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Invisible Hope

It can be dark,

dark as night.

The night can feel thick, and damp, and

endless. And you

can be sitting there, in the

dark, in the cold, crying into your bowl of

cereal, aching for a new life.

Then an hour later you might sense a brightness

coming in, through the corner of one eye.

And when you turn toward the window

you’ll be startled

at the miracle of daylight

from a horizon you had forgotten about, because

you were reading a book. Because you were drying your face,

and wiping your nose, and thinking about Brandon Flowers.

Because you had nothing, nothing whatsoever

to do with that sunrise—

that golden shining—that sweet

caramel apple sun,

in the first place.

I wrote this poem in 2017, after a dark morning in February, when all the things I describe here actually happened. I wrote it because I wanted to remember that feelings are not facts, and they don’t always get to have the final say on how I think and behave.

I tend to be a person who has LOTS of feelings, and none of them are ever small. Even though most people experience me as a calm and quiet person, there is often a storm of explosive feelings going on beneath the surface. But over the past several years I’ve been learning how to express these feelings in more healthy ways, rather than continuing to stuff them way down or pretend they don’t exist.

I’ve also been learning that “negative” feelings are nothing to be afraid of, and that when I allow myself to experience and express them, I’m more likely to find “positive” feelings on the other side. Perhaps you already know these truths, perhaps you’ve even experienced some of this personal growth yourself. If so, I’d love to hear about it in an email or a FB message.

But if you’re struggling today, please know that you’re not alone. I have SO been there before, and I'm posting this poem today in order to share hope with you, even if hope seems invisible to you right now.

The God of the Bible is often described as invisible, too, but that doesn’t mean he’s not real. And what if hope works the same way, that even when you can’t feel it, that doesn’t mean it’s not there. So I encourage you to grasp what can’t be seen today by reaching out to a friend and letting them know what kind of day you're having. You don’t have to say everything that's going on if you’re not ready, but know that the act of speaking up is powerful.

I'll add my prayers to your cry for help as well, that the God of all comfort would indeed comfort you in your affliction. May the light of his face shine upon you even now, and give you peace.

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