There’ve been moments in my life when hope seemed elusive and irrational. Hope disappeared when one of my best friends, Conya, died of a brain bleed at age forty. My world turned upside-down when she took her last breath.
I ‘ve said it before, hope is the anticipation of more to come. I could not see much beyond her death. I just knew all of us, including her husband and three children, needed her. Her death impacted me in so many ways. I’ve learned personal grief becomes part of our story. The one thing I know is true in my own life as well as those I’ve pastored, is that hope needs to resurface in order to manage grief in a healthy manner. It’s vital to anticipate “more” in life.
Studying the Bible was a big part of the process of restoring hope and ultimately joy in my life. Conya and I shared a love for the book of Psalms, often reading and discussing specific chapters and verses. Psalm 4 became our Psalm. I read it several times to her when she was hospitalized and ended up focusing on verse 7:
I’ve shared this verse with countless people as a prayer for their life. It speaks of the power of legacy, planting seeds into the lives of people, which hold the potential to take root, grow, and produce an abundance of “grain and new wine.” Hope is born all over again when it’s understood that the impact of one life goes on through others. There’s more to come from one life than what could ever be imagined.
While I don’t understand why she left this world so soon, I do see what’s been produced from her life; I now see more of what has come out of her life than I saw when she died. I know she would have an out-of-this-world joy when it comes to how her three kids and husband chose to live. Conya’s death did not leave them permanently hopeless but, rather, ultimately gave them hope that God had something more than what was seen in the moment.
It’s clear to me that the hope of today is not diminished when the hard things of life strike, including death. There’s always more to come.
Today . . . light the candle symbolizing hope . . . praying for more to come out of your life than what is seen in the moment. Take time to tell the story of the hope of God.
(Written by Kerrie Carlisle Palmer © 2014 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED)
Her impact has continued in our lives–