When I was 28 years old, or somewhere in that age range, I ran across a scripture in the Bible that read “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life” (Proverbs 13:12).
Up unto this point in time, I had made many wrong decisions that had major consequences for my life and future. One of which was losing custody of my son because I chose to move out of Shasta County and return to Visalia. If you are a parent, you might understand the enormity of this decision and many might even question “how could you ever leave your child?” The answer is that I instinctively knew that if I did not make a change in my life, I would cease to exist. Within 6 months of moving back to Visalia where my entire family lived, three of my friends where killed, all in accidents involving alcohol. I have no doubt I would have been one of them had I not listened to my instinct that I was in danger.
I had been raised in a stable home, with two parents who taught my sister and I right from wrong. We attended church my entire childhood and I knew what it felt like to have a relationship with the lord. Yet, I flunked out of high school and had two DUI’s buy my 21st birthday. I was like so many others, just looking for the place I belonged. I had major insecurity issues and a real need to fit in and be accepted. It was this very deep seeded need that dictated the decisions I made and the regret and sorrow that followed.
You may be wondering why I am sharing this or why should you care about my story when many people reading this article don’t even know me. The reason why I am sharing this and why my story matters is because 8 out of 10 people have made mistakes that they regret and are living with the consequences of those decisions. My story is not about me and how well I have turned out (by my standards) but my story is about how “all things work together for the good” and if you live long enough, you can look back at events in your life that appeared to be very bad but somehow turned out alright.
Today, as I write this article, my son is celebrating his 25th birthday and I am very much a part of his life. He is his momma’s son through and through. Also, I am writing as Marriage & Family Therapist, Trainee who recently graduated with my Master’s degree. My life today is polar opposite from the girl I use to be. If any of you reading this article could talk to my parents, they would tell you, they had no hope for me. Even as believers, trusting in a God they prayed to, had no hope, because the circumstances of my life where bleak. How many of you know someone that you have lost hope in? Wondering what will become of them and if you will receive the dreaded phone call in the middle of the night?
Let me remind you of the scripture that I quoted at the beginning of this article. “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.” What the Bible is saying here is that hope is not lost, it is simply deferred, which means it took a detour, but all detours eventually lead to the original destination. I’d like to encourage you and tell you not to give up on the thing you are hoping for. Whether it is hope for someone else or hope for yourself, nothing is impossible. Life is not easy, even when you do all the right things. The truly great people, the truly strong people and the truly courageous people have one thing in common…they never gave up, they persevered and they did whatever was necessary to overcome the struggle. Like I said, it isn’t easy, but it is possible.
What is it that you have given up on? Yourself? Your physique? Your relationship? Your child? Your friend? GOD? I promise you, if you make a commitment to yourself to hope again, you won’t be disappointed. Pay attention to the details that follow and you will see God’s hand at work on your behalf.