Sustaining Hope on the PF Journey
Are you thinking “Wait! How can she say that? I want to be encouraged here!”
I’m not big on attaching hope to:
– Outcomes I can’t control
– People I can’t influence or change
– Situations in the world that are too big for me
– Planning that things will change, be different, get better, or not be the way that they actually are
I am big on attaching my hope to God, and to His plan for my life. It’s okay that I won’t fully understand everything until Heaven.
I learned a lot about this from my very good friend, Joany. She and I were friends for almost 30 years, until she passed away from breast cancer three years ago. She fought this disease in every way she could, and often talked about having hope. I often would think “How can she be so hopeful when the cancer is spreading and she is getting worse?”
I asked her about this once, and she said she hoped that the chemo and radiation would help, but her real hope was in God. Her hope was that what she was going through would cause her to grow into a deeper and more mature person. She wanted to focus on things that really mattered to her with the time she had left — her friends and family. She hoped she would draw closer to God because of her illness, and that God would use what she was going through to draw others, and her family closer to Him and to one another. She knew she had no control over what others did, but she did have control over what she did.
I was stunned by her faith and perspective. What she shared made so much sense to me, and has helped me so much as I’ve gone through breast cancer myself, as well as pulmonary fibrosis, which developed from chemotherapy and radiation for breast cancer.
I’m not placing my hope and well-being in getting a lung transplant in time. My hope is in Him, and His purposes for my life. I want to continue to grow and mature, and help others the best I can, for as long as I can.
There is a peace in me that passes understanding, because my job is simple…
I try to take care of myself, draw close to Him, love those in my life well, and leave the outcome to Him.
Now, in case you think I’m super-human, I’m not. I go through days of sadness, distress and discouragement just like anyone else. So far, I’m able to come back to my Hope in Him, after I process these normal emotions.
I feel released from worrying, planning, maneuvering, and obsessing about things over which I have no control changing. My hope and confidence are in Him, who created this whole world, and my very life. I know He will not forsake me, even when His answers and my future turn out different than I’d like.
Here are some verses that encourage me:
“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Phil 4:7
“Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.” Psalm 62:8
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deut 31:6
“Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me! For my soul trusts in You; and in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge, until these calamities have passed by.” Psalm 57:1
“Be strong and let your heart take courage, All you who hope in the Lord.” Psalm 31:24
“Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him for the help of His presence.” Psalm42:5
“Let me hear Your lovingkindness in the morning; For I trust in You;
Teach me the way in which I should walk; For to You I lift up my soul.” Psalm 143:8
I recorded these verses, and a message for you – click below to listen
I know that you may struggle to keep hoping, too, or have lost hope…
It’s not bad if you have, because you can get it back. We are all going through a very difficult illness, and dealing with life turning out very differently than we thought. I know we face the same challenges to trust God, take care of ourselves, and keep going.
Please be kind and compassionate with yourself right now. That is something you can control. Sending you blessings, hope, and love.
I would love to hear from you…
What was your reaction when you read, “I’m not big on hope?” When is it most difficult to hope? How do you sustain your hope, especially when it is hard to keep going?
Note: Pulmonary Fibrosis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Pulmonary Fibrosis News, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to pulmonary fibrosis.