The Necessity of Hope
It’s generally assumed that a proper telling of a story should begin at the beginning. I suppose it only makes sense, we humans like chronological. The problem with the beginning, at least with my account, is that you don’t see the hope, not right away at least.
I’m sure you can relate if you’ve experienced any kind of trauma. Our stories of brokenness don’t usually open with hope, do they? We tend to pull the curtain back only to find that turmoil, hurt, and pain have the starring roles.
I want something else to have the starring role here.
What do you do with anxiety and depression?
Over the weeks to come, I’m sharing my life journey with anxiety and depression: the good, the bad, the ugly, and the in-between. I believe in bringing our stories into the light to share our bumps, bruises, and scars. There is meaningful value in the painful parts of our stories.
However, I try to put the spotlight where it should’ve been all along these days. For that reason, I’m starting somewhere else.
I’m starting with HOPE.
If you glean only one thing from our time together, I want it to be hope. I believe that hope is the single greatest conqueror over fear.
If there is one emotion intrinsic to anxiety and depression, it is hopelessness. It feels like a ride that you desperately want to get off of but can’t figure out how. Before you have even begun, you already feel defeated. This is where anxiety and depression thrive, in the darkness of “I can’t” and “this will never go away.”
I’d love for you to try to make a conscious commitment to walk away from that kind of thinking. But, of course, I’m not implying that you stop feeling or telling you that all your problems will dissolve by thinking positively.
I’m asking you to make room for something else—make room for hope.
The lies in your head will tell you that you are alone, that you are the only one that is beyond help. Those same lies whisper that there is no hope for you. It is just simply not true.
My friend, I want you to grab hold of one truth before we even begin talking about the specifics of anxiety and depression.
Hope is a necessity for healing and change.
There is hope.
Meeting the God of Hope
There was a time I truly believed I was the only person who couldn’t be helped. Today, I believe that if I can overcome daily panic, anxiety, and depression, anyone can. I realize that is an audacious statement to make, but we have a truly amazing God.
The comfort and hope I have gained are found in a person that happens to have hope in His name.
The God of hope.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13
He is the God of hope, and our hopelessness and brokenness are His specialties.
He’s not the God of “I, really, really hope that this happens.” No, it’s a different kind of hope. In this verse, the word hope means a joyful and confident expectation. Do you see the difference? He’s not a cross-your-fingers and wishes kind of God. He is a God that we can have complete confidence in.
A God we can put our hope in.
My prayer for you, my dear reader, is that you will come to trust the God of hope with your emotions, greatest fears, and most significant doubts. He’s big enough to take it.
There is always hope, no matter what you’ve been through or how long you have gone through it.
I also pray that you find this blog and find a safe place for “me too.” Even if you do not experience anxiety or depression, I am confident we all know someone who does. Everyone will most likely deal with these emotions at some point in their lives. I hope you find some valuable information to help in the fight against fear for yourself or someone you love.
Just maybe, you can walk away with a little more hope.
There is a God that is so much bigger than our fears. He is the God of hope.
Where to begin to combat anxiety and depression
I can say without hesitation that you didn’t get here overnight; therefore, you will not do one thing that suddenly changes it all.
When I was in the thick of anxiety and depression, I searched for a big solution. When really, it was a lot of little things that led to the significant change I had been grasping for.
Here are a few things you can do today to start turning the tide:
- First, begin with hope and move forward from there. Choose to believe every day that things can change; you can change. You are not beyond help.
- Speak Truth. In the challenging moments of anxiety and (or) depression, your brain will be screaming that you can’t get out of this. You have been believing the lie that you “just can’t.” These lies have become ingrained in your mind and have turned into a belief system.
Find a scripture or other truth that explicitly combats the lies you believe, write them down, memorize them, and speak them to yourself. Plain and simple; replace the lie with the truth. (I’ll talk more about this in later posts.)
No, it’s not a magic wand. Yes, it takes time and effort on your part. But truth kills lies. Speak the truth, and you will see hope increase.
- Be okay with where you are. Right. Now. Yes, we all want to be better, do better, feel better, Right. Now. But sometimes, it starts with being okay where you are in this moment. Permit yourself to be anxious. Let it be okay for you to feel the depression. You were made with emotions, God-given emotions. Your emotions are not the bad guy. So be okay with allowing yourself time and looking under the hood to figure out what needs a tune-up. You are a complex, unique, remarkable, one-of-a-kind individual. God made you that way. Working out the kinks will take a little time and a little hurt along the way.
And that is okay. Do you know why?Hope is born from suffering.Click To Tweet
What do you do with anxiety and depression?
Every day you show up, equipped with the truth, believing there is hope and allowing yourself to be where you are; you are building up your reservoir of hope.
“Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” Romans 5:3-5
There is no shame in hoping.
Find hope. Believe that there is hope. You were not meant to walk this life crippled with panic, fear, and sadness. I promise.
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” …Jesus John 10:1
A necessary disclaimer: I am not a doctor; I am not a professional with letters after my name. I have lived with anxiety and depression for over 20 years. Read about me here. I may have life experience and insight, but I suggest you seek professional help if you feel you need it.
***If you came upon this site and are not sure about this whole Jesus thing, let me say welcome! I hope you’ll stick around and maybe enter the conversation about Him and who He claims to be.