What does Hope look like?

I frequently write about the challenge of choosing life in the midst of suffering.

Sometimes I have tangible options for living out this concept.

Sometimes I don't.

Choosing life means taking Virginia to a birthday party even when I know it will be a challenge.

Choosing life means going out to dinner with Findley even when neither one of us can hold our eyes open.

Choosing life means taking Virginia for a milkshake at Gilchrist even when I know people will stare at her.

But what does it look like on days when leaving the house isn't an option? When I have been up all night for weeks on end? When every feeding lasts an hour and is accompanied by horrific coughing?

For those of us who are caretakers, there are times when keeping someone alive is an all-consuming task.

Almost every minute, there is hard work to be done.

The intensity seems too much to bear.

So in those moments of watching your baby suffer intensely, what does 'choosing life' look like?

I think it means settling on hope and not despair.

Even when all earthly hope for a happy outcome is gone, refusing to let despair sneak into your heart.

It's more about attitude than action.

A gift of the Holy Spirit, not an intellectual accomplishment.

I am praying to be awash in the gift of Hope.

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Virginia has been sick again this week. Her cough seems a little better on the steroids, but they are keeping her up at night. We are weaning off them now, so hopefully she will be sleeping again soon. If her fever's not gone by Friday, we will start a second round of antibiotics. Her feeding tube is scheduled for October 12. More on that later...

Thanks for caring about Virginia and keeping her in your prayers.

And by the way, if you have a special needs child and haven't read this, you should. My friend Kelly sent it to me last week. I have a lot to say about it, but that will have to wait for later. God Bless this woman and her precious daughter.