“Finding hope isn’t about forgetting where you are right now and getting to the next season. Finding hope lays in wanting and waiting for what you know can be, should be, and will be a better hour.”~ Kyla Cofer
Finding hope in the darkest of moments is by far one of the most difficult things anyone can do. But it is also truly life-changing.
I’m sitting on my front porch, admiring my freshly mowed lawn and watching cars drive by. The wind has picked up a little, sending the delicious smell of cut grass throughout my new neighborhood, and each fresh scent brings flashes of memories of my teenage years.
I remember racing my life-long friend through the grass on his farm. The smell of Nebraskan cows connecting this place to the word “peace”, in my memory. Childhood memories carry with us throughout our lives, single moments that continue to shape us as we age.
On many days much like today, I would flutter from our rustic, white farmhouse, to read teenage novels in the curved branch of the tree on the other side of the driveway.
Some days I would hide out in the sweltering barn attic for the same purpose, watching the acreage from the triangle-shaped crack in the siding. Or better yet, I forged new paths in our “woods”, day-dreaming of being a character in one of my books.
I imagined that no one knew where I was, that I escaped to a world all my own. I’m sure my mom could find me at any moment, like only moms can, but I’m glad she let me think I wandered into a secret place.
Finding Hope in the Darkest of Moments
Two decades after those moments, I’m watching my neighbor – a girl of maybe eleven – ride her bike up and down our street telling stories to herself.
She seems oblivious to the world around her; there’s nothing more important than staying on the road, feeling the wind wave to the sunset, listening to the evening song of the cicadas, and delighting in the dance of the fireflies.
As a child, I had no idea that I would one day go to college, speak two languages, travel the globe, or write these words. I never dreamt I’d interpret classes, enjoy art museums, cry over lost loves, or weep over sufferings. I’m sure thirteen-year old me never imagined she would kiss boys, debate politics, or make a difference in the lives of many people.
In the same way the girl on the bike has no idea that in twenty years, she’ll probably be fulfilling dreams she never thought possible.
This is hope.
That the future always surprises us. The next moment could hold a life-altering event, or a sweet memory of a moment.
Finding hope doesn’t always mean a heroic act or a thread to hold to in life’s bleakest times. Finding hope means finding it in the simplest of moments, the simplest memories, and the belief that something else is coming.
Finding hope in our darkest hour, means to know that the story isn’t over yet. Your legacy, that of your family, of your community and beyond, is always being shaped by today’s moments. When you look back and see dark, bleak and weary days, you’ll be able to say, “it’s over now”.
I don’t mean using hope as a form of escapism.
Finding hope isn’t about forgetting where you are right now and getting to the next season. Finding hope lays in wanting and waiting for what you know can be, should be, and will be a better hour.
So today, in hope, we stand up for what we know is right. We use our voices, signatures, knees, words and videos. We show up even when we’re scared. We invest in our well-being, giving our time and resources to things that matter to us.
That is how you grow. That is how you create a legacy you’ll be proud of. This is what finding hope in the dark really means because hope is always close, and it always surprises.