Have you ever found yourself in a time where you lost sight of hope? When it takes every ounce of energy to get out of bed and face a new day?

Maybe you have entered a life transition, graduating college or moving across the country and you have been greeted with unfamiliarity and loneliness. Maybe you’ve landed in a difficult spot and your closest friends have slowly stopped asking how you are; you’re expected to be fine, but you’re not. Maybe an illness has limited your ability to do what you dream of doing and daily pain drains every ounce of your strength. Maybe a break in a relationship that you held closely to your heart now leaves you with the unyielding idea that you are unworthy. Maybe you were met with an unexpected loss or shift in a job that you poured blood, sweat and tears into hoping for a deserved promotion or reward. Maybe there was an unexpected death of an individual who played a key role in your life.

Everyone meets the presence of pain differently.

If you are human, you have most likely found yourself in situations that are drenched in overwhelming feelings of being lost, confused, broken, or hurting. I know I have. The hard reality is that life doesn’t promise to be a walk in the park, free of undesired pain and hardship. Although at times it seems as though life will only continue to serve up disappointments and outcomes that are less than ideal, a greater certainty remains.

Hope is eagerly and expectantly waiting to be chosen.

In the height of difficult seasons, I have come to find that healing is initiated when hope is stirred by a symphony of life-giving language. It begins the moment you are looked in the eyes and told, “you are strong, you are capable, you love people well”; this is when healing through the language of hope begins to take root.

I have heard it said that what we choose to listen to about ourselves is what we will become.

If this is true, I want to intentionally place myself in the pathway of receiving verbalized words of life, the soundtrack of motivation in choosing to see the presence of hope in the midst of pain.

When I take time to reflect through dark moments in my own life, it becomes apparent that the strongest moments of clarity are consistently linked to the times when words of life were physically being spoken into my personalized pain. When I wasn’t strong enough to speak truth to myself, I vividly remember the individuals who came alongside me, and rather than offering their (most likely unwanted) opinion or gifting me with their pity, they chose to speak straight to my desperate heart.

Specific people continually seized opportunities to articulate the potential they knew I held but had lost sight of it. They opted to remind me who I was as an individual when I had forgotten that my identity does not lie in what I do or accomplish, but in the intricate traits woven into my character.

This isn’t to say that the first time someone chose to speak truth to me I instantaneously snapped out of my discomfort and pain, but hope was being stirred, nonetheless.

Words of life shift the atmosphere, the light reclaiming what darkness attempted to secure.

The shadowy hold of hopelessness is broken open, even if it is just a crack at a time and truth is able to usher in the presence of light, planting seeds of hope to establish a better foundation.

We all will come face to face with moments threaded with pain. It is here that we can choose to take a step of vulnerability and recognize pain for what it is. When our hope has faltered, we must seek out the people who will refuse to let us alone in difficult moments, but instead choose to relentlessly remind us of who we are and who we are in the process of becoming.

It is essential to find the individuals who look us in the eyes and offer a heartbeat of hope that announces “you are worthy, you are driven, you bring joy to the room, you are strong” etc. Even if we might not believe them in the moment, these are the words that take root in the midst of darkens and begin to plant hope.

We live up to what is spoken of us. Be intentional about the voices that you listen to.

But it doesn’t stop there. Hope spurs on hope. I challenge you to not only settle in listening to life-giving words, but to also be the voice for someone else. We have the ability to choose the words that leave our mouth each day. How are we spending them? When we encounter someone in a tough spot, are we reminding them who they are and the potential that they hold? True, most often it is easier to stay silent to avoid feeling uncomfortable, but as we choose to see the best in people and speak words of life, our eyes are opened to the presence of hope.

You have the ability to choose the words you desire to impact both yourself and others. Choose wisely. Choose hope