A decade ago, there was an accident in Chile where 33 men were trapped in an underground mine for 69 days. Several years later a movie, “The 33” was made that portrayed the catastrophe. I remember watching the movie, while knowing in the end, they make it out alive. But I had to wonder, did they know that they would make it out alive? How did they find hope in the midst of such dire circumstances?
Grief looks a lot like being in an underground mine, wondering if you will get out. Days of darkness bring on doubt and questions, amidst the sadness and sorrow. Somewhere in the gray days of my first year of grief, I began to see signs of hope. It didn’t come all at once, but little by little, hope emerged.
Hosea 2:15 says, “and I will make the Valley of Achor, a door of hope.” The Valley of Achor means “trouble”. Hope isn’t discovered in our best days, but in our deepest pain, in our times of trouble. A door of hope offers a way through the grief, taking us into a place of looking toward what lies ahead, not what is behind.
Throughout the Bible there are promises of hope. I continue to read Psalms with an eye out for hope. David tells his own soul to “Put your hope in God” in Psalm 42:11. Hope needs a home that will contain it. It’s a solid, not a liquid, that we need to have on a daily basis. As we navigate the waters in our grief journey, the door of hope is open to explore a different life than we planned. Hope and grief can coexist. We will always carry the loss we’ve experienced. Our lives now are an enactment of the hope we have found in the midst of our loss. Opening of the door of hope can be the process that takes us to something wider and deeper as we grow from our grief journey.
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Used with permission from Pam Luschei.