Signs of Hope — grateful, yet grieving

Pam Luschei

(Photo: Unsplash)

Before GPS and Google maps, I would use a map when driving. Maps would guide me to my final destination, but I needed the signs along the way. Those signs told me that I was on the right road and would tell me how far to the next city.

Signs gave me hope. Henri Nouwen’s words reflect this:

“When we become aware that we do not have to escape our pains, but that we can mobilize them into a common search for life, those very pains are transformed from expressions of despair into signs of hope.” 

— Henri Nouwen —

In my early days of grieving, I needed signs of hope, something I could see, hear or touch. When I saw the beauty in a sunset, I was reminded that time will continue. When I smelled the flowers in my yard, I could see how time causes growth. When I opened a card or note from a friend, I felt seen and encouraged.  These became visible symbols of hope.

Somedays I felt like there was a gray fog covering the signs of hope. Like driving in the fog, we can only see what’s right in front of us, not the entire landscape. Emerging from the fog is a gradual process. We don’t go from deep fog to bright sunlight in a minute. We move out of the fog into the sunlight, slowly and gradually.

Hope is like that. Hope is a moving forward, amidst our loss. Hope is a moving away from fear. Hope is found as we keep going, daily depending on the Giver of Hope to sustain us, carry us, guide us, and hold us.

Used with permission from Pam Luschei.

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