I’m Aware: Why Hope?
I am blessed. I wake-up every day happy to be alive. I have all faculties of my mind, body, and spirit. I am not hospitalized, incarcerated, or being held hostage by my own poverty. I live in a home filled with joy, peace, and purpose, and I share this home intimately with my loving husband and children. When I want to work, I work, and when I want to enjoy quality time I do. My life is amazing to say the least, but this has not always been the case.
I am only 28, but I have experienced enough pain for three lifetimes. The worst trial I ever faced occurred two years ago today. At 38-weeks pregnant on March 27, 2013, my husband and I were told that our son, our firstborn, our future, Joshua Middleton had “No Heartbeat.” Our child was dead, and there was nothing that we could do to change that.
I speak boldly about my experiences within the context of my faith, and the most common response is; “You are so strong. I could never…” As if we as people choose our hardships. I did not ask God for my tribulations, but I refuse to be destroyed by them. How could I summarize my life by a few bad days? Through it all: the absence of my parents growing up, the shooting of my brother, the death of many many loved ones, the disappointment of my initial career choices, and the labor of my deceased son, I have come to realize hope is the antidote to despair.
Two years ago today, I was sitting in labor and delivery being induced to give birth to a dead child. I was broken. My labor lasted 18 hours, and I prayed the entire time. I prayed for the strength and courage to surrender to my circumstances without losing my faith.
I prayed Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
I prayed Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
I prayed Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”
We had rearranged our entire life in preparation for our child. We moved to a different state, co-occupied space with my great-grandparents, and I stopped working. We were ready for our future, and in the blink of an eye, our future died.
Some of you may be in this same boat right now. Maybe your marriage is failing, you were fired from your job, you’ve lost a loved one, your family is falling apart, or you have been diagnosed with an illness. Right now, something in your life is not going according to plan and you feel as if God has forsaken you. You feel insecure, and you feel like you do not matter. I witness to you that the answer to your prayers is hope. Hope to see your future differently. Hope to see your future the way God sees your future by meditating on His word.
Hope gave me the strength and courage I needed to try to conceive again, and my daughter, Genesis, was born January 23, 2014. And as the Word of God says in Isaiah 61:7, “For your shame ye shall have double.” I am also pleased to share that in 5 weeks our daughter, Viva Joelle Middleton, is set to make her debut.
I went from childless, jobless, and broken to two children, two jobs, and whole all because of hope. My life is not perfect. I have lots of living to do and I am sure I have more mountains to climb, but I am a living witness that faith is the substance of things HOPED for. If he did it for me, he will do it for you. HOPE!
In Loving Memory of Joshua Middleton