Holding On To Hope In Times Of Need.

Proverbs 13:12
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.

2020 has been derailed from the get go. Firstly by ravishing bushfires during our Australian summer, followed shortly after by the devastating onset of COVID-19. It's definitely difficult to see the trees through the forest, or the light at the end of the tunnel right now, when our days are all very much consumed with an overloaded work schedule, and daily breaking news updates that continue to heighten our confusion and frustration all at the same time.

And I speak of this from the perspective of a well-rounded, educated adult. (Well at least that's how I would like to think of myself!) Imagine how our young people must be feeling? 

Yes, I completely agree with the real fact that children / young people are far more resilient than what we give them credit for. However the craziness of the reality that we are all living is most certainly taking its toll. And quite frankly, I say this with first-hand experience and knowledge. I am witness to the emails that are sent to me on a daily basis from people who looking for someone to help support their child, and therefore the family, as they face the struggles that are impeding their wellbeing and mental health.

And this ultimately brings me to my topic of discussion. In my exploration for a short prayer for my Friday morning online Homebase with a class of year 7 students, I found Proverbs 13:12.

"Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life."

It is here, at this very point, that I stopped, took a deep breathe, and closed my eyes. 

Hope. The hope that resides in every single one of us varies. Yet not one element of hope from anyone is any less important or insignificant than another. In times of crisis, it only natural to have a longing, a desire, a prayer, or a sense of hope for normality. Regardless of whatever that normality may be or look like, we crave for it to return.

However, I've come to realise over the past few days, that with hope, there is strength. Every single day, each one of us is graced and blessed with the strength to put one foot in front of the other. We move forward to make yet more progress. And with this progress, we are learning brand new things we once thought we would never know. We are inevitably becoming more educated in ways we have potentially not yet even realised. 

And it is this message that I want to whole-heartedly share with you. This message of hope you need to remember is far from lost. We have been living in isolation with stage 3 restrictions having been placed upon Victorians since midnight March 29. During this time, we have essentially lost a great deal of our freedom, and our overall physical connections and interactions with many of our loved ones, friends and colleagues. This turn of unforeseen events has meant that we as a society have needed to severely re-adjust, adapt to, and become acclimatised to a new way of living.

The reality however, when we stop for just a brief moment to reflect, is that we are doing exactly that. We HAVE adjusted. We HAVE adapted. And we HAVE acclimatised. The journey thus far has not been easy. I will be the first person to put my hand up to acknowledge that the struggles have been, and are still very real. But each day I wake up, and I find strength and hope.

Just as Proverbs 13:12 reads true during these times, our hearts hurt, and they are sickened by the horrible reality that innocent lives have been lost. Families have been broken. Jobs have been ripped away. But the longing we hold on to that is underpinned by strength and hope is still so strong. We can not lose faith. We can not given up. We can not let go of hope.

Remember that all we desire will return. Maybe not tomorrow, or the next day. Or even the day after that. But deferred hope only means a temporary hold. Deferred hope can build our resilience. It deepens our love and passion for the things we truly want. It opens our eyes and hearts to the smaller things in our lives that we should be grateful for. Deferred hope is exactly as it reads. It is deferred. Not lost.

The longing for all the things you want back in your life...for all the things you are hoping for...know that when you receive them, you will have a profound sense of fulfilment. And it is with this, that you will then grow in mind, body and soul, knowing that what you have hoped for for so long, you will take back with an enormous heart that is open and filled with love and gratitude.

I encourage you to stay strong. Stay focused. Remind yourself that hope is a sign of strength. And whilst you have strength, your hopes will not fade or disappear. Reflect upon, and embrace your new found talents and gifts that 2020 has given you. This journey has much to offer. All you need to do is take the time out to stop see it. Let it be the fire that keeps your hopes alive and your heart strong.

Sending you love and light...



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