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Why It Takes Grit to Hope-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: January 28, 2018


We all know the searing pain of disappointment. I was nine when I experienced the raw feeling of being forgotten. Left on the side of the road by my older cousins while they spent the day at the fairgrounds. My tender, young heart never forgot that horrible, no good day, and disappointment became a reality that turned into a false belief.

It felt cruel to disappoint my own children or friends.

Most of my adult life it felt like I was skating on thin ice to protect others and myself from disappointment. So what happens when you become a Christian and put your hope in a loving God? When life doesn’t work out. Or, in fact when life hits you in the gut?

One of my words for 2017 was HOPE. It was the year where I needed something good to happen. I was in deep grief, crushed, physically ill and each day looking for new HOPE. Hope for comfort, healing and trickles of joy. By this time in my Christian journey I knew that life is full of disappointments. We live in a “material” world and everything breaks or dies and most things in this life will someday disappoint us. I wasn’t disappointed that Jack died, I was devastated, heartsick and I needed hope to live out each day.

I asked God to help me understand and live with daily hope. Each day before I even got out of bed I prayed and asked God to give me strength for that day. For months that was my prayer for hope. Strength for that day. Some days it took grit to put my feet on the ground, but with prayer I was able to do it every day. On step at a time. One day at a time. Beside my bed there were several books on HOPE. Each night I read portions of stories of how other people got through their struggles. Reading about their victory gave me an expectancy of better days. In the mornings I read devotionals focused on HOPE. Then I searched for the word “hope” in Bible Gateway and read all the verses and stories on hope. I re-read the book of Job and saturated myself in the book of Philippians.

And I prayed. Oh how I prayed.

When my physical strength returned and my heart started to heal, I pushed toward a different hope. Hope for a greater purpose. Hope for my ministry to flourish. Hope for laughter. Hope for the joy of living alone. By the end of 2017 God had fulfilled each prayer for hope.

Hoping is not wishing. Wishing is sitting around “wishing” something good will happen today. Having an unrealistic expectation of how life will turn out can leave us sour and disappointed. I’ve been there. This time I went to the source of hope, my Heavenly Father. The One who is involved in every detail of my life and only wants the very best for me. God is the only One who can mend a broken heart and heal my physical body. He is the only One who can turn our pain into beauty. But it takes determination and grit. Each day it’s a resolve to believe that all my setbacks will be comebacks. That none of my pain is wasted. In fact, that God will use my pain to make me more like Him and make this world a better place. God and I are on this adventure together. There is no disappointment; only daily fresh hope.







Posted in: disappointment, Expectations, False Belief Systems, grit, Heavenly Father, Hope, Prayer, victory

One response to “Why It Takes Grit to Hope-by Heidi McLaughlin”

  1. hmclaughlin says:

    May your explorations bring you much wisdom and joy.

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