Holding on to Hope

Hope comes in many forms, from the fingers-crossed-for-luck superficial hope to the deep and abiding Hope that faith brings. It is not a static thing but changes, ebbs and flows, at different times in life. It can be lost and found again. It can mislead us or give us strength. Sometimes it is all we have.

At the moment I am holding on to a hope that is less than tangible, ephemeral, weak; the hope that for Mum the end will come soon and she will be freed from the prison of PSP; the hope that when the end comes it will be quick and peaceful. How fragile this hope is. It does not sustain; it leaves me vulnerable and a little guilty. How can I hope for these things for my Mum? Shouldn't I be railing against fate and fighting tooth and nail to keep Mum with us? And yet I am holding on to Hope at the moment, the Hope that doesn't disappoint, that assures me that for Mum death is not the end and that I will see her again in glory and this Hope gives me strength to face the future. Mum's favourite Psalm is 139, reading it today revived Hope in me.

God, investigate my life; get all the facts firsthand.

I am an open book to you; even from a distance you know what I am thinking.

You know when I leave and when I get back; I'm never out of your sight.

You know everything I am going to say before I start the first sentence,

I look behind me and you're there, then up ahead and you're there too -

Your reassuring presence, coming and going...

You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,

How I was sculpted from nothing into something.

Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;

All the stages of my life were spread out before you,

The days of my life all prepared before I'd even lived one day...

Investigate my life, o God, find out everything about me;

Cross-examine me and test me, get a clear picture of what I'm about;

See for yourself whether I've done anything wrong -

then guide me on the road to eternal life.

Psalm 139 The Message.

16 Replies

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  • How I know only too well how you feel. I pray every night that my 89 year old Dad will not have survived another night. 14 years after this terrible diagnosis robbed him and us of his life. He no longer has anything left that life can offer him. He is doubly incontinent, cannot see, speak or swallow, is bed bound most days now. Four times last year we were told he wouldn't survive, and yet by some cruel turn of events he does. He and many others deserve some respite and peace from this terrible and distressing condition when it reaches the final stages, and there is no quality of life.

    My mother is 86 year old carer has also been robbed of her life caring for him.

    And yes the guilt of wishing a parent or loved one away, just doesn't seem right. But we do that out of love not malice.

  • True, it is through a desire for the suffering to be finished that we wish the end would come and yet still the guilt lingers. I wonder if the wonders of the modern age induce the guilt. We can cure so much that couldn't be cured before so we ought to be able to cure this. We can't so we feel helpless and guilty for wanting the end to come.

  • Your reply made me cry. Yes, I do think God is testing me but he's been doing it my entire life. When does it stop?

  • Oh Dragon Lady, if I knew that I would be the wisest person in the world. Praying for you.

  • I understand this Hope you have for it was mine, too. And I love this particular translation of Psalm 139. Thank you for sharing even while in your state of pain, perhaps reluctance.

    Caroline

  • Thank you for your kind comment.

  • Hmfsli, I can relate to what you say about hope. My wife Sharyn is struggling at the moment. Not eating more than a bite or two each meal and no taking in much liquids either. Can the end be near? I can only hope so knowing she will be at peace. When she is absent in the spirit she will be present with the Lord. Quickly transported to a much better place and life with a disease free body. My first wife of 31 years had another rare brain disease CJD. When she was struggling to breath I went into the next room and prayed "God please take her out of this struggle". She passed on within minutes. Now after being remarried for 24 years and going through this terrible ordeal (deaf of a loved one) I can only pray "Come quickly dear Lord and release Sharyn into your loving arms". These are tough times. Second time around it's not any easier and in fact much harder to endure. I'm not looking for sympathy but strength to endure. There are some burdens we can cast on Him but we are meant to feel the pain of this loss, I believe. Jimbo

  • People who never have someone to love don't have to feel the loss; I wouldn't trade places with them. Still, I feel so sorry for you, Jimbo, having to go through so much. Your posts here have been of such help and comfort to so many folks, full of practical advice and generosity of spirit. Thank you. Your wives were fortunate in this thing at least, that they found you. My heart goes out to you and Sharyn. Love and Peace, Easterncedar

  • easterncedar, Thanks for your comments. You are a kind person for sure. We are in a tough place my love and I these days. I'm hanging in fine thru many tears when Sharyn isn't present. I do have support including this forum for which I am extremely thankful. Jimbo

  • Hi Jimbo, I cannot comprehend how hard it must be for you having twice to face the loss of your loved one. I pray you will know comfort and gain strength at this difficult time.

  • Thank you for sharing ! Just home from being with my husband ( PSP ) in a Nursing Home and really suffering to day. Our hope is in the Lord and the promises found in His word! Why he has to suffer like this and so young, I don't know but I know there is a purpose and I pray God will give us the strength to see it through triumphantly! Psalm 55:22 Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you

  • Like you I know there is a purpose and I cling to that. Would it make it easier if I knew what that purpose was? Perhaps not.

  • Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Many of us must be thinking and praying for what you pray for but haven't had the courage to voice them. When my husband could speak in sentences, we discussed the future and confirmed we both knew we would eventually be together with The Lord we both love and neither of us fear death. The manner of death, however, is another matter. We pray He will take us quickly and peacefully but I can see my husband deteriorating bit by bit.

    I love reading the Psalms and 139 is one of my favourites. I like how David praises God but also as he cries out to Him in despair during his low moments.

    I thank God that we do have Him to shout at, plead with, and praise and know that we are in His hands. I also hope that one day, when we meet Him, he will give me the answer to my question "Why?".

    Nanna B

  • It is hard to keep going without knowing the "why" sometimes isn't it? I am always grateful that I know Mum is a child of God and safe in His hands. The reassurance of knowing that is invaluable.

  • I am going to use this at my father in laws service to celebrate his life next week. I have spent the last 3 hours looking for something suitable. Thank you for sharing.

  • I am so pleased my post has been of some help to you.

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