With all the yearning… there is so much HOPE.
When I sat down to write yesterday, I felt heavy. It was a full day. I was spent in every way possible & have been recovering from a stomach bug, turned vertigo, turned nasty head cold for the past 2 weeks. I was bound and determined to catch up on my 31 days as I was beginning to lag behind, but I overslept & woke up to two toddling shadowy figures fighting over a car with eyes by my bedside. Next, our baby girl woke & we all fumbled downstairs to start breakfast. With a quick scroll of my phone the news article about Brittany Maynard caught my eye: “29 year old cancer patient has scheduled her death for Nov.1“. The headline took my breath away & felt like a gut punch all at once. Tears welled up in my eyes as I stirred oatmeal, glanced at my three babies, then made myself stop reading the article. It felt so utterly hopeless.
I went through my day… guidance counseling, dropping off and picking up the boys from preschool, wrestling everyone into their rooms for naps, fixing dinner, running out the door for my night in the office counseling for my practice Milk+Honey…. just a typical, full Thursday. Yet something felt different. I felt like I was carrying my son’s book bag with a pile of rocks on my back all day. I felt so weighed down. My heart was breaking for Brittany. I took some time to read a few more articles & watch the video & then read the article I pointed to on Ann Voskamp’s blog written by Kara Tippetts. I found HOPE.
You can read more about Kara’s story on her blog. She has stage IV cancer, 4 kids, & lives with her husband in Colorado. They moved there to plant a church. After a scary fall in the shower, a fire that burned their beautiful home, & finally a cancer diagnosis she decided to choose life & to savor every moment & breath she is given. Here she is challenging us all to do the same:
I have been following Kara’s story for a while now, mostly because of the HOPE she radiates. When I read the letter she wrote to Brittany, in summary extending love & camaroderie & a willingness to enter into her story… I felt lighter. I remembered the power of HOPE. Then I remembered my dear friend Kristen Milligan, co-founder of Inheritance of Hope who passed away almost 2 years ago of stageIV liver cancer after a 10 year battle. Kristen was a graduate of Davidson College, married Deric Milligan soon after, had 3 beautiful children, & was diagnosed when her youngest was 6 months old. A few years into her treatments, she decided she wanted to leave a legacy of HOPE for other families facing terminal illness. So during her final decade of life on this earth, between doctors appointments, treatments, numerous surgeries & very intentional time with her family she created Inheritance of Hope. I have been able to humbly serve as a counselor to the families that attend all-expense paid retreats in NYC or Disney World on many occasions. Here she is sharing a bit about her story a few months before she passed away in 2012:
I love being able to hear her laugh at the end of this video. She has truly left a legacy that continues!
One other place I have found a great deal of HOPE lately is from two sisters I have mentioned before in my post Writing At.The.Barn from a few weeks ago. Emily Freeman & Myquillyn Smith (The Nester). They are the reason I jumped on this 31 days grueling, yet life giving challenge yet again, have started something called Hope*ologie. They describe themselves like this: We are idea-people, imperfectionists, artists, and dysfunctional but transformed journeyers. I felt compelled to join them in this place of HOPE in regards to Home.Family.Soul. & have been so blessed by
laughing out loud at listening in on podcasts, reading essays, & walking away nodding in my heart. Would love for you to join us at Hopeologie.com