Choosing hope in the midst of the storm

A few months ago I came across a page on instagram. The page @yoocandoanything profiled stories of individuals of various ages and from all across the world who have endured hardships in life. (They also have a website There were stories of children confined to a wheelchair. Stories of individuals who have lost a limb. There were some who were born with a disability and others through an accident or an illness have become disabled. Yet what stood out so much to me is that each of the stories was filled with hope. No doubt these individuals have cried over the hardships they face but they don't let the hardships define them. Those profiled are public speakers, runway models, track stars and authors. Their hardships have not prevented them from attending college, getting married and starting organizations. If anyone could make an excuse to stop living, the individuals profiled could. They could sit around and feel bad for themselves because of what obstacles they face. But they don't. The stories I have read on the instragram page and website illustrate that these individuals don't let their disability stop them from living. They don't use the hardship they experience to become an excuse to grow angry.

I have been thinking a lot about that lately. When faced with hardship we are left with a choice. We may not choose what storms come crashing into our life but we can choose how we respond. The individuals profiled on yoocandoanything respond to their challenges with hope. That is something I am choosing to do as well. Five months ago my 31 year old husband passed away. He battled with cancer for two years and the last five months of his life he was paralyzed and confined to a bed due to the chemotherapy. Losing a spouse probably makes the top 10 list of painful things that a person may endure. There are nights when I cry myself to sleep. There are times when I can't catch my breath because the pain of losing my 31 year old husband hurts so much. But just like the individuals profiled on yoocandoanything, I have a choice. I can choose to let my husband's death and the sorrow that comes consume me. Or I can choose to live. I can choose to grow angry with God or I can choose to allow God to use this painful situation so that He can get the glory and so that others can come to know Him. I choose hope. I choose restored joy. I choose the peace that God gives.

I have declared and I will continue to declare that all is well. Though there is pain and my heart hurts over the loss of my spouse, I can declare that all is well because my hope is in God. My peace and strength come from God. The joy that I have comes from God. I didn't choose to be a widow at such a young age, but I am choosing to have praises to God continually be in my mouth. I am choosing to believe that while I may never understand why my husband died, I confidently trust that God can turn the darkest situation around.

For those who are reading this blog, I encourage you to choose hope. In the midst of the most difficult time in your life, God can use you. There are no obstacles to God. There is no disability and no hardship that prevents God from ministering through you. In the midst of the raging storm in your life, your ability to stand can encourage and uplift others. Your choice to praise God no matter what you endure can be a testimony to so many others. I encourage you to not to allow anger to grow within you because of what you face. Rather I encourage to cling to God.

Please take a few minutes to read the stories profiled on the yoocandoanything page.
Instagram @yoocandoanything

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