Certain times of the year and certain events in our lives can make us feel sad. They can make us feel like there is a storm churning around us and we are in the middle of it. Yet, even in the midst of when it feels like things are falling apart, we can find hope in the storm. I recently went through such a time with the loss of a close loved one. It did feel like things were falling apart at times, and I will be the first one to tell you that the words “emotional roller coaster” and “stressed” ranked high on the vocabulary list to describe my feelings. Yet, through that time, I still found hope in the storm. I’ll tell you how in a minute, but first, let’s look at what it means to find hope in the storm.
What is the Definition of Hope?
The dictionary definition of hope says it’s ” a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.” While that definition is right to a certain extent, the hope that I’m talking about is more than that. It’s an earnest expectation. It’s the anchor of my soul. (Hebrews 6:19).
Hope gives me the feeling that even when things are falling apart and I can’t seem to do anything right, that a better day is coming. When I find hope in the storm, I also find comfort and some degree of peace. I know deep within my heart that things may be stormy in my life for a little while, but it will get better and I will get through it. It’s the feeling that lets me know that no matter what I’m going through or how bad things seem, God is with me every step of the way.
In the Midst of the Storm Meaning
If it weren’t for hard times in our lives, we wouldn’t need hope as much. It wouldn’t be something precious that we hold close to our hearts. Do you know when comfort feels best? It’s when we are hurting or in need. I don’t know about you, but finding hope is like wrapping a warm blanket around myself on a cold night. I’m uncomfortable and though it might not make things better immediately, but I know that it will be soon. In the midst of the storm is a metaphor for when we have hard times in our lives.
Those hard times are the storm. Sometimes they are swirling around us fiercely, with things are being torn up all around us. We can’t see our way through. That’s why we need to find hope in the midst of the storm. It sees us through and gives us the courage to keep on.
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How Do You Find Hope in Life?
When you are trying to find hope in the midst of the storm, you won’t see it unless you look for it. If you are only looking at the storm and consumed with worry, it’s very easy to miss those beautiful reminders of hope. Think of it like a flower growing out of a crack in the sidewalk. If you are so busy stomping along and mad at the world because it’s so hard, then you are likely to stomp right on top of that flower without ever knowing that it was there. That flower is our hope. It’s that little sign that says “It’s going to be ok.”
Sometimes finding hope in life involves changing some things. It might mean taking a hard look at your choices and seeing how you got into a situation in the first place. It might mean considering an option that’s outside your comfort zone. Or it might simply mean that you need to do one of the hardest things of all – stop worrying about it and start trusting God more.
It’s so easy for me to get so caught up in trying to solve a problem myself, that I forget to do what I should have done in the first place and pray about it. It’s hard sometimes for me to lay it aside after I’ve done all that I can do and just trust that it will work out. Waiting is a hard thing to do. Maybe that’s why patience is a virtue.
How Do You Build Hope in Life?
Finding hope in life and building hope in life are different. When you find hope in life, you are usually trying to find hope in the midst of the storm. However, when you build hope in life, it’s something that you consciously cultivate in both good times and bad.
I am a firm believer that we find what we look for in life. So if you want to build hope in life, the first thing you need to do is start noticing the little things that convey it. For example, after a death in the family, I was waiting at the bus stop with my kids and 2 others. I was saddened by the death and still trying to process it, but while we were waiting, the kids erupted into a spontaneous game of tag.
As I watched them play, I stopped thinking about all the things previously occupying my mind, and let myself get lost in the moment. I listened to their laughter and gasping for breath. The smiles on their faces glowed, framed by red cheeks from their exertions. I realized that the sun was shining, and the day promised to be beautiful, with just the right amount of crisp in the air.
Noticing the things around you and being fully present in the moment is called mindfulness. Sometimes you just have to stop and take in the moment. Pay attention to those little things that you usually take for granted.
Thankfulness or gratitude is a great way to find hope, even in the midst of a storm. You can build up your hope by making this something that you do on a regular basis. There are many ways to practice gratitude. It could be a gratitude journal, jar, list, or a prayer. However you do it, gratitude helps you find hope because it calls attention to the blessings that you have in life rather than the things that you don’t or what’s going wrong.
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There are many ways to fill your cup. I know that when I’m going through a storm of life, I have to remember to stop and take care of myself. While this may seem like a strange way to find hope in the midst of the storm, things are worse if you are tired, hungry, thirsty, or have some other physical or emotional need that is going unmet.
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Remember the Good Times and the Love
As I was mourning the loss of a loved one and feeling very sad one day I started journaling. I wrote down all the good memories that I had with my loved one. I filled a page and a half. Her words echoed through my mind, “When I’m gone, I want you to always remember how much I loved you.” Those words bring me comfort.
Additionally, around the holidays, I always think of and miss my grandparents. I remember meals, good food, family and laughter. My Nanny’s house was not that big. However, their house seemed to grow when we had family holiday gatherings. It was almost magical.
What they actually did was not all that magical. The house didn’t grow at all. They cleaned out the garage, put up space heaters and long tables for all of us. There was plenty of room, plenty of food, and plenty of laughter. Additionally, I also remember smaller more intimate holidays at my other Grandma’s house. To me, it was “great big.” As I look back and think, there were 8-12 of us.
I miss them, but I also remember to think to myself how happy I am to have all those good memories. I am glad that they were such a part of my life while they were here. Now, I am making those memories for my own children. They will have their own memories of holidays with their grandparents and extended family.
Have Faith that Things Will Get Better
Faith is hard sometimes. It’s not being able to see something but still believing in it. Faith is the substance of things hoped for. The evidence of things not seen. (Heb. 11:1) I love that definition, even though I can’t say that I understand it fully. I do know that faith and hope are tied together. When I am trying to find hope in the storm, I may not be able to see past the storm, but I know that it will get better.
If anything stays constant in our lives, my friend, it is change. Your life will not always be in the middle of the storm. I have a comfort deep in my heart that things will get better farther down the road. I know that this is just a season. That faith that things will get better, as well as knowing that I am not alone, helps me to build up hope in my life.
Take a Step Back and Look at the Big Picture
It’s very easy to just look at the short term. Sometimes the problems of the moment, the day, or this week can feel overwhelming. But stop and take a step back to look at the big picture. Will it always be this way? Probably not. You most likely are just at a rough spot in the road. In the grand scheme of things, will what you are facing be an issue a year from now? What about a month from now?
Even if you look at your life a month down the road and still see a storm, know that it will eventually pass. So many of our problems and things that we stress about are temporary. I know that I might be going through a rough spot now, but in two weeks or so, it will be behind me. I hope that this helps you to find hope in the storm as well.
How Do You Not Lose Hope?
Not losing hope to me is very personal. For me, I have the assurance that Jesus is walking with me. When I am so cast down that I feel I can no longer walk, He carries me. I may not always understand the storm, or why I am going through something, but I have a deep hope within my heart that He’s with me through it all.
I love Him and I trust Him. No matter how bad things get, I have the assurance that it’s going to be alright. When I feel that I’m about to lose hope, I try to draw closer to him. I pray more, I read my Bible more, and I ask for help more. He’s always there for me. He is the friend that sticketh closer than a brother. (Proverbs 18:24)
How Do You Give Someone Hope?
Something just as heart-wrenching as trying to find hope in the storm yourself, is watching a close friend or loved one go through something. I’m not sure that you can give someone else hope. You can encourage them. You can be there for them. Many times people are concerned about what to say and are scared of not saying the right thing. Sometimes there is no “right” thing to say. Often what a person needs most is just someone to listen or to be there. Tell them you care for them. Remind them of the things that give you hope. Pray for them. But ultimately, it will be up to them to find hope in their own storm.
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Why Is It Important to Have Hope In Life?
Hope is a beautiful thing. It sustains us and encourages us. It tells us that something better is coming. Hope is an earnest expectation. If I have an earnest expectation, that means that I expect it to realistically happen. If I bought a lottery ticket and said I hoped I won a million dollars, that’s not the real definition of hope. I wouldn’t really be expecting to win a million dollars. On the other hand, if I told you that I hope my kids come home on the bus after school today, that’s an earnest expectation. I expect to see their smiling faces. I expect to wrap them in a hug, ask how their day was, and then feed them a snack.
Hope is what gives you a reason to smile through the tears. That’s the power of having hope in life. It empowers you to look forward to good times ahead.
The Last Thing You Need to Know to Find Hope in the Storm
My friend, if you are searching for hope in the storm, the first thing that I want to tell you is that God is there with you. He loves you and he sees what you are going through. He will walk with you no matter how fierce that storm gets.
Additionally, I want you to know that this storm will pass. If you step back and look at the big picture, you will see that brighter times are ahead. Practice gratitude. Thank Him for all of the blessings in your life that you are still enjoying. Often we take things for granted that we would be devastated if we lost. (Family, home, job, etc)
Remember to not let that storm keep you from enjoying the good moments around you. Be mindful. Similarly, don’t forget to take care of yourself while you are going through this storm. If you are going through a loss, remember the love and the good times, as I am doing for my recent loss. Be thankful that you have those memories. I am praying for you. Have faith that things will get better. <3
What’s your best advice for finding hope in the storm? Leave me a comment below!