What gives you hope in trying times?

  • How has hope helped you get through adversity or challenges?
  • How has hope helped you get through hardships presented by the current coronavirus, BLM or upcoming election crises?
  • How did you regain comfort, solace, hope or relief in unfortunate-hopeless-grueling situations in your life?
  • How have you supported, comforted others or provided hope during uncertain tough times, these days, or in the past?
  • How have you brightened the day, supported, comforted and encouraged hope for someone who was in the midst of suffering, hopelessness or despair? 
  • What role has hope played in your life?
  • What gives you a new sense adventure and a zest for life?
  • What may give you peace, love, and happiness as a part of your daily life?
  • What may give you an inner sense of knowledge and intuition to cast aside doubt and fear?

Share Your Story

See below for submissions

Hope Stories

The Lord gives me hope!

The Lord gives me hope! My employer, a Christian counseling agency, sold out. I didn't feel settled about joining the new, secular, agency but I also had no intention of starting my own practice. I did, however, pray about it. I told the Lord, "If I'm supposed to do this, you're going to have to come up with the name because I don't have time to think about it. Oh, and it has to have the word 'hope' in it." The next day, as I was doing paperwork, the words "One Hope Counseling" came to mind. My husband, although supportive, said the name "didn't really ring for him." The next morning, the song that started my day happened to be Hope Darst singing "Don't Let Go", with lyrics that go,..."hold onto hope and don't let go." I opened my new devotional and there was a devotion about hope. Then I got in my car to drive to town and Phil Wickham's "Living Hope" was playing. You can bet I soon became the proud owner of One Hope Counseling. God had been so good to me.

— Kathryn Lichty  


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Hope is Within

I have found hope by learning to listen to my inner child. She is the one who can still see beauty in the mundane. She is the one who sees the leaves turn brilliant orange against a cerulean sky, who loves the holiday lights, who wants to sit by the fire in a cold morning. She clings to the stories of good in the world and in the neighborhood. She reminds me of the long arc of history when I despair over the state of our society. Some days when I am busy with work and the news and appointments her voice is so quiet I don’t hear her reminders and the future looks bleak. Some days even the smallest task seems pointless and overwhelming. Stories of the worst of humanity are front and center and I wonder who raised these people? How do they sleep at night drunk with power and starved of compassion? Then she will point to a hawk soaring overhead and I remember there is hope, and it is within me.


— LM  

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Indissoluble Hope

I looked and looked for an answer to the question of what brings me hope and discovered hope was not something I had to beckon or find.

Hope revives me when my heart feels cold and it’s winter and I’m walking outside thinking about the divide in our country and a neighbor walks by and I look up and wave and clap and and encourage her to keep warm, and we laugh together as we pass.

Hope humbles me when I change my mind and turn my cart around in the grocery store to find the woman who scorned me for snatching the last three bags of cooking apples -- when I find her isles away, offer her one of the bags, and see forgiveness on her face as she lifts the bag of apples into her cart.

Hope sustains me when kings and kingdoms rise and fall.

Hope lives in my soul as a gift from God.


— Lee Ann Haney  

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Owl glides through the night
Carrying hope on its wings
Into the sunrise.

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— LM  

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A New President Offers Hope

Today is the last day of the Presidency of Donald Trump, which to me has been a relentless assault on truth, morality, ethics, democracy, the rule of law and the environment. I am frightened and sad that 74 million Americans thought that a cruel, self-centered heartless man who lacks even a shred of empathy should be entrusted to another four years. I am scared when I see his followers violently storm the Capital and try to overthrow the will of the people. I am shocked at how many people bought into and promoted the Big Lie of election fraud.

But tomorrow is a new day and I am hopeful. I am hopeful that a man with a heart is leading our nation once again. I am hopeful that he has chosen a team that is truly representative of who we are as a nation today. I am hopeful that even Social Media giants have stood up to stem the tide of misinformation. I am hopeful that even someone as manipulative and power-hungry as Mitch McConnell has finally spoken the truth. I am hopeful that there are more people in this country who believe in truth than lies. I am hopeful that the basic goodness of humanity will have its day.

We have faced worse times, and I am hopeful that today, the first rays of the light of dawn coming out of the darkness will usher in a new wave of truth, compassion, empathy and love.


— Joe Bavonese  


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Life, Death, Rebirth and Change

The Pandemic has kept us virtual prisoners, but it has offered me the gift of time for self-reflection. I have gained new insights on the spiritual aspects of death and loss. COVID’s long, dark tunnel burst any bubble of invisible protection. We even face the feared reality of a future we might not be a part of. The Hispanic tradition respects both life and death. It says, when death sits down beside you, you are blessed because from this experience we learn to appreciate the preciousness of life. Each one rolls over into another, to energies inherent in the rhythms of birth, death, and rebirth. These insights have boosted my appreciation for family, friends, connection and deepened my sense of a “oneness” of life.

