Chatting with your HopeCoaches seriously brought me through some of the darkest seasons in my life. Don’t lose hope in tough times.
I have used TheHopeLine several times, including for struggles with depression and suicidal thoughts. It was a really powerful tool that actually helped me vent out stuff that had piled up for years, and now, I am no longer experiencing the same emotional turmoil I once did. Thank you for providing free chat lines.
I wanted to send you this essay, which I wrote below. So many times I’ve wanted to encourage others but haven’t been able to because I myself needed encouragement and would’ve of sounded like a hypocrite. Now, however, I am at a place where I feel I can genuinely encourage others because I have personally experienced encouragement, and hope has been reawakened within me.
I wrote this essay to encourage others to don’t lose hope and just to have them feel that their trials and issues are acknowledged. I don’t know. It might not do anyone any good. But I decided to write it because it is what I truly believe, and it comes from my heart.
Don’t Lose Hope
I just want to take the time right now to write this short essay and encourage those who feel low. Low in joy, low as in wondering how to not hate yourself after a mistake, low as in rock bottom. I’ve been where you are, and rock bottom really sucks.
We all go through seasons in our life, seasons of joy and seasons of sadness and trials. It is in those seasons that we learn a lot about ourselves that we never perhaps even knew before. Sure, those seasons suck, but those that make it out of their hardships come out stronger, and I believe they have a more firmly rooted identity. And no one can tell you who you are or what you went through because, guess what, you were the one that walked through the fire, not them. And you know it.
But it can get pretty annoying sometimes hearing the phrase You’ll come out stronger when all you’re focusing on is just getting through each day without falling apart and letting everything go to pots. Sure, you may come out stronger, but you’re not at that place yet, and, frankly, you’re just learning how to survive.
I think when people go through extremely rough times in life, what they need is not someone who will explain their situation for them and tell them how to solve it. After all, if you who are in it don’t know how to solve your problems, how much less will they? No, what people need in rough times is someone who will stand by them and listen to them. And that could be all they do. Just listen. But listening is, I think, one of the most powerful ways to make someone feel better, even if their circumstances don’t immediately change.
Listening is Important
Why? Why is listening to someone vent so powerful? It is because you are showing that you care about how they feel and what is going on in their life. Listening is, in fact, one way to show love. It is acknowledging the fact that your friends’ problems and concerns are real. We need someone who will listen to us. And just that. Nothing more. Nothing less.
Well, I know by reading this small essay, you are not being listened to. In fact, you are listening to what I am saying to you through this essay. But I wrote it not because I want to tell you everything is going to be alright nor to tell you how to fix your messy life. You see, there is another powerful tool besides listening, and that is feeling understood.
Being understood means having your feelings, thoughts, and emotions acknowledged out loud and not crushed or denied by those you confide in. It feels like walking down a busy grocery aisle when someone suddenly singles you out from all the people and says, Hey! I know you! It means having someone else say out loud and acknowledge what you have been dealing with internally. And that is super healthy because sometimes, in all the mess, you can feel like no one understands or maybe even that what you’re feeling is not real. But it is, and you need someone who will acknowledge that out loud and stand by you.
To whoever is reading this, perhaps you stumbled upon it because the Lord is right now acknowledging that He sees your pain, and He is not ignoring you. Sometimes, we just don’t have the energy to look up to the Lord because we’re so weary with our issues. And our issues may even create mistrust and stop up our relationship with the Lord. There’s so much pain inside that it’s so hard to focus our attention on the Lord. Even if you are struggling with something as scary as suicide, prayer can help. Turning to God helps because in our weakness, He is strong. When you don’t have the strength to press on, He will be your strength. Don’t lose hope.
There is More
It is so important to have people listen to you and acknowledge your pain and troubles. But I’ve found, that is not enough. Because at the end of the day, we were created to have a whole relationship with the One who created us. Honestly, I could sympathize with you and listen to you and show you I understand, but if you don’t have Him to fill you up inside, you will always feel empty and be dependent on others to make you feel happy or whole. No one can do for you in a lifetime what Jesus can do for you in one second.
End of Your Rope
I can recall so many times when I felt like I was at the end of the rope, and I just cried out Jesus’ name and a moment later, I felt His love and Spirit cover me. It was so incredible because I was just calling out in desperation. I didn’t think anything would actually happen. But then, I was hit with His overpowering love. And sometimes, it would just happen without me even saying anything. It is an incredible experience that cannot be explained with words, and what is so amazing about every single one of the times is that I wasn’t even expecting that to happen. He didn’t do that because I performed some works or prayed super long. On the contrary, He did it just because He wanted to. That was it.
His Power and Love
I know Jesus wants you to experience Him in such a powerful way. And I also know there’s no formula for experiencing His power and love. In fact, sometimes, you may go through an extremely long dry season, where Jesus feels a million light-years away. But I’ve found that even in those dry seasons, what gets you through is keeping your heart soft even when you want to harden it and just grow bitter.
Are You Going Through a Tough Time?
Whether you are a believer or not, you may be going through a tough time right now. I don’t have the solution for you, but Jesus does. And even if you know Jesus, it doesn’t mean all your mess gets cleaned up, nor does it mean that your mess is less messy than that of the unbelievers. We are all people, and all people have problems. And I just want to encourage you not to lose hope. And I don’t want to sound cheesy, but seriously. Do not give up. A tragic story is only possible if giving up is involved. And I’m not saying things might end pretty. But they can end with you coming out whole and stepping into a new and better season of life. So let the fire of hope burn within you. Yes, you will get through even though that seems laughable now. Yes, you will know joy once again or maybe even for the first time. And, yes, Jesus is the answer. Don’t just read this as some religious jargon or spiel. Jesus can seriously give you peace in the midst of the storm. I know because I’ve walked through the fire, and He walked right beside me every step of the way, even when I felt like He wasn’t there.
Are you struggling with feelings of hopelessness? Read how to find hope.
If you or a friend need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, for free confidential, 24/7 help. Head here for a list of crisis centers around the world. For additional help, please visit the suicide prevention resource page.
Photo Credit: Max Ilienerwise