How Do We Find Hope At The Intersection Of Love And Faith?
Life is full of ups, downs, ins, outs, and sometimes sideways events. When life is scary, it makes grief and loss more up and in your face. “I don’t want to do this without my person, and this is all so unfair,” runs through the brain on repeat. At these times, be present to love and mindful of your faith, and you will find yourself solidly heading in the direction of hope.
Present to Love
It has been 23 months since my mom died. Her death was sudden, unexpected, and caused us to make an extreme left turn in how life works from day to day. For 19 of those 23 months, we navigated a global pandemic that shut down normalcy and kept us from physically connecting as much as we would during typical times. What do you do when you are hit with hard and harder? Take small moments and be present to the love all around you. Love comes in all forms. It can be a physical touch from the people in your immediate vicinity. Love comes in the form of a text message asking how your day is going. It can even manifest in five minutes of peace and quiet and the ability to think and breathe deeply. Soak in the small moments and let them ground you in the present.
Mindful of Your Faith
During the last 23 months, the grounding force in my mixed-up life is faith. It is not easy. Emotions are supercharged, and they are very noisy. Sadness, anger, fear scream inside my brain. How do I quiet the noise to find some peace? I am mindful and systematic about connecting with the spiritual energy around me. Before life was God and His omnipresent energy never dissipated. Heaven is not a location, somewhere off far above away from our world. God is everywhere, and therefore heaven is everywhere, all around us. The tricky part is slowing down and quieting yourself enough to feel God’s presence surrounding you.
Love and Faith Intersect
My dad is scheduled to have two major back surgeries. He is not a stranger to surgery. The man is basically made of metal – two full knee replacements and a previous back surgery that involved rods, screws, and fusions. This surgery is different. Why? Mom is not here. My parents could solve any problem. They simply held hands and jumped. No matter the challenge, they tackled it together. As we sat in my kitchen discussing surgery, we landed on the following – mom will be closer to him during this surgery than any of the previous. For this surgery she does not need to stay in the waiting room and patiently wait for a doctor. During this surgery, she will be in the room, watching every move. Remember, heaven is not a place. God is omnipresent, and therefore everyone who has returned to Him is also omnipresent.
Hope is the promise of moving forward. It is not an act of perfection where all the worlds’ problems are solved. Instead, hope gives us momentum to make the next right choice, to take the next right step. Twenty-three months later I find it absurd that I wake up every morning in a world where I cannot hug my mom. As big decisions come our way, I want desperately to pick up the phone and ask her a question, seek her counsel. My hope comes in knowing that mom surrounds me every moment of the day. I need only to quiet myself and feel her presence. It is not the same. I desperately crave her physical presence. But as a woman of faith, raised by a woman of exemplary faith, I have hope knowing that I am never alone. I am held by my God and all those who love me who returned to His side.
The Next Step
Look around at your life. What makes you feel loved? How do you connect to your faith? Find the intersection point and look around for the hope leading into tomorrow. Life can be hard. Grief, loss, trauma surround us. But these negative forces do not have to write our story. Hope can lead to the first step on a new journey. Make the next right choice, love with your whole heart in all the small ways, connect to God and forge a new path to a hopeful new day.