Hope is a hard concept for me to grasp. I understand it on the grand scale. I know that it’s a sense of expectation for the future, according to the dictionary. I also know that the Catechism says it’s “an expectation of divine blessing and the beautific vision of God.” CCC 2090 And this passage from Romans has been floating around in my head now for a week or so, “Hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.” Romans 5:5
I understand the word and what it means. I understand that Christian hope isn’t dependent on anything or anyone but God. I also know that in discouragement we are supposed to cling to this hope. And so, I’ve been reflecting on it a lot lately to help me in dealing with the loss of my Grandma. I realized that it’s a lot easier to trust in this hope, that God uses everything for our good, when I look back at how God has used other difficult situations for good.
I started reflecting on this last year since my Grandma was diagnosed with cancer. It was a rough year for sure, but now, looking back I can see how God was using it for good. It allowed for my family to grow closer together because we were all working toward a common good, to take care of my Grandma. While that didn’t mean there weren’t still fights, everyone was trying and we made it through all the rough patches by working together. The year also gave my Grandpa an opportunity to re-learn how to take care of himself, how to do laundry (with some help), how to cook, remember his medicine and my Grandma’s, and much more. He had to become the primary care taker after being the one who was being taken care of for so long. And this time prepared him for living on his own again now that his wife is gone.
It also impacted me personally. With my Grandma’s diagnosis and the fact that she was in and out of the hospital and rehab centers, I realized the importance of spending time with her. So, I decided to visit her on my own. In that time, we really got to know each other better than we ever would have otherwise. I wouldn’t give that up for anything and I never would have taken the time to visit on my own if she hadn’t gotten sick.
Cancer still sucks, but God used it to bring good. With this reminder of how He uses everything, I trust that with my Grandma’s passing He will also bring good. It’s hard to hope, but I know that I have to. With these difficult times, that’s when we learn of God’s goodness, faithfulness, and it’s when we learn how to hope better than we have before.
“We…boast of our afflictions, knowing that affliction produces endurance, and endurance, proven character, and proven character, hope, and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.” Romans 5:3-5