HOPE is when YOU believe what you want is attainable.
Seven years ago I was without hope. And for what feels like a stupid reason now. I don't want to go into it too much because I don't want to give it anymore thought, but I put most of my future hope in a guy. Dumb. Anyway, when he broke my heart after five years, I thought it was the end. I was 25; I was back home in my small town after graduation college; I didn't have a job; and I didn't have many friends that lived near me anymore. I didn't know how to meet anyone new--I had spent all my "meet new people" years dating one guy.
Instead of seeing that now I was free to travel or do whatever I wanted with no ties, I was blinded by failure. I spent days, weeks, months wallowing in my little house with my cat and Captain Morgan.
I wanted a teaching job that I could love.
I wanted a guy who would make me smile.
I wanted a family and a nice little house.
None of these things seemed attainable. I thought I had completely failed. I had lost hope entirely. I had lost faith in myself as well as in the world around me.
But there were two people in my life who were determined NOT to let me drown my sorrows and myself over something like a guy. They would NOT let my life fall apart. They saw who I was before him and knew that that girl was still in there somewhere.
Those two people were my best friend, Tonya, and my husband, Cortney.
I know I have posted this picture before, but it's my absolute favorite. These two have stuck with me as I have swum in the depths of depression more times than I can count. They are always my hope.
In fact, after that summer seven years ago, Cortney stuck by me as more than my friend. We fell in love, and were married. Tonya was there. She cried and couldn't finish her matron of honor speech. It's the only time I've ever seen her break down.
It's easy for me to sink into sadness and despair. When bad happens to my Hope Team, I get swept up in it almost as much as they do. I thought our world was over when Tonya was diagnosed with diabetes. I took Cort's pain into my heart when his dad died. It's hard for me to see the people who have been my strongest support have bad things happen.
But somehow, through their valleys and through my dark paths, they have kept that faith that all we want in life can happen. I am beyond amazed at their strength every day, but even more they keep proving my doubt wrong.
I have a teaching job that I love.
I have a guy that makes me smile (every day!).
I have a family and a nice little house.
They are there with words of hope and positivity every time I start to doubt. When feeling my worst, Tonya will text me that I am beautiful and that she loves me. When I am just having a hard day and the anxiety is taking over, Cortney will hold my hand before bed and tell me he loves me.
And you know what? Because of their love and strength, I am able to dig way down and find the fighter in me. I can find the hope that suck way down to a place so deep I thought it would drown completely and take me with it.
When I don't believe that we will make it financially , or that I will keep a job, or that we will be able to have more kids, or even that I will be able to wear a bikini again, Tonya and Cort prove me wrong.
They help ME to believe that the things I want ARE attainable. They help me to have HOPE.