Monday, August 19, 2013

The Power of Hope

With all the crazy stuff going on in the world and in our personal lives, it is so easy to be filled with despair and overwhelmed with everything. I'm grateful for the examples of many people around me that remind me how I should be looking at life. As I observe such valiant examples, I am convinced that our Heavenly Father wants us to be happy and hopeful instead of complaining and pessimistic.


Trials Are a Part of Life

I have a friend that has been a great example to me in optimism. Often I would come over to visit and she wouldn't even feel well enough to get off the couch, or even sit up. But with every visit she would radiate optimism. She knows that this was all part of Heavenly Fathers plan. She knows that her life hasn't turned out the way she wants, but rather than complain, she counts her blessings. Our conversation is sometimes interrupted as she waits for some pain to pass, then she continues on, talking about how much she loves her husband, children and grandchildren and what they are up to. Sharing stories of her past-both good and bad, but always with an optimistic outlook.

One of my childhood friends wanted to be a vetrenarian when she grew up. She went to college to study animal science, but was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy halfway through college, she now needs a cane or other aids to walk around. She has a darling little girl who suffers from spina bifida. Yet when I talk to her, she doesn't whine about how miserable life is, just gives me updates on what is happening. She accepts that trials are a part of life and focuses on what is in her control and finding joy in that rather than complaining about how unfair life is.

A Bright Outlook Makes a Difference


My aunt recently finished cancer treatment. My cousin's post pretty well sums it up:
For those of you who don't know, today is a day to celebrate. Congratulations to my mom for making it through a lot of crazy months of surgery, chemo, and radiation!!! As of today, life should hopefully get back to normal for her. She has been such an amazing example to everyone around as she has shown us what an amazing difference a positive attitude can make. After all, how many people do you know that could go through all of this craziness while still keeping an in-home daycare running, and not taking days off!? My mom is amazing, and I love her so much!
There were supportive friends and family there to help every step of the way, and I think her positive attitude made a difference too. She still needed to rest and take it easy more than she would have liked, but even then she looked at life in a positive light and let the trial pass through her rather than becoming bitter.

I was recently contacted by Heather and asked to share her story. It is a story full of hope, and actually inspired me to write this post. Please click on the link to see her video and share it. She is a cancer survivor with lots of hope. Here is her story:

I am a wife, mother, and a mesothelioma survivor. When my daughter was 3 ½ months old, I was diagnosed with this rare and deadly cancer, and given 15 months to live.  My prognosis was grim but I knew that I needed to beat the odds for my newborn daughter, Lily.  It’s been 7 years now and I feel that it is my duty to pay it forward and inspire others.
I clung on to hope throughout my whole journey with mesothelioma. When you have hope, it makes the battle easier.  I want people to be inspired by me, I want to make them fight; give them something to hold on to when all else fails. That is why I do it.  If I inspire one person, I've done my job.
I'm using my personal story to help raise awareness of this little known cancer, and to provide a sense of hope for others facing life’s difficult challenges.
Here is a video of my story that I am hoping to use as a tool to raise awareness.

Dealing With Death


In my last post, I talked about the passing of my friend Diana. Her funeral was awesome. I hope that doesn't come off as irreverent, but it was. It wasn't awesome in the way that a fun party is awesome, but awesome in that the church was filled with people who loved and cared about her. It was awesome in the way everyone had great things to say about her. Diana was one of those people that is so cool, I would never have had anything negative to say about her in life, and it is even more the case now. I hope that when it comes time for my funeral, there can be that much love and rejoicing in a life well led.

I've been to dismal funerals before, and this was not one of them. One of her sisters pointed out that Diana was loved, and she knew she was loved and what a blessing that was. While it is sad that her earthly memories were cut short, her death isn't a tragedy.

There was a quote by Elder Neal A Maxwell (who knew quite a bit about suffering) displayed by the entry way at the funeral: "The mission field on the other side is 10 times larger than here. So, in the very near future, you will see some of our BEST taken." Diana is one of the best. She may not be housed in a body anymore, but I know her Spirit is still very much alive and busy.

Ether 12:4




In all things, I think it is important to put our trust in God. Things can get very complicated and confusing during mortality, but if we put our trust and faith in God, he will take care of us. We can have hope and peace in this life and eternal life in the world to come. One day, everything will make sense, in the mean time we can learn trust and patience as we excercise hope.

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