Sometimes Hope is All You Have

Eusrimg_2512_101751When I read that Hope magazine was looking for guest bloggers, I eagerly raised my hand to sign up for the job. “Hope” is an action verb that I have held near and dear to my heart for most of my adulthood. In our daily life, we often toss the word around so much that it becomes a cliché. Someone says they have a test and we may respond “Hope you do well” or when someone tells us they are sick we usually simply say “I hope you feel better.” But what is hope without action? I can sit back and hope for many things: a slimmer body, a new car, my daughter’s college graduation, improved health, etc. but what am I doing to make these hopes a reality?

Hope was my lifeline in my 20’s and early 30’s. In my childhood, I really didn’t grasp what it meant to have faith and hope. I expected the adults in charge of providing for me to fulfill my every need. When I became a single mother at the age of 21, I was forced to provide for myself and my daughter and that is when I got my hope wake-up call!

I remember working feverishly while pregnant and one of my many jobs was at an insurance company making $9 an hour. I worked with older women whom I regarded as motherly figures and spent a lot of time in their presence. I began to notice that they were constantly talking about finances and how they struggled to make ends meet. They would often eat homemade sandwiches in the break room while I went out for fast food. I decided that I wanted a better life for myself and my unborn child. I began to hope that I could provide these things. So I went back to college, managed three jobs and graduated at the top of my class.

I was not able to secure my dream job in television so I took numerous secretarial type jobs that paid a decent wage and kept us clothed, covered and fed. As my friends moved up the corporate ladder, I became stable yet stagnant in my desk job. I began to hope to make more money. After a corporate lay-off, I took a huge leap of faith and started my own business. My PR firm is now 12 years old.

As my friends became wives, I developed a strong desire to be married. I hoped to be married yet I failed to hope for a suitable mate-one that would help me grow spiritually. It wasn’t until I stopped trying to find a mate so hard that my paths would cross with a man worthy to be a husband but also a stepfather to my daughter Jaclyn.

Lastly, when I was diagnosed with advanced stage breast cancer one month after my wedding at the age of 35, hope was all I had. “You have breast cancer.” Those words are life changing. You struggle with your faith, looks and outlook and hope is all you have to hang on to most days.

Clinging on to hope has truly helped me weather life’s storms. You lose hope-you may as well throw in the towel. I can’t guarantee that it will be smooth sailing from here on out but I can tell you what guides my path. Proverbs 23:18: “There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.”