I sit here trying to figure out a way to cleverly close out this series. To wrap everything up in a pretty little package with a beautiful bow on top. I truly have no idea how to do so. Nothing about these last weeks has been pretty or particularly bow worthy. I’m left with just as many questions now as I had when I started.



It seems I’ve lost my lifeline.

You know how you have days where nothing seems to go your way? Where you can’t do anything right? Where everything you touch crumbles in your hands…and spills over into the lives of those around you?

This last month has been full of those days for me.

I lost my mother three years ago this past October. Grief carries its own agenda. You’re never prepared for how it can sneak up on you seemingly out of nowhere. Our relationship was a complicated one and I think I am mourning the things we didn’t have more than the things we did have. Do I have regrets? Yes. And I’m plagued with the they saids, and the should haves. Not one of which I can do anything about…

I hope my daughter doesn’t have the same regrets when she finds herself where I am.

Until last December, my husband played guitar for 7 years at a large church. That July I wrote my OneWord mid-year update. I had been struggling with trust and in a moment of brutal honesty, I dropped the f-bomb, simply a guttural response to what I was feeling at the time. Nothing more. Someone in the church saw the post when my husband shared it on his FB page and called the minister of music. The post had to be removed from his page and he was asked to stay home that weekend. Two weeks later there was a meeting in which he was told they would no longer be needing him to play, assuring him it had absolutely nothing to do with my post, and everything to do with changes they wanted to implement. We found out a couple of weeks ago that none of the reasons given for no longer needing his services were ever put into place. So of course it’s my fault. All because I was being honest. And the kicker is, not one person involved in that church ever asked if everything was ok…

I hope to someday find a church where I am accepted regardless of the words I use.

Then there is that pesky internal soundtrack we all carry around with us. You know, the negative one we try to avoid listening to. There are times though, that it is so incredibly loud that it is deafening. And then it’s reinforced by things that are said about you. You are untrustworthy. You ruin everything. You’re a liar. You aren’t enough. You aren’t important. You’re words don’t carry any weight. You can’t…you aren’t…you don’t. That soundtrack is screaming at me these days.

I hope that this is not the legacy I leave.

I haven’t been well for several months. Physically and emotionally these months have taken their toll. Last week it all caught up with me. My blood pressure spiked at stroke levels and stayed that way for days. A visit to the doctor finds me on meds for my blood pressure and an appointment next week to make a plan to address my depression.

I hope this is the beginning of better days for me.

I realize that this post seems like a real downer but look at the common thread throughout…hope. I hope for more. I hope for better. So I guess I haven’t really lost my lifeline after all. Somewhere along the way I simply stopped looking for it. Depression will do that to you. Being physically ill for long periods of time will do that to you.

I think what I have learned from this series is that, no matter the situation, no matter the person, there is always that common denominator. It manifests itself differently for everyone but is always there when you take the time to look for it.

Sometimes when you can’t find your own way it’s okay to get lost in someone else’s story. To find that me too moment and hold on for dear life. Sometimes that’s all we can muster. Grabbing on to the hope someone else extends to us in their own story.

Hope. Hope seems to be the lifeline that sustains us through the hard things. It’s the thing that keeps us getting out of bed every morning. The thing allowing us to be able to face our days, however difficult, one small step at a time.

When hope escapes me, I’ll find refuge in your stories. I’ll grab the lifeline you throw me and hold on for dear life…

I want to thank everyone who participated in this series. You truly have been my lifeline during this time. Your encouragement and your prayers have meant more to me than you can know. Thank you for throwing me something to hang onto, for allowing me to get lost in your stories.
You can find all of the posts in the series here, “Finding Hope in Our Stories Compilation”. 

This article has 3 comments

  1. Mindi Ferguson Reply

    Thank you for pursuing hope and waiting on it; thank you for sharing this beautiful series, Carol & contributors. Hope is no easy thing. I suspect that even discussing its absence is to invite its presence. I appreciate the invitations that have been shared in this space.

  2. Kenny Ray Pierce Reply

    Thank you for letting us all be a part of your story, Carol, and Godspeed with all that you shoulder. You are cherished and loved, more than you know.

    Brightest blessings, my friend.

  3. Sarah Scott Reply

    This is raw and beautiful… I hope your health is greatly improved and I hope that big church didn't scare you away from dropping the odd necessary F-bomb. Keep it real sister.

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