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Have you ever felt hopeless? Have you ever longed for joy but it seemed just beyond your grasp? Have you ever wondered what role you play in receiving peace, joy, and hope for your daily life? Then let me introduce you to my sweet friend, Lauren Gaskill. Today she shares her testimony of being in that same place, and how she overcame.
How to Find Hope in a Hopeless Situation
This situation is hopeless. Who am I kidding … I’m hopeless. Absolutely hopeless.
Hot tears streamed down my face as I walked out of the doctor’s office, and I could taste the bitter salt as they entered my mouth.
“Is she alright?” “Poor thing. Just look at her. She’s a mess.” “Wonder what’s wrong with her…”
Whispers echoed all around me, but I kept my eyes on the asphalt beneath my feet. I wasn’t looking for anyone else’s pity — I just wanted to go home. With shaking hands, I opened my car door, put the keys into the ignition and blared Adele’s “Hello” to drown out my wailing.
First anxiety. Then depression. Now a connective tissue disorder and degenerative joint disease?
Oh Lord, what more could go wrong with me?
I cried, prayed and begged for healing and deliverance, but neither came. And so, with each passing day, my faith, hope and joy dwindled as my health continued to decline before my eyes.
I can’t tell you the exact moment it happened, but somewhere along the way I lost sight of the hope that I had once had in Christ.
Keeping faith and hope alive can be a struggle when our circumstances make us feel like life is hopeless.
For me, with that sense of hopelessness came a slow and silent hardening of my own heart. It’s not like I woke up one morning and instantly felt cold, sad and bitter toward the world. I didn’t want my heart to become hard … it just happened.
The more I dwelled on the mess of my life, and the more I forgot to cling to God’s promises, the harder my heart became and the harder it was to find hope and joy in the everyday.
When anxiety, depression and chronic pain crippled me, I stopped looking for the good in people and situations. And as life sent me disappointment after disappointment, I stopped expecting things to work out. Instead of focusing on what would go right, I focused on what could go wrong. When life didn’t get better, I wallowed in my brokenness.
I wonder if you’ve ever felt the same way.
Finding hope in a hopeless situation
It’s been nearly three years since I ran out of that doctor’s office. In those three years, I have dealt with seasons of anxiety and deep depression. I’ve wondered if I would ever experience joy again. But, by God’s gloriously overwhelming grace, I have also found faith, hope and an everlasting joy that circumstances will never take away.
What changed, you ask?
I reached for Jesus.
In the middle of the raging sea that had become my life, I looked up and realized I was sinking beneath the surface. I didn’t know how I was going to bring hope, faith and joy back into my life, but I knew that if I didn’t reach for help, my life truly would remain hopeless. And so, I started reading the Bible again. I started asking God to change my heart.
“Help me trust you, Lord. Give me faith to trust what your Word says. Give me hope to see beyond my circumstance and joy in simply knowing you are always with and for me. Help me, Jesus. Please. Help me.”
Over and over again, I prayed these words, determined to finally start seeing beyond the struggle — to walk away from the darkness of hopeless living and into the light of a hope-filled future. I’ll admit, some days it felt like I was taking one step forward and two steps back (goodness knows I still feel like that sometimes on this faith journey), but as I opened my heart to the possibility of a better tomorrow, God began to transform my mind, heart and soul.
Does hope, faith and joy feel out of reach today?
Beloved, do not lose heart. Take courage. Reach for Jesus. Cling to His Word and what is good. Push back the dark and choose to see beyond the struggle. Seek help. Ask God for what you need.
I know the waves around you might seem scary, but you’re not going to drown in them. No, the only thing God wants you to drown in is His love as you dive deeper into a life of courageous faith in Him.
Jeremiah 29:13 “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”
Lauren Gaskill encourages women to go deeper in faith and live in joy, regardless of life’s circumstances. She is a devoted wife and fur mom to Reese, who she named after her favorite candy, peanut butter cups. Her first book, Into the Deep: Diving into a Life of Courageous Faith releases this fall.
Lauren is also the founder of She Found Joy, a nationwide events-based ministry encouraging women to discover an authentic joy in Jesus, live it consistently and give it abundantly. You can join Lauren and other prominent speakers for a night of food, fellowship and fun on the national She Found Joy Ladies Night Out tour, coming to eight cities this fall.