"Sometimes when you are in a dark place, you think you've been buried, but you've actually been planted." Christine Caine
My world was upside down and inside out. Clinical depression had taken over my mind, clawing at me like a fog that was stealing my light, choking my soul. I was screaming for light as I fought with the ever-present darkness in my mind. I was screaming, but no words came out.
There were many days during that dark time that I didn't know if I would make it out. I fought through scripture, looking for words to fight the demons in my mind. I fought through prayer, my face prone to the floor, begging God to release me from this darkness. And then I got so tired of the fight, I simply didn't fight anymore. I couldn't find the hope that generally comes so easy for me. I was lost.
When I couldn't fight anymore, and I couldn't hear the voice of God, I borrowed hope. I borrowed hope from my husband, who prayed for healing and worked tirelessly to find things to help; my favorite meals, chocolate, or a back rub when I just needed his touch.
I borrowed hope from friends, who lifted in me in prayer and sent text messages of love and support just when I needed to hear them.
I borrowed hope from my boss, who prayed over me and gave me space to heal.
I borrowed hope from the stranger in the grocery who saw me crying. She put her hand on my arm and said, "Can I pray for you?" This woman, whose name I never got, just held me while I sobbed in her arms as she lovingly whispered a prayer over me.
"Be devoted to one another in love—honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord's people who are in need. Practice hospitality." Romans 12:10-13
God used the people around me to give me the hope I couldn't find in those weeks. The very same God who breathed the universe into existence made sure I was covered in His hope when I didn't know how to find it on my own. I saw later I wasn't buried, but God had planted in me a new hope, even better than what I knew before. A hope that was borrowed.
Friends, look around you! Who needs your kind words, a sweet prayer, or a meal made with love? You don't need a fancy degree or know the Bible inside out to offer hope. You just need to listen to His voice, look around your world, and He will show you the people who have no hope right now. The people who need your words, your smile, and your prayers for the hope that gets them through their storm.
What a blessing that God uses His mercy pen so freely, giving us hope from others when we can't find it ourselves.