Sharing Messages of Hope During the Holiday Season
As a pastor, I often greet parishioners at the church door. I want to share meaningful words of assurance, but unfortunately, I must move from one person to the next in a quick, almost rapid-fire progression to avoid holding up the line. In-depth conversations, which I dearly love, must wait for another time. A short word of hope must suffice.
Amid another holiday season marked by the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s easy to feel like hope is fading as uncertainty continues to plague us. During these times of struggle, we all face a similar challenge I do at my church: finding a way to make sentiments of good cheer known.
Everyone could use a little joy in their lives — especially those in the bleeding disorders community. Anyone who’s hurting can grab ahold of these messages of hope, even in their darkest moments.
I think of my blood brothers and sisters who are spending this season at the University of New Mexico Children’s Hospital. I share with them in their time of sorrow because I know what it’s like to search for reasons to celebrate the holidays while sitting in a hospital room.
I recall the years when my youngest son suffered many internal joint bleeds, forcing us to celebrate more holidays in the hospital than in our home. My wife proved instrumental in creating an atmosphere of joy, ordering takeout and convincing my boy that Santa knew to bring his toys to the hospital. We did what we could to bring a sense of normalcy to a situation that was anything but.
Through our times of struggle, I realized that my life’s message was simple: Hold on to one another, and believe that circumstances will change. I remember sitting with my family in the hospital one Christmas, fearing our lives may never be different. Hope seemed to fade from view as I gave in to the thought that this might be our new normal.
Somehow, I tapped into the spark of light within my core and reminded myself to get up and share as much positive energy as possible, because our current situation was not the end. “Hold fast to hope, in all circumstances,” my brain repeated. The message was short, but it helped me through my existential crisis, and I found a source of strength that I never knew I possessed. Rediscovering my power enabled me to fill the hospital room with joy.
I wish wholeness to those who feel that darkness surrounds them each day. I am not talking about a false sense of security that depends on tangible things, but an inner calm that rises above our pain, and an inner commitment to our beliefs. I mean that feeling of satisfaction deep within our bones that steadies us and gives us lasting peace in all circumstances.
This message of hope is short, but I pray it can be impactful: From the core of our being, may light shine.
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