mother can’t. One of the babies I know absolutely had to go through what I can only describe as torture - they tested the pressure in her eyes by pressing against the (OPEN) eyeball with a metal device. She screamed and clearly hated it, as did all the other babies who got it done.
My friend could only put her daughter through that because it was essential, because there was no way out of it, because the alternatives (blindness, etc.) were so much worse. And I think Heavenly Father only let my friend go through with it for similar reasons; He wouldn’t do it for no reason because that’s just not possible for Him. No parent sees a child suffer without feeling it themselves - sometimes more deeply than the child himself does. No sane/functional parent hurts their children, or lets them get hurt, for the fun of it, or without caring. Even the doctors at that clinic my friend’s daughter got treated at only “torture” those babies because it’s absolutely the only thing they can do. Because ultimately, it’s worth it.
Suffering and pain is sometimes necessary. Usually we don’t get the “why” (my friend’s baby couldn’t possibly grasp an explanation about the need to measure her eye pressure.) But hanging onto that truth - that faith that it is necessary, and that we’re not being punished by God or abandoned by Him or are loved any less or have been forgotten - can make it more bearable. Even just the hope that it’ll be worth it. Just saying “I hope it’s worth it” while crying. Trust me, it helped me like two hours ago.
(Singing songs of praise also works as a great distraction from your woes. We even have songs for mourning and lamentation and persevering despite your despair if that’s what it takes.)
How many times are we told that God blesses the righteous and then we start following Christ and things get harder? It’s crazy. We are baptized, we testify of Him, and then we are ridiculed. Or mocked. Or maybe we get dumped. Something bad happens and we wonder if God even has a plan for us.
Following Christ means that things will go wrong. But that you can overcome. You can overcome because Christ overcame. All that is wrong can and will be made right through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
But there’s still plenty of hope for me, despite all of that.
Every single day I can make choices that affect my course and speed, as it were. Yes, I’m in more rocky, hazardous territory than I want to be, but I have yet to run aground. Yes, the skies are threatening, but my ship has not yet sunk. And it’s not like I know where I would be if those things I regret, had gone differently.
You’re in the same situation. How do we know that? Because you’re still here.
A friend of mine was in an inpatient ward, suffering very, very badly from serious symptoms of her illness. It had been years since she had been in a situation that she felt was really great. It had been a while since ECT had robbed her of her memories from the better part of a decade and her ability to work full-time. Life, by most objective standards, sucked.
But she chose to participate in her treatment anyway. She chose to try another new medication scheme anyway. She chose to tell fellow patients on the ward all about NAMI and peer support groups and how helpful they are. And when she was released, she went back to being an advocate and a peer support person and all of that, because her ship wasn’t sunk yet, and there were still choices to be made.
That’s the hope, and the promise. No matter how badly you’ve screwed things up, no matter how many opportunities you think you’ve lost (or, yes, truly and irrevocably have lost,) there are still choices and options open to you. There are still people willing to help you, things to try, places to go. There is always hope, at least until the moment you die.
At that point, well, let’s just say I’ll leave my opinion out of it for the sake of my diverse audience. :)
I don’t know what the results of my choices will be. I don’t know what course my illness will take. But I know that I still have some choices. They might be big opportunities or small opportunities - choosing to try to make and eat something for lunch, choosing to take a shower, choosing to put my CPAP mask on, choosing to fill my med boxes and set them up where I can find them, choosing to share my story on Tumblr, choosing to go to a peer support meeting, choosing to call a warmline when I’m feeling like I’m in a bad place, choosing to call 911 if I feel like I’m a danger to myself or others, choosing to read a few paragraphs in a book about forgiving myself.
And yeah, I still really, truly, 100% regret the stuff I said I regret. It hurts. I 100% wish I hadn’t made the choices I did, that things hadn’t gone down the way they did. If I had a time machine, I suspect I’d go back in time before I even clearly thought about the ramifications, I regret it all so much.
But I know there’s hope anyway, and that takes the sting out of those regrets in a MAJOR way.
Come unto Jesus, ye heavy laden,
Careworn and fainting, by sin oppressed.
He’ll safely guide you unto that haven
Where all who trust him may rest.
Come unto Jesus; He’ll ever heed you,
Though in the darkness you’ve gone astray.
His love will find you and gently lead you
From darkest night into day.
Come unto Jesus; He’ll surely hear you,
If you in meekness plead for his love.
Oh, know you not that angels are near you
From brightest mansions above?
Come unto Jesus from every nation,
From every land and isle of the sea.
Unto the high and lowly in station,
Ever he calls, “Come to me.”