I have questioned whether grief is the price we must pay for love? I have questioned what gifts I can harness from coping with death, grief and loss? What is the positive legacy I can leave behind? How have I acted courageously or taken the risk of being real and ended up doing my personal best?

I am an experienced traveler to death and loss in my personal life. Perhaps you, like me have been deeply affected by the death of someone important to you or with your own impending death. One of the hardest feeling to overcome is anger over the thought that I (we) may never have allowed ourselves to live fully (death of “the self”). Breathe deeply! Here lies opportunity to banish the ghosts that haunt you. Push beyond invisible restraints, make lasting memories, and say Yes to the adventure of life!

I learned that life and death go hand in hand, and can either smother out or give birth to an “inner fire”. If smothered, it’s time to bury it, reclaim sovereignty, and give birth to a new inner “language” unburdened with the leftover values, “stale bread”, of other people.

Life, like the waves of the sea, is an ongoing process, but coping with death remains daunting. We hold on, can’t let go of unspoken feelings and unresolved issues that grip us. Some mourners find comfort in the belief that there is life after death ― so we’ll meet again. Others try to escape by medicating the pain or by retreating from life, or desperately seek connection by throwing themselves into a new relationship too soon.

Time, we need time to discover the all-important lesson: Love never dies. Even the deepest losses can reveal moments of meaning and beauty pushing up the seeds of new inner life or a new chapter with more gratitude, passion, and wonder. As author Leo Buscaglia states, “Death is a challenge. It tells us not to waste time . . . It tells us to tell each other right now that we love each other.”

— Charlyne Gelt, Ph.D.  


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Triumphs and Challenges

To have lived these days
is to come through
with triumphs and challenges.

Triumphs from little things—
daily changes,
pushing through,
lives touched— some closer now
some more distant.

To not lose contact
with those we don’t see
is a triumph.

To experience seasonal shifts
on daily walks
is a triumph.

To share a common experience
with an open heart and mind
is a triumph.

To know that life is worth living
even when people are dying
is a triumph.

Challenges, yes, there are many,
but today is a day to
focus on triumphs.

— ©2020 Sherrie Lovler  


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Tapestry of Life

Time and time again I have discovered how each life experience, even (and maybe especially) the difficult ones, have become a new "thread" that is woven into the tapestry of this beautiful journey called My Life.

This tapestry metaphor is a powerfully hope-filled for me, that I heard from a retreat leader years ago. She said that being in the midst of painful experiences is like looking at the backside of a tapestry: messy threads in a crazy, knotted jumble.  But once we get to the other side and look back, it's like turning that tapestry over and seeing that what appeared on one side to be nothing but a mess, actually created that gorgeous intricate tapestry.


— Laura L  

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Helping others in need

I have supported, comforted others or provided hope during uncertain times by sending cards to nursing homes to comfort lonely people who may not be permitted to see visitors. During the pandemic, I have given money to small business owners. I have also started a fundraiser to raise food for hungry children. I would like to start a project with my daughters in which they share their artwork with other children around the world who have been affected by loneliness during the pandemic.

— MLP  

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The Future Inspires Hope

— Carmita  


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— OZ  

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Legends of Ordinary Wisdom

When he is eighty-eight
The poet
bent like the trunk of
a weathered oak
shuffles to the lip of the pond
and drinks the vision
there at his feet.
"Hello, Old Mirror Friend,"
he tells the water.
"How well you hold
my withered countenance today
with its wrinkles and crows' feet
surrounded by turquoise sky.
And the water ripples back.

And when he's done
Off he trudges
the turtle he has become
to sit on an ancient rock.
He pats it
with a hand
dry as a long fallen leaf
and rests a while.
"Thanks for warming my backside,"
he sighs to the stone
as he stands to leave
And when he is gone up the path
the loam where he padded so slowly
remembers the gentle steps of his feet.

When she is ninety-three
confined to her chair
She sits
bones melting
to painful memory
her life miniaturized
like she'd never have believed
While the essence of her
scribbles the poem that says,

"I ache to ground myself here
planting as symbol
a cutting from a jade plant
into the dry soil of a neglected flowerpot
I want to plant my feet
ankle deep into my garden
I want them to grow roots…” *

A busy young mother
reads the words
that dance the page
And snatches up her youngest
her peanut buttered daughter
Whisking to the yard
to root their feet deep
in fragrant bread warm earth.
"Now stand up!" she cries
And they are trees
waving arm branches
at a turquoise sky.
"This is what it feels like,"
she says to her little one
the one with eyes that eat the world.
"See? We have our feet in the earth
just like trees
and we are growing and becoming
and greening and breathing."
And her little girl thinks
she is crazy
and so so beautiful
delicious as a peanut butter sandwich.

