In our Stories of Hope series, we connect with everyday individuals to learn more about what Hope means to them, how they’ve overcome challenges and obstacles and the ways in which they practice Hope in their daily lives. We share these stories in the hopes that someone, somewhere, might be inspired by and encouraged to pursue and practice Hope in their own life. Because no one should live in despair and hopelessness. Not even you. Read the latest from of Stories of Hope series below.
1. Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m a born and raised Nashville girl who, in the words of the Queen of Hearts, believes “as many as six impossible things before breakfast” each day. I love to wake up early and stay up late to taste, touch, smell, see and feel everything there is in one day of this great big beautiful life!
I’m an emergency nurse by trade, a writer by heritage and I love what both worlds allow me to do. My husband (my high school sweetheart) is the best man I’ll ever know. He’s an inspiring entrepreneur, an old soul and I love our wild life we’ve created.
We live in a home built almost 100 years ago in East Nashville that has the coziest nooks and age old character that is ruled by Lady, our black lab.
2. What is your definition of Hope?
Believing in what is implausible, impossible, improbable and inconceivable, with the assurance that it will come to be.
3. How has having Hope impacted your life, and how do you continually practice it?
Hope is what you have when the world is gray and bleak and for all intents and purposes, you might as well give up, but you don’t.
Hope for me is so deeply woven into the fabric of my life I surely would not be able to exist without it.
Hope is what has enabled me to live out my purpose, waking up each day to do the work I was created to do. You can’t take care of people who are sick and dying, at the hands of merciless disease processes, who had been the victims of hate and violence, for any length of time without having hope or burning out completely.
The practice of hope for me looks like believing in a God who is good and who holds us, who holds our lives. It looks like prayer and meditation. It looks like things as silly as playing with my pup when I come home from a long night at work, to things as meaningful as long walks and deep talks with friends.
4. How has finding Hope changed the way you view rejection, setbacks or difficulties?
Hope recolors the world. One of my most challenging seasons that yielded the most growth for me individually and together with my husband was was when we lived in China caring for the medical and surgical needs of orphan children. It challenged everything imaginable.
It challenged our ability to adapt to a new culture, our language skills, our nursing practice, our faith, our marriage. You name it, that season challenged it.
The beautiful irony of that season was that the place we lived in was literally called “the House of Hope,” and not only did I experience some of the depths and despair of hopelessness, but I also found the sure and steadfast anchor, a beautiful abounding Hope in that house.
The Hope that I came to know during that time, taking care of sick kids, some who we got to hand into the arms of moms and dads, others that we got to hand into the arms of Jesus, is one that has recolored the world for me.
It’s recolored the world with a hope and assurance that God is good, that he holds our lives and that he never lets us go even when all seems gray and bleak.
5. What advice would you like to give to those who are feeling Hopeless?
Hold on and let your people hold you.
Hold on. The early morning light always breaks at the darkest point of the night, just when you start to wonder if it ever will. The fog begins to life just when you start to think it never will, the weight eases ever so slightly just when you think you cannot take another breath.
Let your people hold you. This is a huge challenge for so many of us and so counterintuitive to the way we live. You have people in your “three foot circle” who want to walk beside you, to pick you up when you fall, to hold you and carry you when your legs are too tired.
Let them love you and let them hold you.
You don’t have anything to prove, you don’t have to be strong all the time, let them hold you when you feel hopeless.
Meredith is a Nashville native blogger and writer who is married to her highschool sweetheart, Justin. You’ll find them at the lake with their black lab Lady, traveling the world while fearlessly eating street food or champagne toasting in the kitchen at their home in East Nashville to living this wild, beautiful, daring & adventurous life! You can read her musings on marriage, life & faith on her blog & follow along on Instagram.
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