Never ignore a person who loves you, cares for you, and misses you. Because one day you might wake up from your sleep and realize that you lost the moon while counting the stars.~Unknown

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Sharing Hope

Many of you have asked me to blog every day...that you find inspiration from the thoughts I share. May I start this blog by saying that there is no greater compliment that you could pay me than to find inspiration and hope in my thoughts. I want you to know that hope is what sustains me. It teaches me, it inspires me, and it gives my life purpose. Today, I want to share the origins of the hope that directs my life. It is only fair to do so because it did not find roots in my soul on its own. It was given to me as a gift; a priceless, sacred gift. A gift that has been so powerful in my life that it leads me relentlessly down any avenue that might open a window from which I could share it..

My journey began when I was placed in the arms of my parents and settled into the contentment that can only be found in what we lovingly refer to as our gingerbread house. Instead of sugarplums and gumdrops, the walls of our home were adorned with faith, charity, and most importantly hope. I can honestly say that I have no memories of a negative or disparaging word ever leaving the lips of my father. There was no offense, no disappointment that was not met with a response that elicited a bright response that left no room for a negative reaction. To be truthful, my adolescent whims caused that to be overly annoying and sometimes even wonder if this wonderful man was for real. My mother supported him and allowed us the freedom and faith to decorate the walls of our home with the charity of a giving heart. There was no task to big or too complicated when it involved the needs of others. From cookies to be shared to late night talks with neighborhood stragglers hesitant to go to their own homes, my mother was there...patiently sitting in front of the large picture window which marked the entrance of our home. Her image was the beacon in the night to her own children as well as to those who felt they had no where else to go. I could recant countless images but the short and simple is this. I was born of goodly parents.

Life and all the facets of living built upon that hope and faith but none such as the sacred opportunity that I received some fifteen years ago. It is through this opportunity that those early beginnings were solidified in a very personal and spiritual way. Before I go any further there is something I want to clarify about myself. I believe in a loving Father in heaven who knows me. As so innocently explained by my grand-daughter, He is my other daddy. When I picture myself as His darling, beautiful little princess, I can know without a doubt that that I am loved..irrespective of what the world may be taunting me with that tries to tell me otherwise. I also believe that He speaks to valiant, righteous men in my behalf and that as a result, His voice can reach me wherever I am and He has. He has found me in the most ambiguous of places..some that might surprise you and some that in your darkest moments, are not strangers to you. To each of you, irrespective of the role He plays in your life, I hope that you have felt the peace and warmth that always follows His compassion. The rest of the story I shared with the greatest of humility and only because I know that it was through this man that my message of hope burns so brightly within me. It is also why I refer to it as my gift...a gift from a loving Father in heaven through the hands of a righteous man and a prophet of God. I have spoken of difficult times in my life. Times when my heart was broken in ways that a woman should never have to experience, times of the deep despair that seeps into every aspect of your life. It was during such a time that I received
a blessing and counsel from Elder Jeffrey Holland, a latter day prophet in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Of that I know with impenetrable faith. That unique experience continues to bless my life. Since that day, there has never been a prayer left unanswered through the hope that Elder Holland exudes in his person. Conference talks, quotes shared by unknowing instructors, or simply by remembering have followed me over the years and reminded me of the hope his blessing instilled in me. Am I the only one who experiences the miracles found in his messages? Oh no, I am one of millions but has his message of hope resonated in me with enough power to enable me to catapult over the barriers of the last fifteen year? Oh, yes. Did it instill in me a desire to share that knowledge with others. Oh yes. The wonderful thing about hope is that it knows no bounds...irrespective of the differences in our lives or in the belief systems that shape our earthly experience. And in the most humble places of my heart, I know that I have an obligation to share the knowledge that I have of the absolute necessity for hope in our lives. Not just in an obligation like it's one of those things I'm supposed to do but rather an obligation born of gratitude for the personal witness I have been given through the hands of a prophet of God.

Over the years I have wrestled with just how to do that. Daily, we all have opportunities to share this message. Daily, we encounter the darkness that enshrouds the world we live in. Whether we recognize it or not, there are eyes begging us daily to give them some glimmer of hope that the challenges they face will not consume them or someone they desperately love. It may be as impersonal as the woman at the drive-in window handing you your soda or the man in the car facing you as you wait for red to turn to green. Or it may be as intimate as a child who feels they can never right the wrongs of their past or a partner who hungers for forgiveness. Or, it can be a flaw within yourself begging for acceptance and resolution. Whatever the need, fill it. Refuse to look away from those downcast eyes. Reach out to the arms that with despair hang down. And when you see your personal sadness reflecting in the tears of a friend, allow your own to fall. It will cleanse you of whatever hopelessness may be hiding in the wounded places in your own heart. And then you too will know gratitude.

As I write this, I am reminded of one of my own children whose heart feels hopeless as he struggles to catch up from many years of wrong turns and false starts. One who believes that he has no worth, no purpose, and that the choices of his past have left him with no talent, no purpose, and most tragically no worth to anyone else. And that is just wrong because he is my son and I love him with the sacred intensity of a mother. He is the reason hope was born into this dark world on a night marked by the brightness of a single star. This is what I believe. So, as I end this blog to write to him, I pray again...if there is hope in your heart..share it. If there is not..take my words and find it. And when you do or when you can..please share it, look beyond the obvious and the palatable and pleasant views of life and find that one who so desperately needs it.

Thank you for listening, for being the quiet observers of my life and for the hope that filters through your love into me. May I just simply say..I love you.

Gratitude and love always...Cyndi

1 comment:

  1. Cyndi, I am Angie's friend Ashley, my mom had breast cancer 3 years ago and survived! She sent me this link in case you were interested. These people will come clean your house once a month while you are going through chemo. I hope all is well and just know that as long as you stay strong you can fight this!