Colorado Life Coach: Hopeless
What a horrible word!
This word brings death. They are the words of someone without a future, without a promise, without a reason.
Have you ever felt it? Have you known someone who’s felt it?
It sucks the life right out of your lungs. It covers your head with defeat. It knocks the life out of your soul.
Proverbs 13:12 says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick.” I’ve known this heart sickness. When you have hope for a long, long time, but the desire of your heart does not come to pass. It hurts, a deep hurt.
Ask anyone who’s struggled with depression, or abuse, or addiction, or sleeplessness, or chronic pain, or grief, or…
So we know what causes hopelessness, lack of hope. You try and try and try and nothing changes. Maybe you’ve asked for help, sought relief, gone to doctors or therapists, and nothing’s worked. Maybe you just wallow in it. Maybe you’re somewhere in between.
Whatever the case, here you find yourself: hopeless.
Is there anything you can do?
I sometimes share this verse with clients who are really struggling–not at the beginning! I just listen and really hear their heart and their struggle. When they’ve felt heard and understood, and want to explore how to move out of hopelessness, I share this verse.
At first glance, it seems totally stupid. We rejoice in our sufferings? What in the world? Who rejoices when they suffer? Hallelujah, I’ve got cancer. That’s ridiculous.
We have to keep reading. We rejoice in our sufferings because we know that suffering produces perseverance. At least that doesn’t sound sadistic. It’s still not great, but I can understand that perseverance is a good thing.
Keep going. “Suffering produces perseverance, and perseverance, character. I understand that I need better character. Mine really stinks sometimes. I want great character, and I’m starting to understand that it comes from perseverance. And perseverance comes from suffering.
On to the hope. “We rejoice in our sufferings because we know that suffering produces perseverance, and perseverance, character, and character, hope.” There it is. Finally. I thought I’d never see it again. I thought I’d never feel it again.
After the suffering, I learn that I can survive. I learn that I can get through it. I learn I’m stronger than I thought. Maybe I just realize that everyone suffers and I can relate to others who have suffered.
I begin to understand that I made it. I persevered. I did it.
My character begins to change. I’m not so short-tempered. I am more honest. I am more sensitive to others. I’m not so judgmental. I’m becoming a better person.
And finally, I hope.
I begin to see the patterns in life. It goes along well for a season, but there will always be difficult seasons to work through. I’ve done it before, and I can do it again.
Please don’t give up hope. That’s where the life is! If you can’t find your way back, please seek help.
This post written by Colorado Life Coach, Carrie O’Toole.