Every year I struggle with Winter in general and the Holidays in particular.
Many of us are broken this time of year for a number of reasons. Perhaps we miss someone we love. Perhaps something awful happened to us. Perhaps we do not find pleasure or joy in what the world finds worthy of celebration. Perhaps we are The Grinch.
Whatever our reasons for not loving the Holidays, we deserve some time and space to celebrate that.
I HOPE that place is here and that time is now.
I’m glad we get to start the season of Advent with HOPE. HOPE is an easy subject for me because it is a mission and a calling. I believe HOPE is what separates us from every other being on the planet. HOPE makes us special creations, here for a purpose.
HOPE is that knowledge that things can be better because they have been better.
HOPE is knowing you will be ok, no matter how far you fall.
HOPE is knowing, not feeling or believing, but knowing better exists.
HOPE might also be the worst place to start, since I can’t remember a period when I have lost my hope entirely. In the scariest situations, there was hope I would not be there forever. In the worst pain, there was hope that help was on the way. Even when I knew I couldn’t do it alone, I always had help when and where I needed it. I have been close to hopeless, no doubt. I have been in the darkest of the dark places, but there was always a peephole of light.
HOPE is not the same thing as anticipation.
HOPE, just like its Advent counterparts, is an act, a choice, to look up or look around and see that you are not alone. Many of us feel alone this time of year, but you are welcome here and in other places you might not expect. When you get out of bed in the morning, you have HOPE. When you smile at your children, you are showing HOPE. When you plan for the future, your HOPE is made manifest.
In this season of literal bells and whistles, flashing lights and carols ringing, remember your HOPE. Maybe it’s not a struggle for you, but remember for others, it’s a single light in the darkness.
I’m excited to be part of an organization that has bringing words of HOPE into the world as their central mission. I’m glad I get to call myself a hope*writer