These things don’t happen to regular people – or, so I thought until our phone rang one early July morning in 2002. The morning was already thick with humidity making even the upholstered chair feel damp – the windows were open wide and the Appalachian dew clung to the screens – these were the things I noted as I walked to the telephone to end its relentless ringing.

The cry I heard will forever sound in my ear. My grown up girl sobbed at the end of that phone, 700 miles away. The shock was palpable. The distance, like an eternity away – actually a reality away. Yet, it was true and real, and action needed to be taken.

I have one sibling, a sister, I quickly dialed her number.

“Peg, her fiancé was murdered last night – I have to go to her.”

And, so began months and months of sadness, grief, and hopelessness. Fifteen years later and I remember that morning as though it happened yesterday. It was the time in my life when God showed up and showed off.

Weeping may tarry for the night but joy comes with the morning. Psalm 30.5b (ESV)

The paralyzing grief and despair racked within me. Worship services, the joyous kind with hands clapping and feet tapping, were times of questioning and doubt. My heart continued to break for my daughter and God was getting an earful from me.

Day in and day out.

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life. Proverbs 13.12 (ESV)

Several months later on a cold weekday morning – one with ice crystals on the windows – God came. He came to me in the wee hours of darkness of a regular day and began teaching me the biblical principle of Hope.

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15.13 (ESV)

It was this scripture God used to begin my healing. I was in treatment! Hope began to radiate in me, through me, and around me. Today, I celebrate 15 years in remission from hopelessness. I wake up each morning knowing the God of Hope will fill me with joy and peace and will cause me to overflow with His Hope.

Joy is a choice. One we must choose each and every day. “Today, I will walk in Joy.” HOPE is the gift God gives us when we make that conscious choice.

“Hope based on anything less than Jesus Christ is as futile as wishing upon a star.”

Susan Shipe

Susan Shipe

"My heart overflows with a good tongue is the pen of a ready writer." Psalm 45.1 (NASB)