In light of the recent news of the apparent suicidal deaths of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, I think that this is an appropriate question. I think that these unfortunate and very sad deaths are a reminder that a lot of people have lost their hope. I am a movie buff so this sad thought takes me back to a scene from a cult favorite, The Big Chill, where old college friends reunite for the funeral of a friend who has recently committed suicide. The scene is the funeral and a pastor is asking this question, where has hope gone for this generation. That movie previewed in 1983. Losing hope is not a new idea but the increase of hopelessness is incredibly sad and must be addressed.
The Bible says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life”. There are many times in life where things appear hopeless: in times of physical and mental illness in which a cure seems impossible or a long time in coming; in times of extreme grief; in times of insurmountable indecision and confusion; in times of heartbreak, only to name a few. This list can go on, but it is a question that I think we need to ask of ourselves. Where does your hope lie?
If your hope is in the economy, in the government, in yourself, then I understand your hopelessness. I usually avoid preaching in my blogposts, but faith is a stream that runs through all of my posts. Believing in someone or something greater than yourself keeps hope alive. I choose to believe in a God who created the universe and loves each of us because we are His children. I believe that He gives us the ability to choose within the life that we live and He also intervenes at times. I believe in prayer and that prayer has the power to change things. I believe that God cares about the things that concern us and He encourages us to not lose hope. I believe that most people are inherently good, even though I have had many negative experiences with people in my lifetime. I do not put my hope in people, although God often uses them to keep my hope alive through their encouraging and truthful words and thoughtful deeds.
If you are feeling hopeless, please reach out to someone!!! I have read that there has been a 65% increase in people calling suicide hotlines since the deaths of these famous people. I hope that this is a good thing as there is also proof that when suicide is publicized that there is, indeed, an increase in the suicide rate. Sometimes hopelessness propagates more hopeless but it is my desire to increase your hope through this blogpost. There is always hope. Yes, I will say that again. There is always hope! There is hope, that is, unless you choose to end your life, in that case there is no longer any hope. There are always solutions, there are always answers, there is always comfort, there is always choice, there is always change. No situation is permanent, things change or if not then you have the power to change them. Most physical and mental conditions have solutions, treatments, medications. Grief never fully leaves but it lessens and becomes more manageable. All questions have answers. Heartbreak heals. Pain subsides. The sun always shines again.
I am not discounting deep pain or deep depression, as the hurt is real, but I am offering that there are answers and there is hope. If you think that I just don’t understand because I have never been there, you would be wrong. I have experienced several times of deep hopelessness in my life where I have actually thought about ending my own life. Those times were almost debilitating and hard to break free from and as a result of those times and my love for you guys, I want to offer hope. Hope does not spring eternal and I am not sure that hope floats but hope is alive as long as we are alive. Choose life because hope wins. Sounds like a cliché but it is true. I believe that hope is attached to love and love wins. God gives us hope because of His great love for us and our love for each other has hope attached to it. I care and therefore I want to help you to know that tomorrow is a new day, with new opportunities for positive change. If you think that no one cares, that is a lie which you choose to believe. We all have someone who cares. If you can’t name a person who cares if you live or die, please call or email me because I do. I value human life because God does and I have come to realize that each life is precious and full of potential.