Hope Heals In The Midst Of Suffering

Devotional

“Forging hope in the midst of disorientation and disillusionment"

{KATHERINE} At some point in our young lives, most of us have dreams we hope to achieve. As they start to become realized, we usually piece together a mental picture of what our future will be. So often the picture’s wonderful, though we may acknowledge a few hardships here and there because we’re not stupid enough to be naive. But we assume even the hardships will make sense once the dream becomes reality.

But what if the road to our dreams gives way under our feet, and we can’t get back to the path we were on? What if the broken pieces of the picture we are left with make no sense at all?

When I was six months and five days into “new mommy infatuation" with James, my baby who was mostly brown eyes and a belly button, I had a massive brain-stem stroke and nearly died. As I was slipping into unconsciousness, my husband, Jay, screamed into my face, and both he and a world-renowned neurosurgeon thought I would never wake.

I did wake, hallelujah! But the body I woke up in I didn’t recognize. I was paralyzed from the right side of my face down to my right toes. I had a trachea tube in my throat, and I couldn’t call out or even swallow. Since then, I’ve had eleven surgeries, and thank God, I can eat, talk and walk short distances with a cane.

But I live with disabilities - like deafness in one ear and delayed muscle response - and there is profound loss.

In the Old Testament’s account of Joseph, he, too, started out as a young man with dreams, literal dreams given to him by God. He had a royal coat from his father to christen an auspicious beginning, and I imagine he had a personal picture of his future that did not involve near fratricide and a pit.

After being sold into slavery, his road included excruciating heart-break and loss along with supernatural provision and blessing. In the moment, Joseph couldn't see the outcome of his faith. He was being trained to hope. And so are you.