Encouragement, Faith, Fruit of the Spirit, Gentleness, God's Love, Kindness, Love, Mental Illness, Mother/Daughter, Motivation, Spiritual Therapy, Strength, Trials, Trusting God, Worry

Hope in the Midst of Hopelessness

“Chancee` you have to accept the fact that your mother is going to be institutionalized until the day she dies.”  These words stung as a family member spoke them to me. I was feeling pretty hopeless and was pouring out how I felt about the mental health system’s revolving door that has held my mother captive. I don’t quite know the year it started but her illness preceded me.  Although throughout my lifetime she has had several years of independent living, for nearly the past seven years she has been in the state mental institution. She is absolutely one of the most brilliant people that I know but she has a neurobiological disorder and has been diagnosed as bipolar, paranoid schizophrenic. Her reality and true reality are often conflicting and unfortunately her belief in her delusions, in the absence of medication, can cause irritability and lead to unrest and violence. Because Mom doesn’t believe she has an illness, her cooperation is minimal outside the confines of the mental institution. That fact keeps her from living a “normal” life.

Over the years, I held resentment against my mother for not being there for me to call on her when I needed her. I have felt extreme sadness at the fact that our relationship in no way resembles that of my friends with their own mothers. Mother-daughter trips, spa days, shopping, and dinners have been non-existent since I was a little girl. I feel sorry for her because her own quality of life is severely diminished and as she gets older it continues to get worse. I have become her guardian and she has become the child. It’s a complex relationship and one that she constantly fights.

For years, I have prayed that God delivers my mom from her illness and I have held out hope that one day she will be delivered from this disease; however, it’s been very difficult. I have prayed that I can see her how God sees her and love her like He does. The hardest part about neurobiological disorders is that they are hard to deal with because you can’t “see” the disability and it’s not cancer; therefore, people are treated as if they are just “crazy.” You want them to accept that what they know as reality is false and to just move on but that isn’t realistic.

There is so much to this story that I can write a book, but as this cycle repeats itself it’s hard for me to have hope that one day she will be healed. It’s hard for me to believe that God may have a different will for her life. It’s hard for me to believe that she will cooperate with treatment when she is not under the supervision of the mental institution. I am trying to maintain hope in what appears to be a hopeless situation.

Your situation may not be like mine but if some of us are honest with ourselves there is something that we have or have had hope for but our present circumstances make us feel absolutely hopeless. Our faith is shattered because we can’t see “how” it will happen, “when” it will happen or “what” will happen. As I battle with these feelings of hopelessness concerning my mother, I am reminded of WHO God is in what appear to be hopeless situations:

  • In Exodus 1  The Children of Israel were in captivity for hundreds of years in Egypt. There were Israelites who were born in and died in captivity and never saw God’s promise of freedom come to fruition. Though it came through much trial and tribulation Pharaoh finally let God’s people go. Pharaoh and all his officials and all the Egyptians got up during the night, and there was loud wailing in Egypt, for there was not a house without someone dead. During the night Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and said, “Up! Leave my people, you and the Israelites! Go, worship the LORD as you have requested. (Exodus 12:30-31 NIV)  In Exodus 14 the Israelites’ situation once again appears hopeless as Pharaoh follows them and they are trapped by the Red Sea but God parted the waters so that they could cross. He made a way out of no way!
  • Remember Sarah – There is no doubt in my mind that Sarah wanted a child her whole life but she was barren. When she received word that she would have a son her situation looked so hopeless that she laughed at the mere thought. Later she bore a son and called him Isaac.  Read Genesis 18:10-14, Genesis 21:1-2
  • Lastly there is the woman with the issue of blood. She had a disease and had been to many doctors over the course of her twelve years of bleeding but no one could help her. There was no pill that she could take to stop it. There was no cure.  Mark 5:25-29

Although our situations may appear to be hopeless, I want us to restore our hope knowing that what God has done for others He will do for us too. Here are my five tips for restoring hope when you feel hopeless:

  1.  Encourage Yourself –I Samuel 30: 4-6
  2. Trust Him –Proverbs 3:5-6
  3. Know that He is not like you! –Isaiah 55:8-9
  4. Have a Flashback – Remember a time when God granted you the desires of your heart even when the situation looked hopeless. Psalms 31:19
  5. Know that He sees the completed puzzle while we can only see the puzzle pieces – Jeremiah 29:11

Dear Daddy,

Continue to help mine unbelief as You restore my faith in You. Help me to continue to believe that You are a healer and just like You have done for others You can do for me too. For every reader out there that is in the midst of what appears to be a hopeless situation, remind them of who You are. Remind them that there is nothing too hard for You! Remind them that You healed the sick, You raised the dead, You walked on water, You restored sight to the blind, You opened wombs that were barren, and You made the ultimate sacrifice! Thank You for being who You are! In Jesus’ Name Amen!

Ladies, I EMPOWER you to declare victory today over your “hopeless” situation. I EMPOWER you to have peace with God’s will for your life and that you remain faithful in your pursuits. I EMPOWER you to rebuke the spirit of hopelessness as you remember the God that you serve can do ANYthing.

