Grief is Not the Absence of Hope

This fall at Wellshire, we have been talking all about hope. Frankly, we’ve been trying to bombard you with it—another voice with a different message, one that might just give a little peace.

But peace is hard to come by. Hope is hard when all you want to do is grieve.

I’ve been doing a lot of grieving. There’s some grief for small, missed opportunities I was looking forward to. And there’s big grief for big loss thanks to death and depression. The stages of grief are all mixed together because the minute I think I’m processing and working through it, another wave from another event crashes into me, and I’m left feeling stuck. Unable to think about anything, much less what is making me sad in the first place. How can I have hope when I’m too busy feeling trapped in denial or anger and never get to acceptance?

Some psychologists have written articles about our brain’s responses to prolonged trauma. That’s what 2020 has been for almost all of us, one prolonged trauma with many waves.

And yet, I still get up in the morning. I still purchase tickets to a pumpkin patch for my kids. I still go to work and try my best. I’m still doing things. Maybe it’s habit, but I’m choosing to believe those are expressions of a deep seeded hope I don’t always remember I have. I think when we talk about the hope that our faith gives to us, it’s much more subconscious than we realize. I’m not thinking about the promises of God every day—though I’m sure it’s not the worst practice to start—but there is something inside me that makes me feel like I have to keep trying. I have to keep mourning and working and breathing.

And I think you have it too. If you’re reading this, you have it. If you’re watching services or listening to podcasts or praying before you eat, you have subconscious hope. Grief is not the absence of hope; it’s the physical manifestation that what we are experiencing is not right. There must be something else coming.

So, when you feel stuck in the weight of all that this season is, and it is a lot, know that there is hope left inside you. Look for it. Try to grow it. Remember, you are in a Community of Hope.

Written by Abbie Amiotte

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