I know that life can seem unfair. We often are faced with situations and circumstances that we are not prepared for. It can seem overwhelming at times. We can come to cross roads…where it can appear that we are left to our own devices. Sometimes we might feel like we have made poor decisions and now we feel trapped or snared…like a hunted animal. But what if we really aren’t trapped? What if the poor decision wasn’t really as negative as it appeared? What would you say if I told you that in the times that you feel at your weakest…it is then that God is at His strongest within you? When we are weakened…it is then when we submit to God’s will…so often those times are used to guide us down our true path. You might suggest that for me to even make such a suggestion that I probably had never been faced with such adversity. You would, of course be incorrect, but I can understand how you could be led to that assumption. There have been many times when I have come face to face with traumatic events. I have been forced to make decisions that I would later believe were mistakes. I have suffered considerable loss in my lifetime. I have known pain deeper than most people can imagine. I, too have the scars that abuse and life choices can leave. I have even had moments where I felt completely alone and isolated. But just as surely as the troubles appeared…they would eventually disappear. There are times when we are faced with terrible life altering circumstances that would appear to make us feel victimized or helpless. Everyone experiences this…in one way or another. The importance is not in what happened…but how you rose above it. What happened in that moment when you felt like all hope was lost? How did you get past that ordeal? Often we are tested and it seems unfair or cruel…as if we are left all alone…but we really aren’t. We should use these experiences as spring boards to uplift others. I have found ways of taking my hurtful experiences to help others who have been in the same or similar situation. The whole idea behind this is to continue the chain of HOPE. Hope is a wondrous thing…it can make us decide to get up every single time we fall down. All we really need is for someone to tell us that there is light at the end of the tunnel. We really only need to feel like we are not left alone…someone understands. I am here to let you know…hope springs eternal. It doesn’t have an expiration date. Hope is recyclable…once you have hope…then you can pass it on to someone else. It never leaves us…we just have to remember that we have it. NO one can take hope away from us…all they can do is make us pack it away. But when you remember that you have it…it will be there for you. Hope is a gift from God…it is that thing that gives us drive. Hope is what gives victims of abuse the strength to survive. Hope is the feeling we give others with the knowledge that they do not have to walk through life alone. It is reassurance…that we also know what they are feeling and coping with. It is important for all of us to know that…adversity is not the end of our story…it’s just the action in the middle. And I know this because all things begin and end with God. Do you ever wonder what makes people cry when something good happens? Or why people cry during a romantic or suspenseful movie with a loving ending? Why do we cry when we watch a baby smile or say their first word? Why do we cry when we see a loved one after an extended period of time? We cry during these times because it is our proof that God is all around us. We aren’t alone. We are so loved that we get to experience a baby’s smile and laughter. We have hope…for the future of ourselves and our loved ones. It gives us reason to go on. Having hope gives us peace…peace of mind. It fills our hearts with the hope that one day we won’t be at war…one day we won’t have children starving…one day we will be accepted for who we are and not what we look like. It gives the hope to believe that one day our fellow man will love us…as we love him. It gives us the hope to believe that people will stop killing…killing our neighbors….killing our friends…killing our families…that man will stop killing our hope…for the future.