I’m currently reading an amazing book called Hope Heals, co-written by Katherine and Jay Wolf. Katherine suffered a massive brain stem stroke in 2008 at the age of 26, just after the birth of their first child. The story is a back and forth narrative between Jay and Katherine – the agony of this devastating event clearly articulated by both. It’s a great read.
At the end of the day, they clung to hope . . . hope that their tragic situation could be redeemed in some way, that they could both be healed.
I believe it’s vitally important to read stories like this. How God can use us as a miracle for someone else can be clearly displayed in times of tragedy: the family that does not leave the bedside and keeps believing in spite of setbacks; the friends that offer 24-hour support, positioning themselves as a fortress alongside the family; the social media world at large that agrees to pray for people in hard places, people they’ve never even met. All miracles. All built on one thing: hope.
How does hope heal? I recommend exploring stories of real-life encounters with hope. There is no shortage of them. In a world that wants to make us possessive and afraid, we need stories of selflessness and surrender. When we read such stories they become part of us . . . hope becomes a part of us.
A few inspiring stories of hope:
Hope Heals: A True Story of Overwhelming Loss and an Overcoming Love, Katherine and Jay Wolf (see above)
Fight Back with Joy, Margaret Feinberg – Margaret Feinberg writes of her journey with a cancer diagnosis and treatment, and her commitment to facing it with joy. It is honest and inspiring.
Eight Twenty Eight: When Love Didn’t Give Up, Ian and Larissa Murphy – This is the love story between Ian and Larissa, a story that continued through an unexpected accident that left Ian with a traumatic brain injury, dependent upon constant care. Their story is inspiring in a raw and heartfelt way. It explores the true meaning of love and hope.
The Hiding Place, Corrie Ten Boom – This best selling book is a classic I read every few years. In my opinion, it is one of the most important books of modern times, reminding us that even in world history’s darkest days, there was and is hope. Must read.