Monday, September 17, 2012

The Hope Factor

One can easily loose hope when dealing with a mental health issue.  Feeling hopeless is a common experience not only for those of us who have experienced mental health difficulties but also for our loved ones.  Loosing hope strikes right at the core of our will to live.  And this “thief of hope” leaves us "feeling" empty and void of any reason of moving forward. 

Not only have I experienced this myself, but also as a group facilitator I have seen it over and over.  Which has brought me to this conclusion: hope is not a feeling.  Rather, hope is a decision.  And when we choose to have hope, in spite of how we "feel", our feelings will follow. Therefore, there are times I choose to have hope despite what my circumstances look like much less how hopeless I might feel.

Each of us we must decide in whom or what we place our hope.  For me, my hope is in the Lord.  I see him as loving, kind, gracious and merciful. He has never let be down and is always with me.  So, I choose hope because of his faithfulness, not because of my circumstances or my feelings. For me, I know I can count on him working all things out for my good.

If you are feeling hopeless I encourage you to make a decision of your will to have hope in spite of your feelings or circumstances.  Place your hope in someone or something outside of yourself and your feelings will follow.  I call it the "hope factor"; having hope no matter what!

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace!"  
Romans 15:13