My friend Lisa has a new blog called lightning strikes. It can be found HERE. She is new to blogging but her second post is the one that intrigues me now. She calls it “What is Hope”. And all though I have covered this topic in various ways before on this blog I believe it is worth visiting again.
So what is hope? By it’s proper definition (that can be found at dictionary.com) hope is: the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best. Not a very colorful or inspiring definition, but functional. For me, hope is a very personal, spiritual, even a Godly gift. The greatest of God’s gifts to his children actually. I know the bible says the greatest is love, and of course I was raised to believe this. But being one who thinks outside the box (proudly), I must disagree with this assessment. It is hope that drives us in all aspects of our lives. We hope to get a great job so we go to college. We hope to live a long life so we choose to make good life choices. We hope that those who guide us are doing so in order to protect us (that has proven to be a false hope for our families with children who have vaccine-induced autism). Every decision we make is because of hope. Faith is based on hope as well. Love is based on hope as well.
As a parent of a child with autism my “hopes” have changed over the course of the past ten years. Going from hoping autism would just go away to hoping for JR’s ability to speak, neither of which would come to my wanted conclusion. OR what I thought was my wanted conclusion. See, even though God gives us many gifts, hope being but one, sometimes the “gift” is when we don’t get what we are asking for! Being “forced” to keep autism has made us better people, stronger people, a better family.
At the same time I found out about Lisa’s blog site (she has added a great deal of content since I began this blog (my post may take me a week to finish)) I got an e-mail from my pastor, a general information for the congregation e-mail. He added something to it called: THOUGHT 2 THINK ABOUT. And the thought? Again HOPE!! Here is the thought: “Where does your hope come from? Don’t answer right away with the right answer, think about it and answer with the truth for you. Does your hope come from your job, the paycheck, the possibility of promotion? Maybe getting that house, that television or even that date. Does hope come from what you can do to make your situation different? Right in the midst of your circumstances…where is your hope? Now…talk with God…”
And my response:
For Rodney and me, well autism has been, and I suspect probably always will be; bittersweet. I don’t need to explain the “bitter” portion. The sweet has been very subtle, though consistent over the past 10 years. Small things mostly, except save one big one. Autism literally saved my marriage! I know you think the opposite would be true. And by some sources 80% of the marriages where autism lives don’t survive. I don’t necessarily believe that but those are the stats.
“Does hope come from what you can do to make your situation different?” But of course hope feeds our actions. In EVERY situation you have at least 2 options; positive and negative. Taking a negative can be flipped to a positive. The problem for most people I think, me included (at times) is the lack of patience. Flipping takes time. Sometimes a lot of it. In some situations it’s a lifetime endeavor.