Today I choose to have hope!  I am nine days pain-free, I am struggling to gain weight (in fact, I am losing weight), and in less than two months I have to return to Mayo Clinic to repeat what I just experienced.  Yet, I still chose to have hope.  A dear friend reminded me today that there is always hope!  She pointed out that the word used in the Hebrew Bible for the word hope actually means cord or rope, which comes from a root word that means to wait for something. The Hebrew word Tikvah, or hope, is a rope that we can hang onto when the world seems out of control or when we don’t know how to make it through a difficult season in life.  So today, I wrap my fingers as tight as I can to this beautiful word hope.

People often will ask me how I am doing.  I tell them I feel like I just finished three rounds in a MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) battle.  While it looked like I was going to be choked out or submit by an armbar, I make it to the end of the final five-minute round and I hear the bell go off.  As I stand up, realizing I am not dead, I look for my corner but I can’t find it.  I’m beaten up, I’m tired, I’m sore, yet I am alive.  I’m breathing!  I have friends who are encouraging me to hold tightly to hope because there is always hope!  And I serve a God who is for me and offers me this hope every day.  He says,

I know the plans I have in mind for you, declares the Lord; they are plans for peace, not disaster, to give you a future filled with hope.

Jeremiah 29:11

One of the reasons I made it through to the end of the three rounds is that I had a group of friends, family, relatives, and neighbors… a community… cheering me, encouraging me, and lifting me up.  I was reminded I was not alone and I was loved.  My friend who reminded me to be hopeful said, “I will be sending along prayers and love that you can remain hopeful.”  And you know what, just reading her words infused me with hope.  Thank you, dear friend!

So today I choose to have hope!  And today I am going to forward the prayer of my friend to you, “sending along prayers and love that you can remain hopeful.”