"Without hope we have nothing"
In this beautiful story, Keri Harty shares her family secret for getting through a difficult season in your life ...
even if it goes longer than you expected.
I found this note in my safety jacket. Tonight, is the first time I’ve worn it since the date on the paper. I leave notes of hope to my future self. They remind me that there is ALWAYS light after the darkness. The hope is that I will find them during the dark times, and remind myself that to everything there is a season.
Believing that you are in a difficult situation forever is dangerous for so many reasons. Loss of hope for the future can have a negative impact in how you address what you are going through. Suicide for example, is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. This has been a message that I have shared with my children over and over. Many people lose their lives to suicide because they believe that what is ailing them is forever.
My mother always conveyed the message, "this is a phase, nothing lasts forever" throughout my lifetime and there are a few times where it may have saved my life.
In middle school, I was subject to severe bullying by a group of girls in my school. During this time, my mother constantly reminded me that soon I would be out of middle school, soon the mean girls would move on, and soon I would find different and true friends. I just had to hang on. All of those things came true.
After I had my first baby, I was in complete shock of the total life-changing event. My baby would not sleep through the night for the first six months of her life. I shared with my mother that I did not know how I was going to make it. The lack of sleep and extreme stress of having a new baby was too much to bear. She shared over and over that this was a phase and that while it seemed like it was going to last forever, it would be gone in a blink of an eye. I had to hold on. That same baby, my beautiful daughter, will be 18 years old next month. In the blink of an eye, I went from a baby who would not sleep through the night to now preparing for her to leave home for college in just a few short months.
"I leave notes of hope to my future self. They remind me that there is always light after the darkness."
As an adult, when I first visited my new mother-in-law's home, I remembered that in one of my first conversations with her in sharing a difficult situation, she told me "to everything there is a season." This is a bible verse, Ecclesiastes 3:1. She has this painted on a large wooden sign in the sunroom of her home. She said that while going through any trial, it is important to remember that it is "just the season of your life that you are in."
I found it so interesting that this woman, a generation and culturally worlds apart from my own mother, gave me the same advice when I shared the difficult time that I was going through. I just had to hang on and the ‘season’ would soon be over.
In my life, as I came through each difficult season, I could see how each time my mind believed that it will last forever. So, this is why I started writing myself the notes to my future self. I hide them all in different places such as at the end of my day planner, in my clothes drawers, my desk drawers, the pages of my bible, and in my coat pockets.
The cathartic value is not necessarily when I find the notes to my future self, but when I write them. My future hope notes, remind me, that over and over I have come through the other side of a temporary difficult situation, generally better for it.
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I cannot specifically remember that I was feeling on the day that I wrote the Covid-19 note, but I can only imagine that the stress of it all became too much, and I had to give myself a reminder to "just hold on," because this is just a terrible phase in our lives that will not last forever.
While this "season" of our lives has lasted a bit longer than the prediction on my note, I still hold great hope for the future. It is alright that my note was not quite true.
It still gave me hope at the time that I wrote it and reminds me again that while we may still be in the midst of the storm, the good will return, the light will break through the clouds, and one day we will return to life as normal.
I encourage everyone to write these positive reminders to themselves and hide them in either short term or long-term spaces. Set a reminder on your phone a week from now, a month from now, or a year from now to look for your notes.
Without hope we have nothing. My hope ultimately is in my faith and the eternal. Regardless of what difficult trial I may be facing right now, I hear God's words ring true, "To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven." I just have to hang on for the season to change!
Meet Keri Harty
Keri Harty is a wife and mother who lives in beautiful Southwest Florida. Her passion is being in nature and having grand adventures with all of the many children in her life.
Keri is the author of the children's "Ajsha and Ooko and the Search for the Purple Crystal" , a story about keeping things in perspective and what is important in life.
Check out her book here: