It has been some time since my last post. I try not to write without reason, and over the past few months a reason to write has been hard to discern. It’s not that I haven’t had ideas or things I have wanted to share; rather, I have had too many ideas and things to say. Sometime, I think, when there is a lot to be said silence is the better choice. So, for the past few months I have chosen to keep things to myself. Now as the year ends I think it is fitting to break the silence for one thought that may carry into the new year.
I have heard from many public figures that 2017 was a horrid year. I read on social media that this year was one everyone could not wait to be over. I cannot say I disagree. 2017 was not necessarily a great year for me, but it also was not horrible. I do think as a country and as the world in general there were things this year that were worse than others. This year we saw the biggest mass shooting on American soil. We saw riots and protests break out in cities that are generally peaceful. There was overall a lot of hate and anger. Many took to social media to voice their anger. Of these people, our world leaders were among them. People this year felt many things, and decided to say all of those feelings across the internet. The main emotion being hurt. There was an unending amount of hurt that was felt this year. This was caused by big organizations, public figures, and private citizens. I know I added to the hurt when I didn’t mean to. People who feel hurt often hurt others to make them feel the same way. It’s not right, but it happens. This year was rough, but so was last year, and honestly, next year might be rough too.
There was good this year too. Even amidst the hurt there was happiness. For me, I grew closer to friends and made changes in my life that brought more happiness instead of stress (I discussed this in a earlier post). I got to see my family gain an addition in my baby niece (the cutest baby this world has seen). I built professional and personal relationships that will last for a long time to come. Not all was bad this year. As a society, people finally decided to speak out against sexual abuse in a way that sent shockwaves through the entertainment industry. TIME Magazine’s “Person of the Year” was actually a group of silence breakers who started the movement. Justice is finally being seen for people who have been hurt for decades. While it is tough to hear the stories, good is happening in those situations. Change has started in full force in many areas such as a diversity and gender equality. 2017 made many steps forward despite it feeling like an uphill battle.
All of this is to say is that hope lives. Hope is always there even when you think it’s lost. In movies like Star Wars and the Hunger Games the villains despise hope because they know it is powerful. The Rebellion is built on hope because fear will always lose to it. What these stories don’t realize though is that properly placed hope is even stronger. The Bible says to put your hope in the Lord. There is a verse that I got stuck on these last couple months. I was not doing great because life was difficult and it was hard to find hope. I was reading in Psalms and came across this verse that I thought summed up my year. It said “Why, my soul, are you downcast;Why so disturbed within me?” I read those and thought “Oh wow, these are questions I have been thinking for a while.” But, then the author immediately says “Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” (Psalm 42:11). The author notices his spirit’s current state, and the only way to fix it is to refocus back on God. He tells himself to hope in God and praise God even though his spirit is downcast. There’s a whole sermon in that. The main idea, though, is that God is where our hope should be. Don’t put hope in celebrities, leaders, or organizations. They will fail. God won’t.
“Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all.”
― Emily Dickinson