By Brett ElenaJune 8, 2020

Fact 1: Hope is defiant.

Fact 2: I am emotionally reactive.

These two realities tugged, warred, and wrestled in my mind this morning, their juxtaposition and seeming contradiction demanding my attention.

Because yesterday, in all honesty, I was at the cusp of dashing off a vindictive, sarcastic rant against everyone and anything that rushes to slap band-aids on pain, lacing much profanity into my opinion of the phrase “Feel better! [smiley face]”

Which might have felt good, for a minute.

But it wouldn’t have helped anything.

And while I do still believe that phrase merits its own discussion (namely revealing our culture’s discomfort in the face of discomfort—which also manifests in overeating, binge drinking, and online shopping, etc.), the bold, emblazoned letters of this jacket were ultimately what caught and held my heart today.

How do we still believe in hope when we are upset? When we are angry, let down, hurt?

How do we still believe in hope when disaster steals the breath from our lungs; when the world becomes a wasteland of misery and color seems forsaken?

How can I say that I believe and live the motto of “hope is defiant,” when my friends have heard me groan in pain, knowing intimately my struggle and sadness?

Everyone’s answer will be unique, but this is mine:

Fact 3: We are allowed to be human. I am allowed to be human.

Fact 4: No one has to do this alone.

To feel hurt is to be human. Even Jesus wept (John 11:35). The whole gamut of emotions is completely natural; to minimize our sadness is to undermine our joy.

Accordingly, to embrace the concept that hope is defiant doesn’t mean that I will always hop around like the Positivity Energizer Bunny on steroids; it’s to acknowledge the possibility that even chaos has an expiration date. Or, Desmond Tutu phrased it as, “Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all the darkness.”

Of course, the real trick of it all is acknowledging that I don’t need to always see the light or carry this burden myself. I don’t need to martyr myself in a myopic vision of save-the-world heroism—there are seasons of life when we simply CAN’T see the good.

And that’s okay.

Because when I have fallen, I have always been blessed enough to be picked up. Maybe it doesn’t always feel like it, maybe I can’t believe that truth at the time. But whenever I am low, there is always someone there to sit with me in the dark. During those moments, my friends/family/angels in disguise—they harness the light on my behalf. They carry that hope, that reminder of sunlight beyond the clouds, even while allowing me the space to be broken. Because I may be weak. I may be gloriously imperfect. For I am human.

But hope is an eternal, indestructible force.

Hope is defiant.

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Comments (5)

  1. Terry Doria

    I read this after a frantic call to my therapist. I was feeling especially vulnerable and very hopeless. I know reading your message isn’t a done deal for me as I have far to go. But it’s timely for my situation and I appreciate it very much. Peace.

    Reply  |  
  2. brett elena

    “we can do no great things, only small things with great love” – mother teresa

    Reply  |  
  3. Valeria

    love this and so needed this, ty from the bottom of my heart.

    Reply  |  
  4. Alyssa

    I really needed this blog post today. Hope is what has carried me through my brightest and darkest days. Hope is defiant, and hope is curative, in good times and in bad. Hope is what keeps me alive.

    Reply  |  
  5. Serena Serene

    Thank you <3 (Prayer Hands. Thankful Hands.)

    Reply  |  
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