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Bald Eagle in FlightAs I was sharing with a friend a page from my book, “A Love so Great, A Grief so Deep,” I thought about all the times in life when we get overwhelmed and lose hope.

Here is what I wrote about hope when my husband was dying.

Hope is the effort to fly with wings not yet grown. If I don’t hope – don’t try – don’t struggle, there will never be the possibility of flying.

I was still hoping that he would live – even as I knew he would not.


We cannot live without hope. We may feel as though we are getting bruised and bloodied in the process, but that is a part of living.  To live without hope is worse than struggling – you are only flapping your wings without going anywhere.

But with hope, our wings get stronger, and soon they are not just flapping but carrying us – taking us beyond sorrow to healing, recovery and beyond.

I always wanted to soar like an eagle. I just never realized that it took such work to accomplish it. But In the end, what a blessing.


Hope! It is a gift I cannot refuse. Belief. It is the assumption that God catches you when reality doesn’t match your hopes and you begin to fall.


If you are in the middle of a crisis you didn’t want, never wanted and desperately wish to be free from, you may not be aware of being caught and held safely because the terror of falling is too great. But I discovered God was there regardless of how I felt, like the parachute keeping a skydiver from plummeting to earth. A skydiver has learned to turn his fear of falling into a heady joy of floating.


When reality has dashed my hope, how do I turn my fear of falling into floating?


In order to fly, we have to exercise our wings. In order to fly, we have to be willing to fail and fall.  In order to fly, we are required to “let go” of our fear of heights, let go of restricting branches and free fall – spreading our arms to catch those updrafts and float. In order to fly, we must have hope.

When we struggle with any obstacle we face in life, at times it may seem as though we are pushing against that proverbial stone that won’t budge.  That obstacle might be dealing with a rocky marriage, a major loss through death, chronic illness that sprang out of nowhere, or teens in trouble.

Facing that obstacle, resisting the urge to wring our hands and say we can’t, and finding the ways to work through whatever is happening is putting hope to work.  We believe in our efforts to overcome, think about things in a new way, willing to work on problems, that our hope will have found the wings it needs to take us to those new destinations.


Hope can energize. It seeks new solutions as you learn from crashes what to do and what not to do.


Fear grounds us – makes us miserable, resentful, blaming. Fear eats us up and spits us out in the garbage dump! Hope reaches upward. Fear drives us down into the ground. Hope is the wings that will enable me and you to fly.

Marlene Anderson

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