Hope Makes All The Difference

Sharon May, Ph.D. and Alan Hart

Your family is probably like mine: nestled at home, washing hands constantly, using toilet paper sparingly, accepting strict limits to going out and about... We are all changing our lives in hopes of slowing down the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

This is a concerning time. The stay-at-home limitations have completely changed our daily lives. We are all facing new situations, dilemmas, anxiety and stress.

There are those who are working long, hard hours such as in the medical field, the first responders, the factory workers who are making needed medical supplies, and those who work in grocery stores and restaurants. We thank all of you!

Many others have been sent home from work or are on furlough; and with kids also being home, this can add to the stress on marriages and families. For some, the stay-at-home orders are creating isolation, loneliness or boredom; and for most—increasing loss-of-income pressures and future-of-work worries.

Yet, even in the midst of a crisis, we can find hope. Hope is defined as the expectation of something positive happening in the future, even if it looks unlikely today. Research confirms the power of hope in our lives, showing that medical patients do better when they have hope, and that it can be just as powerful as medication. Hope gives us the courage to rise up, be resilient, reach for the possible and never give up.

In this time, we all need hope to face the unknown struggles of each day; having confidence that no matter what, we will get through even the worst of circumstances. Hope for a job to still be there to return to, for finances to work themselves out, for the health of our friends and family, and for our minds not to go crazy while we're stuck at home. Hope for having the energy to home school while keeping up with new work demands (as well as usual house chores!). Hope for a confused child, a strained marriage, cut-off relationships and a grieving heart.

We can also hope for everyday things—for the kindness of others, for encouragement when we need it, for kids to fall asleep quickly offering a quiet evening once in a while. Or hope your spouse will choose not to escalate an argument but instead say, "it's okay, don't worry about it, let's let it go; I value you, let me give you a hug, I am sorry, I would like to get along."

Hebrews 6:19 tells us that hope in Christ is a "sure and steadfast anchor for the soul." So, let us always hope!

Our prayers and thoughts go out to you all. We wish we could sit down with each of you and encourage you to stay hopeful. Let's do our best to stay connected during these stressful and difficult times!

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