When that wee one
is twenty-two
and completely unmoored
by heartbreak
She remembers the earth
up to her knees
tethering her
steadying her
Holding her
like a mother
And the peanut butter fragrance
the treeness of it all.

When he is forty-five
and missing his grandfather
and worrying about his sons and his students
living in the hell of their world
The physics teacher holds the sight
he saw from his boyhood bird blind
of the old poet
bent like an ancient oak
as he shuffled down the path
And now he greets the pond
and sits on his grandfather's friend
"Thanks for warming my backside."

* From “Returning Home After the Fire Evacuation” by Vilma Olsvary Ginzberg

— Sashana Kane Proctor  


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On Hope

— Megan  

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Be The Light

One of my favorite things to buoy myself upon. Its been getting a workout lately, given these trying times. And my hope felt ragged and weary. How much more heaviness would hope have to carry before there was some good news? Where is there a shimmering light of goodness I can cling to.

With everything going on politically, environmentally, economically it may feel a bit foolish to cling to hope, and its hard to battle against the nihilistic whats the point / its too late line of thinking. But hear me out. We each can be that glimmer of hope, that light in the darkness, when we choose to be kind, to be of service, to help others, to trust the big picture will reveal that goodness always wins, in the end. How I strengthen my own hope is by giving hope to others, its the only way that works for me. When I can see another human being, and I can celebrate them for who and what they are, or I can offer comfort or solace to another, my hope grows. When I can get out of my own head that is reeling with worst case scenarios and offer help to a neighbor, the light inside me illuminates the dark corners.

I know its not the easiest of times to remain positive, at least for me. But there are miracles happening every instant, all around us. And I refuse to surrender to the notion that there's no point in trying. I choose to be the light, and offer hope to others one day at a time, and in so doing, I find that I am encouraged myself to believe that things really will work out

Screen Shot 2020-10-28 at 7.34.08 PM

— Susannah  

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The Flu, Reconsidered

It feels so good after having the flu.
Breathing easier the daylight seems
brighter, life seems more livable and
each moment more precious.

But must we catch the flu to remember
this clandestine truth? Or worse, must
we experience the horror of a loved one
in distress or in danger before we truly
relish the miracle of their presence?

Must we bargain with gods and angels
before we can savor the multitude of
blessings that envelope us? This food,
this breath, these friends, this life?

Gratitude is the divinely sculpted stone
path upon which we walk. All too often
we tend to the trivial weeds of suffering

Giving thanks is the mystery within the
inner sanctum of the temple. Celebrating
how blessed we are, is essential.

Having to first get the flu is optional.

— Bruce Silverman  

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Where I find hope

When I turn off the news and disengage from all the channels that promote fear, I find hope. I am inspired in observing a truly remarkable world that has always been present but drowned out by all the noise and collective groaning.

It is so easy to fall into an unbalanced state of judgement, criticism, pretending we are separate and engaging in acts of self preservation. Yet, I find hope both in observing and practicing kindness and compassion.

— gm  

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Feelings Are Like Waves

Feelings roll,
waves on sand:
Holding the hand of time.

Crashing, roaring,
lapping, soaring:
Always towing the line.

Remember, though,
waves do go
back from whence they came.

A raging pain,
a quiet rain ...
Make way for love again!

Donna Poppendieck - April 25, 1990


— Donna Poppendieck  


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From Despair to Hope to Renewal
Despair - Hopelessness - Anguish - Angst - Surrender - Defeat
Not giving up - Not Quitting - Trusting here is Light at the End of the Tunnel
Hope- Believing there must be something more out there - Dream - Longing - Desire
New vision - Trust - Revival - Regenerate- Renewal - Actualizing one's life-long dream

The journey often includes:
Despair/Anguish - Not giving up - Believing that there must be something more, new or hopeful out-there (or within) - Hope - Renewal & Beginning again (and again)

— Ofer Zur, Ph.D.  


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Finding hope: Light during the darkness

“Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.” —Desmund Tutu

During the pandemic, I have seen a shift from selfishness to selflessness with many ordinary citizens who are living through extraordinary circumstances.

For example, there have been organizations that make cards for seniors in nursing homes who might experience a lack of visitors due to safety protocols.

Hope can be seen when parents start co-horts to assist with virtual school so that other parents can work. Additionally, grandparents inspire hope by teaching their grandchildren during the day so that their children may continue working long hours.

Teachers have also inspired hope, by their quick adaptation of new technology (i.e. Google classroom) to deliver insightful and inspiring lesson plans when schools may have virtual learning due to the pandemic.

Hope can be seen, even in these dark times, by witnessing the love and care of the human family towards its precious members.


— MM  

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