Read a related EmpowerMoment: The Face of Faith

Ms. Chancee` Lundy currently resides in Atlanta, GA and is a small business co-owner of Nspiregreen, LLC an environmental consulting firm. She is also a dedicated daughter, sister, friend, community servant, and child of God. She is passionate about causes that truly uplift the community. One of her favorite scriptures is Hebrews 11:6: “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”

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14 thoughts on “Hope in the Midst of Hopelessness”

  1. Chancee’ I’m in the same situation as yourself with my mother. I have held a grudge against my mother since FOREVER. always wishing she could be like the average mom. I dont talk to or see her at all. I always ask God for forgiveness because she hasn’t gotten herself together and it’s been going on since I was 3yrs old. God has given me insight on how to deal/cope with the situation. Chancee’ have faith you know God wont fail you. Thanks a lot for the scriptures you posted as well.

    1. Amber, it takes a lot to forgive but in many cases we have to understand. Some of the things our parents do are from their history that predates us. I think Krissy said it best that we have to ask God to help us love a person the same way that he does. That’s the goal…and when we reach that point a lot of the mixed feelings we have will go away because we will know how to set boundaries but love them anyway.

  2. Thank you for sharing and I applaud your courage for sharing. I have a similar situation with my mother. She was very abusive to my sister and I while we were growing up, but because she provided for us and we never wanted for anything, we never questioned her parenting skills. As we got older, we began to see our mom differently and that mother/daughter relationship that once was gone. For me, it didn’t hit me until my mom had a stroke five years ago that left her paralyzed on the left side. From the moment she landed in that wheelchair, the mask came completely off and I was able to clearly see that abusive mother. Because of her verbal abuse and lack of appreciation, I have limited my contact with her. I pray that God will deliver her from her evil ways and give her peace, but I resent her for being abusive to us as a child and for being abusive to us during her time of needm, while she can’t help herself. All of my hope isn’t gone, but I feel like giving up sometimes.

    1. Keisha, you wrote this some weeks ago and when I saw it I don’t think I was in a place myself where I could adequately respond. As a matter of fact, I stopped responding to all the responses. While I truly truly understand your resentment, I do ask that you forgive and ask God to bar the bitterness that you have for her from your heart. Hurt people …hurt people. I don’t know why your mother did what she did or responded the way that she did. It would be disingenious of me to tell you that you and mother are going to have some great relationship and you need to go and hang out with her. What I do think you should do is to let her know the pain that she caused you. Luke 17:3 tells us “Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.” This verse tells us to hold those who sin against us accountable and allow them the opportunity to repent prior to forgiveness. Furthermore, I encourage forgiveness even if you choose to remain in limited contact because not doing so makes her actions a permanent fixture in your life. Don’t let anyone have that power over you. I wish you the best Keshia and I do pray that your relationship is reconciled.

  3. The older I get the more I conclude that often in families, in the workplace, at school etc.there are no perfect situations…… Per the Word, we are asked to love anyway, forgive anyway…..whatever condition your mom is in, I encourage you to love her as hard as you can love her for who she is, and for who she isn’t, maybe this is a lesson outlined for you. And in your hopelessness, you have taken on a battle that is not yours. Give it over to the Lord.

    1. Thanks Beverly! I do love my mama…sometimes I honestly don’t like her which is a bit different. I have come to know her in a different way and recognize that “right now” this is my mother until and if its Gods will to completely heal her. I do my best to seek guidance from God and those he has planted as vessels of wisdom. Thank you for sharing with me that this is NOT my battle because she is not my child…she is the Lords and he has a perfect will for her life just as he does for mine…although they may be intertwined.

  4. This entry is the beat of are Father’s heart.That we would pay the price for somone else’s sin. See it’s not the person we dislike,but because we have salvation we know sin and we hate it! Our father loved us while we were sinners and even loves us as we are saints and some of us still deal with sin ourselves(there are even undercover sinners that are saints;none is perfect!),but we have to live and love like Christ. I’m not saying,to be nobody’s door mat,but most people won’t experience the tangible love of God unless we share it.Powerful entry… CONTINUE EMPOWERING EM!!!

    1. Thanks Lisa. I have come to recognize my mothers illness as just that. I can’t make her illness be something it is not…it is not normal; therefore, her actions won’t be normal. In that I have to ask God for the strength and fortitude to move forward.

  5. One of the things that I really love about God is that it is indeed true that He is no respector of persons. He is ABLE to do for you what He has done for another. So with that I say what He has done for ME, He can do for YOU! Your mom is battling a different illness than mine was but I still know firsthand how hopeless it makes you feel. But one thing that I have learned about God is that He LOVES when stuff looks HOPELESS becuase thats when He can really get His shine on!!!! Remember what faith is = a substance of things HOPED for and the evidence of those things not yet seen. Wait, thats an EM right there–>having evidence of something not yet seen! That all goes back your steps 1 thru 5….

    God Bless you my friend 🙂

    1. Thank you my friend! Faith is indeed the EVIDENCE of things not seen. It’s so hard to keep the faith but if we remember that he indeed is NO respector of persons he can and he will deliver in his own perfect timing.

  6. Chancee, I want to send a thanks from me and also from my friend and spiritual mentor Denise Glass. This was a blessing to the both of us!

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