I wrote on April 9, 1999, when I was still in high school: “I wish I could be more […] effervescent (lively). I feel dead without being physically killed. I hope I don’t die emotionally, but I am dying. If I could only find that zest, that greatness life is supposed to hold. But where is it, at least in me?” I had no hope. I was fine physically, but I was slowly dying inside.
I’m thankful that I didn’t die or take my own life. Though I didn’t know it on April 9, about one year later, I would find Hope. Hope that helped me through the storms, and come out on the other side being greeted with a beaming joy and confidence that I had only dreamed of years before. Hope has also given me drive to persevere, even when I thought I could never make it. Hope has redeemed relationships that I thought were forever shattered. Hope has taken the junk in my life, and made it a treasure.
Hope was, and always is, Jesus.
Hope has given me purpose to live. Before I became a follower of Christ, I was living aimlessly, for myself. I had adequate material things, but I never really thought about blessing others with it. I wanted to excel academically, but that was getting more and more difficult, and my limitations were becoming more apparent.
With Jesus, I have realized that the world is so much bigger than me. With Jesus, I am able to partner with Him to share His great love and hope for a world that is looking for something bigger than the pain and the drudgery that life often brings.
Hope has given me a light at the end of the tunnel. I still struggle with depression occasionally, but now even in it, I have hope that God will bring good out of even that. I have hope, because God’s strength and light will help me overcome a depressive episode. I have hope because God has surrounded me with a group of people who love and care for me.
Hope has given me renewed confidence and joy that I had never known before. Since I found Hope, He has provided me with several communities of believers who have had my back and who care for one another. This support network I have had has helped me through some of the toughest times of my life, and even helped deliver me from some really bad situations.
Hope has provided me with my current job and some great managers, including several that believed in me enough to help me learn new things. I want to give a shout out to my now-former manager Elizabeth* who believed in me enough to allow me to train to be a back-up cashier and learn some managerial tasks as well. I want to give a shout out to my now former manager Chris* who took the chance and first hired me.
Hope has provided me a great mentor, in J, who always believed in my abilities and was God’s message to me that He would use me to accomplish His great will in my life.
Hope has provided me countless wonderful friends who have put up with my depressive episodes and have helped cheer me on.
Hope has given me much hope for the future. Hope has given me freedom from the shackles that held me back in my past.