Lost Hope and Unmet Expectations

It is snowing today, and often when it snows, the sky is dark; there is no light. The sun’s rays are not beaming through to pierce the darkness. It is treacherous and cold, and yet, the powdery snow is falling lightly, blanketing the gray pavement. It is beautiful—such a contrast between the beauty of the snow and the biting cold of the wind.

Lost hope can feel a lot like a snowy day. What is one to do when hope is lost and expectations go unmet? The season of hopelessness is dark, and the only way out is to believe in the light, to believe the light of a new season is coming. Hoping for something often means placing one’s trust in a thing or a person. It means relying on or trusting in someone to help you attain the hope you desire—hope for a job, hope for a child, hope for a vibrant and healthy relationship, a dream home. When the expectation of hope is lost in the unfulfillment of unmet expectations, the season becomes very dark, and the result may seem bleak. That is what occurs in the moment of hopelessness and disappointment. What’s next?

What happens next determines how long this season will last. A snowy and dark winter may last for an hour or for days. Afterwards, you may take out your snow blower or your snow shovel and clear the ground for proper egress, so you can move clearly down this new path that was delayed momentarily by the weight of or denseness of the snow. You can control the duration of the season but not the season itself.

You may decide to make the most of the season by reveling in the white stuff, making snow angels or snowmen, or engaging in snowball fights. Laughter and hope will fill the air. You do not want the snow to dissipate because it provides a time of respite. You know the sun will shine again, and another day will dawn that may take away this moment. So, you enjoy the presence of the moment.

You fear you may not see snow again for a long time. You hope for the sun, but you want the snow too, in its time, like at Christmas. Many of us, especially in warmer States, hope for a white Christmas, but in February or March, you do not expect snow. It becomes an inconvenience which may give way to a cold, dark winter of lost hope and disappointment.

But it does not have to be that way. We can always maintain, expect, and anticipate hopeful seasons. This is true even when we are disappointed in a lost love or the loan that did not go through or a family member who died, or a friend who betrayed you. The moment of the hurt can be for just a moment. The healing can be found in hope. Without hope, trust cannot be rebuilt. Love cannot be rekindled. Forgiveness and acceptance cannot be realized. Why is this true?

It is true because God says that “hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when desire is fulfilled it is a tree of life” (Proverbs 13:12). When there is no hope, the heart is broken and beats without a cause or a purpose. In these times, you must show yourself some compassion. See the “snow” as a season of wealth and abundance. You are not your mind, and you are not your thoughts. The more you choose to attach your identity to your mind and how you may see yourself in a dark winter will strip you of your innate power and ability to move closer to the light.

It is important to connect to the bigger picture of your purpose. Reconnect with the source of your creation because He will always remind you that you are purposed with purpose to fulfill a purpose. Nobody else will do because you are uniquely your own. With little hope and suffering under the weight of your unmet expectations, there is a tendency to make ourselves small. We must refute that because the hopelessness becomes much bigger.

My winters have been dark, and the darkness becomes even darker when the support system I need so desperately is not at my disposal for reasons I cannot understand. Therefore, I have learned to see the light through the snow. I have learned how to make those snow angels and have found I enjoy this new skill and can draw upon it when the darkness wants to stymie my progress.

God did not create us to be siloed; He created us for love and fellowship. When hope is lost, there is so much pain, isolation, self-pity, and shame. Shame may be the worst of all because we shirk from the world and hide. Experiences help us to grow, and the important thing to remember is that while some of those experiences may feel hopeless, they are temporal. Embrace the unknown, and do not leave life to chance. Your future remains, even if the past did not regard you well.

Practice gratitude and never stop loving. Hope can always be found there, right in the middle of those unmet expectations.

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