I’ll bet most of us have had times in our life when we felt our circumstances were hopeless and the entire world seemed to be shouting “no” at us. In my article, Renewed Hope, I wrote about one of the darkest times in my life. After six weeks of worrying and watching Mark go through one crisis after another, any one of which could have taken his life, I got discouraged and wondered if my hope in his life and recovery was misplaced. The doctors, nurses and therapists were not hopeful and gave no encouragement.
I took my questions and concerns to a higher physician and the only one who really knew what Mark’s outcome would be. I received confirmation that my hope was not misplaced and I would see miracles. However, I felt it was important to talk to Mark about my concerns. In the previous six weeks I thought if Mark died—I would also. I couldn’t imagine anything worse. I thought it would be impossible to live without him or raise our two children alone. It would have been awful and thankfully our path didn’t go that direction, but I also realized through this experience that death wasn’t the worst thing that could happen. I needed to let Mark go in my heart if it was his time. Living had to be his choice and not mine. It took time, but I finally concluded that living had to be the best option for him and not just for me.
Five things this dark experience taught me:
- Learn to accept what I cannot change. Accepting doesn’t mean giving up or surrendering to the situation. It means to seek knowledge and understanding of all the possibilities and giving my greatest effort to accomplish what’s best.
- Pray for divine help and realize Gods understanding of the circumstances is better than mine.
- Find satisfaction in knowing I did my best to make the situation better. The outcome may be different from what I expected or hoped for, but realizing I gave my all makes it easier to accept.
- Find a purpose for the circumstances and make something valuable out of it. For me sharing our story and experience with the hope it’ll encourage someone else gives it purpose.
- Do not compare my life to others. Doing this always leads to discouragement and instead of being grateful for what I have, I’m wishing for what someone else has. It’s a complete waste of time which is better spent appreciating what I do have.
How do you overcome hopelessness?