Prisoner of Hope – The Colors of Hope
I have a friend who loves to tell stories of hope. They’re the kind of stories where you could sit back and close your eyes and see yourself in your daddy’s lap, holding onto every word, feeling safe and secure. No matter how many times I hear his stories I get more out of them. I hear things I didn’t hear the last time I listened. I cry and I laugh.
One of his stories talks about perspective. At least, that’s what I get out of it. I think perspective is very much intertwined in life. I grew up in a home where the perspective was very negative. Because of that, I grew up thinking I was basically something other than I am today. In this hope story my friend talks about – well, I don’t want to spoil it for you so you need to go to: http://bobhartley.org/hope-videos/ and listen to Best View in Town.
When something throws a wrench in your life and suddenly you’re facing a crisis or a dilemma that you just don’t understand, at that very moment you have a choice. Well, that’s not very fair of me, actually. When you lose someone a lot goes through your head or you are very numb, or both. But once you get through the news of what happened and you get through the plans of burial and memorial or what have you, it is then that you make a choice. At least it was for me.
How will I go through life now, you wonder. We all have different personalities and different thought processes. Some, when they loose a loved one, get rid of all their stuff and reminders. Some keep everything as it was. And I’m sure there are countless other ways to deal with the hole in your life. I don’t think there is a right or a wrong way. For me, I knew I had to move forward as best as I could. I knew my daughter would have expected that. Her personality was one to never want any of us to not do what we were suppose to do because I something she did or something going on in her life. So that made it a little easier to pick ourselves up and move forward.
About perspective – I was thinking about my life, now that’s it’s been eight years since we lost Vanessa. I like puzzles and I like mysteries. But I like them to be completed and solved. I was thinking about how my life was like a jigsaw puzzle – I pictured all these pieces laid out on a table – some were put together and some waiting. But what I saw so far were black pieces. No color. I love colors – so to picture this was a bit un-nerving to me. I realized these black pieces were how I felt about the loss we have as a family. Life feels black sometimes. But then I saw that I only saw part of the puzzle. That God saw the whole puzzle – he has the “box” so to speak, with the completed picture of my life on it. He sees the end result. He has the “best view in town”. That is when I realized that hope has color. Hope has a view that is good and sees more than what is right in front of it. It’s not a which on a star – it’s a deep routed view of what our life truly is and can become. I want to always choose life and always choose hope. It is a daily choice for me. But it is colorful and I believe it is right.
I want to thank you for reading the last 12 “chapters” of my journey. I will continue to blog about ………. life. But the Prisoner of Hope series will be expanding and publishing as a book. I do invite you to continue reading my posts and join me in the book that is in process.
God bless you all in your journey of hope.
Prisoner of Hope – Our Darkest Day
Part 1 …….
I am about to bring to you, Reader, a personal account of great loss to me and my family. I will open to you an experience of great loss and grief and, at the same time, great victory and triumph and peace for us. I hope that you can glean from our hurt and loss to apply to yours or to help someone you love.
In January of 2005 I worked in a small town Police Department on the East Coast of the United States. It was a normal day in my life – went to work, I knew at four o’clock I would drive home and feed the dogs and myself (my husband worked evenings so I wouldn’t see him until very late) and just relax with the TV or a book.
Our children were all adults by this time. One married and living about 4 miles away from us. Our daughter on the West Coast and a son in China studying Mandarin and the youngest living in the Mid-West. It was a bit lonely since we were a close family but communicated by phone regularly and saw the oldest often with his wife and our grandsons.
In the afternoon, while still at work, I felt a strong desire to call my daughter and see if all was OK. I had seen on CNN that there were heavy rains in Southern California and that always meant possible mud-slides. I called her and she said everyone was home in the small community of LaConchita due to mud on the main freeway. That was pretty normal there in the winter months. She sounded a bit afraid. She told me there were reports of possible tornados and I asked if she was near a hill. She said she was fine there and we told each other, “I love you”.
Those were the last words I heard our only daughter say to me. My heart broke that day.
She, along with 9 others perished as the hillside broke free and covered several homes and streets. A mother and her three young daughters perished next door while their dad went for ice cream. It was a heartbreaking day in La Conchita that January 10th, 2005. And a heartbreaking day for our family.
Being on the east coast was difficult. I received a phone call from a friend that told me what happened and at the time all they knew was that my daughter was missing. I immediately called my husband and he came home from work so we could pray and wait. We had to call our sons. We called Jonathan, who lived the closet and our youngest, Kirk, who was in Missouri. We decided to wait to call Matthias who was in Shanghai, China until we knew the outcome.
That night was the longest night of out lives. Waiting is hard on a normal basis. But to be waiting the outcome of a tragic situation is pure hell. We are a God-fearing family with a personal relationship with our God and Savior, Jesus Christ. We try our best to trust and depend on Him to guide and carry us through life. We are human. We lack trust often and lack faith often. But one thing I can say that was proven that dark day in January of 2005 is that we have a Hope in God that is anchored deep. Meaning that when the clouds crash down on you and all looks dark – we saw an anchor fastened deep that would carry us all through this dark, hurtful time.
…………… to be continued ………….
Here in the Waiting Room
Waiting is very hard for me. Is it easy for anyone? Well, I’m sure there are some of you that wait better than I do and perhaps even enjoy the waiting. God bless you.
But this is about me – I want to embrace the waiting. I want to get every single drop of the moisture of learning, of knowing, of love out of the waiting. I want to paint the waiting room walls a cheery yellow with green accents and a touch of orange so as long as I need to linger I can enjoy the wait.
So, here I am in the waiting room. Trying to focus on the One who sits with me as I wait. Trying to focus on Him and the tasks set before me that can be worked on while waiting ………
Waiting for what, you ask? I am simply waiting for the desires of my heart to come to pass. The promises lovingly spoken to me to blossom to their fullest. Writing these words suddenly makes the walls a brighter yellow and my heart beats a little faster feeling the anticipation of windows opening and doors being flung wide.
Ahh, fresh, sweet air coming to me on bright frilly breezes…… here in the Waiting Room. 🙂