New Year’s resolutions used to be a stress inducer for me. Each year I’d come up with some grand goal of doing xyz and come January 12th I’d be so far off track it felt like there was no point.
In sickness I’ve tried a resolution or two. One year it was to hand-write a letter each month to send to a friend. I think I made it two months? And then, YOU GUESSED IT. No more letters. Last year my goal was to focus more on the blog…and that I DID do. So all is not lost.
But you know the hardest thing about the idea of New Year’s resolutions in sickness? We never know what to expect from one day to the next. I may be able to put in a total of three hours of blog/business work one day and be in bed unable to move for the next three.
So resolutions either have to be highly qualified and realistic for me or they have to be ditched altogether.
As I began to think about 2017 I decided I wanted to land on a word for the year. I thought it could either be an intention or something I wanted to embrace, or even just a word that resonates deeply.
The word that came to mind almost immediately stunned me. And that word was HOPE.
Why the stun, you ask? Well, it’s because I have a hard time using that word if I’m honest.
It’s a hard word to wrestle with when you feel as if you’ve been beaten down year after year by disease for the last 3.5. When it seems there’s no end in sight. Or in the moments when you’re literally just trying to breathe. (Thank you, Lyme & mold illness).
Hope can feel elusive when you’re held under the heavy weight of suffering. And when it’s portrayed by others as a feel-good-feeling or that it’s something you “just” have to choose? It can feel like an even more distant idea.
But hope is more than a choice.
And it’s very essence stretches beyond a happy dose of the feel-goods.
It’s more than a choice because sometimes we can know we want something, need it even, and reach for it…but not be able to grab hold of it.
On any day of the week I could need a heavy item pulled out of my cabinet. But in my current state of health I couldn’t safely make it happen. Between my POTS symptoms and lack of strength I wouldn’t be able to lift the item, let alone bring it down (or up) to my level.
So Trevin gets it for me. He carries the weight so I have access to what I need for the day.
Sometimes it’s the same with hope. We may barely have the strength to say the word out loud, let alone FEEL hopeful. And there are times our spirit is so weak that we need someone else to hold onto hope for us. To stand in the wet and cold with us, to support us as we stand, or sit, or crawl through the brokenness.
To hold onto the light of hope for us in the moments that we can’t.
So this year, just as years past, I will hold onto whatever fragments of hope I can manage. I will endeavor to give myself grace when I feel doubt or fear and I’ll continue to pursue healing in all its forms.
I’ll make an effort to regularly define what hope means to me. And let go – as many times as I need to – of impossible standards of what hope should look like in struggle.
I also want to hold hope for you.
That this year will be one that brings comfort for your weary soul. I want to hope for you that the thing you’re waiting for will begin to realize.
Through my writing, sharing, listening, living – I want to be a hope holder. A shoulder to lean on. To shed light in the dark corners of heartache, suffering and pain.
I’ll be here in your corner. Reminding you that someone out there is holding hope for you. For healing. Restoration. A source of income. Community. Family. Fulfilled dreams.
And the beauty of holding hope for others? It teaches us. Stretches us. And it means something deep, both to us and to the person we’re hoping for.
It reminds us we’re not alone. And that we’re in this thing called life together.
And that truth, in itself, is full of hope.
Want to join me with your own word for 2017? Comment below or join the discussion over on Facebook today! I’d love to hear from you.