#HopeDay

A collection of hope for a wanting world.

YOUR stories of finding hope in hardship coming every Sunday. #HopeDay

“When I was first married I experienced a lot of anxiety and stress. I was scared that it wouldn’t work out and that we would get divorced or end up not loving each other. We were in a new city together with no family around—I felt terribly alone. 

I continued forward with faith and hope that my mind would soon be at ease, and I would find peace. I was afraid and full of fear and worry. When I finally let hope enter my soul, I was able to see things more clearly. I was able to see the possibilities, rather than conjure up the impossibilities. I had to learn to humble myself and seek help from others around me; we weren’t meant to do things alone. I found #hope in my Savior that he can heal me. 

A quote from David A. Bednar that I appreciate: “Such faith and hope invite into our lives the sweet peace of conscience for which we all yearn.””

“In 8th grade I was paired up with a quiet boy I had never met in my church youth group for an etiquette dinner and dance. That evening I discovered that he was one of the funniest and cutest boys I had ever met. I can’t really describe why, but I knew I would marry him someday. We finally started dating each other senior year of high school and waited for each other while we each left to serve missions for our church in different countries. When we were reunited we got married and I felt that my life could not be more perfect. Maybe a year into our marriage he opened up to me about a pornography problem he was struggling with. He had mentioned it briefly in high school but I had since forgotten. He told me that one night when I thought he was at the gym, he had met up with another woman and things went too far. He was visibly heartbroken and I was shocked. I couldn’t even cry and I just felt nothing as if my life had no meaning anymore. 

I was seeing a therapist at the time for Anorexia and Body Image Dysmorphia. She told me often times when this happens the whole story comes out in pieces. It did. More women, more secrets, more money we shared being used in ways I was unaware of, and even a possible child. He hated himself, and he believed God hated him. He was sure I would hate him too but I didn’t. It hurt, but I still loved him. He told me that this was no reflection of his feelings or love for me and that pornography was more of a mindless addiction that had been protecting him from his own fears and anxieties since he was a little boy. This was of little comfort in the middle of the storm though. 

Growing up I had learned about God and I knew that I could turn to Him. I turned to Him through prayer and temple visits. Some of my prayers were full of anger and some left my body shaking in grief, but these were my first glimpses of hope during this time. I knew that nobody could fully understand how much I loved my husband in my own way and how much this hurt me in my own way EXCEPT Jesus Christ. He knows, and I know that He will never forget my pain because He carried it for me himself. I found my strength in Him. My husband had also begun his path of healing by finally turning outward for help and also turning to God. 

This trauma didn’t just leave me though, so I often felt fear creep in that made me want to jump into my husband’s metaphorical canoe and paddle us both down the river safely. I learned quickly that I could not make his choices for him, and that I didn’t want to live my life that way. That would not bring either of us happiness, and so I had to let go and do my own healing. This brought bigger waves of fear as I let go of trying to control his healing. 

To keep my hope I turned to others who I trusted. I tried to stay vulnerable and not fear what others might think of me and my husband. When I did this I discovered a world of people around me who have, or still are struggling with similar things. Being vulnerable and sharing my story was a huge blessing in my life. If I had let my fear keep me closed off, I would never have met these people who helped fill me with hope. They shared their success, advice, and compassion with me and I have since been able to share mine with others. 

I have found beauty in what my husband and I went through. I can now help carry others burdens and give them hope. I felt then like I would never be happy, but today my husband and I share a new trust that we didn’t have before. We paddle side by side in our canoes. 😊 He is my best friend and we are closer than we have ever been. I wouldn’t change anything. I am not just hopeful and happy because we are still together though. I had to learn to find faith and happiness in myself by identifying my own worth because I could not choose his path. It took hard work and lots of prayers. It required me to be open and have a lot of faith in my Savior. It was not easy, but I didn’t quit because with every small step there came more light. 

I am a strong, happy, and beautiful woman. I know now, that no matter what my husband chooses in his life, I will be okay because I have found my own hope and healing. This quote says it perfectly; “A bird sitting on a tree is never afraid of the branch breaking, because it’s trust is not on the branch but on it’s own wings. Always believe in yourself”.”

“I got diagnosed with depression at 18. My depression is the super awesome kind that comes with suicidal ideation. There’s been many times where I didn’t think I was going to make it through. There’s been lots of times where I didn’t want to make it through. 

One night I’d been struggling especially badly, and I was completely and utterly hopeless. I was ready to be done. With everything. I still don’t know how (since I never told him), but somehow my dad knew that night. He just knew that I had the weight of the world on my shoulders and I couldn’t hold it any longer. He came to me and told me about his own struggles with depression and suicidal thoughts. Before he left, he said something along the lines of “It gets better. I swear to you, it gets better”. 

He was right. His words gave me the hope to keep going. And I’d like to pass that hope along. To anyone who fights mental illness: I promise. Even though it seems like it never will, everything is going to be okay. You got this. I believe in you with my whole soul. 

Happy #HopeDay ❤️”

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