Norm, age 53
God’s seed of hope lay hidden in the dark recesses of my mind as I went about building my picture of the life I thought was required for acceptance in society. Hope to me then was based first on hope for the future as a child, then hope for desire as a teen, followed by hope for prosperity as an adult. All of these were looking toward an unknown outcome with a desired result that I could create for myself.
I built what I thought were the requirements of a desirable life, and then all I had hoped for was all taken away; my relationships, finances, emotional and physical health, all disappeared in an instant. Ongoing health issues weakened my immune system, and I ended up contracting a heart virus.
My heart stopped twice, and failed, as well as my liver, kidneys and lungs. I spent several weeks on life support machines.
I died. In that experience of death, I felt heaven. God’s hope somehow germinated inside me amidst all my serious psychological and physical ailments. More dark years followed as I gave up on what I had once thought was my hope. Living in suicidal abject despair, I tried to end my life, but God intervened once again. This is where my life began to change.
A different life connected to God’s loving hope was offered to me to explore and experience. This does not mean my life is easy. Tilling God’s field of hope is hard work but rewarding in many unexpected and new ways.
Putting one foot in front of the other, and facing my life’s challenges,
I have been allowed to touch heaven and return, not to a painless life, but to a different life worth working for.
God’s gift of hope can never be taken from me.
Written by Norm, photograph by Lesley-Anne Evans
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