Hope Climbs Up


Hope just climbed up onto my lap, wiped my tears away and gave me a hug was the email message that I received from a friend in response to the news I had sent her last week. This caused me to remember that sometime after Hope was born, I had the luxury of holding her at an event that her mom and I were at while we sat talking about the concept of hope. At the time, I was accompanying someone through a dark night of the soul who did not believe in hope. I could not quite wrap my head around that and neither could my friend. I do not mean that as a judgment but rather as how deeply hope is rooted in me.

Among a certain group of folks, hope is meaningless and holds out falsehood. That has never been my experience and honestly, even with the very hard news that I received last week, I still believe in hope. The hard news is that the cancer is back, even with the chemo.  I had hoped for a different outcome. I had wanted to remain cancer-free for a few months but that is not the case. Have I been wrong to hold on to hope these past six months? I do not think so. In fact, I would say that I have chosen to live as fully as I could even knowing that the odds were against me. Each day I prayed for joyful hope; each day, God graciously granted me that request.

I believe in miracles–I just do not want to box in the Creator of the Universe by defining what a miracle might look like. When I turned 50 a few years back, I wrote a vision statement for my life that began like this:

Life is an amazing adventure of receiving an abundance of gifts and returning them joyfully to the Giver. I live in celebration, finding God in all things, deepening my awareness that a Presence holds me lovingly and tenderly. I greet each new day with hope and happiness, expecting blessings and miracles.

Each day holds a miracle, each day can be greeted with hope and joy. I believed it then; I believe it now.  What I must recognize is that hope has been dashed for many people in the week since I received my news. In the slow revealing of the devastating news to family and friends, I have witnessed Hope crawling into my lap, wiping away tears and embracing me.  I think hope comes in the super-sized option too and that Hope does not disappoint. Hope may have been dashed but it is crawling up, even as I write this.

I have said before on this blog that I am not afraid to die. I had to face that reality last year going into surgery. I have known all along that this cancer is aggressive. That does not mean that I should have curled up in the corner and given up on Hope. Most of you who know me personally know I am not a quitter and I do not give up easily on impossibilities. I root around until I find a space that I am comfortable to stand in. For me, as a Catholic, I hold to the promises given to me by my faith. I have hope of an eternal Home. I know that I have Eternal Life. I believe that my sins are forgiven. My God is a loving God and this has nothing to do with punishment. All of these points are hopeful, joyous, and reason to celebrate.

That said, I also am filled with hope that each day that remains will bring a valuable lesson to me, grant me more opportunities to experience more miracles, and allow me an abundance of blessings in a myriad of ways. One of my friends in a beautiful message to me spoke of a sunset that he had seen after receiving the news. He said to me that beauty is right before us. I agree. We just need to see it! I saw that very sunset and it too stopped me in my tracks. I still want to be distracted by beauty every single chance that I have. We have choices at the rough places and I will still choose Hope because I am convinced that it will always crawl up.

Many things will try to tear down Hope. Fear is a good paralyzer. Doubt is a destroyer. False hope is Lucifer in disguise. Denial is dangerous. When I accompanied that man through his struggles with the demons in his life, he admitted to me, that though it sounded odd, he felt hopeless. Yes, that is an odd thing for someone who does not believe in Hope to say, but I liked to believe that Hope was trying hard to crawl up into his lap.

I will have more to say about where I am at in the weeks ahead.  I can tell you though that most moments I have that eerie dead calm that I talked about in my last post. I feel a deep peace at my core. That is a miracle. That is Hope.

Many people have responded to the news with beautiful messages of encouragement and love. I have not been able to respond to all of them but I am most certainly grateful as they give Hope the boost needed to keep crawling up. I am touched by the many affirmations of how my life has been of value, some in ways that I never knew. This has been a rather humbling time and I have wept over most of the initial messages. Now I find myself calmer by the ones that keep coming. Each day has brought several of these blessings.

I know this news has been excruciatingly difficult for my loved ones and dear friends. Look down, please. I think you will find Hope is wanting to crawl up, wipe away your tears, and give you a hug.



Reflection Questions

How do you view life? What is your vision statement?

What is hope for you?


Hope is crawling up your leg; not dead. Look down, help her up. Let her wipe away your tears and embrace you with her feathery wings. Open my heart to all that will be. Hope, I am in your good hands. Amen.


About sstyves

A Canadian prairie girl rooted in Ignatian spirituality, I seek God in all things. Whether I catch a glimpse of the Divine and delight in its presence in nature or in the beauty of an encounter with someone, I am ever so grateful that I can recognize the Creator. I greet each new day with hope and happiness, expecting blessings and miracles because I am created to praise, love and serve God. This blog is one way of realizing that through my writings, prayers, and photography. To God be the Glory!
This entry was posted in #Consolation, #Desolation, #Miracles, #prayer, #YearofMercy, Catholic, Christian, Faith, Ignatian, Spirituality and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Hope Climbs Up

  1. Ed Dufort says:

    Dear Susan, I’m so sorry I don’t know too much of what is going on, I don’t even know if I should be posting anything here, but I read that your cancer is back… Believe it or not I wasn’t sure you had cancer. I read a few of your blogs to try to understand what is happening and I think I am understanding more about this difficult and challenging thing that is happening to you. I am surprised, saddened and of course not quite sure how to react. I love that you are trying to use all occasions in your life to be of service to the Almighty, now through your sharing of how your faith works in your life during these times. I am reminded of the rewards that come when a person works at putting things in God’s hand and works On their faith. This is what I already know about you, and that I know you do very well and practice in an exemplary fashion. Thank you for the reminder again. I have always had a deep respect for you even though I have not always been the best of friends. Please know that I’m ready to put whatever I can aside in order to be of help if ever you need, especially if are stuck, whether it be a car ride, pick up anything, you are a very precious person… My phone number is and you have me on Facebook.

  2. Monica says:

    Thank you – this is a wonderful post. It’s sometimes a challenge to feel hopeful but so crucial to our well-being. You have gone through a lot and still remain an example of optimism and faith. Your blog is a gentle challenge for me to be the same! Have a good week!

  3. Karen Wheadon says:

    Thank you Suzanne for your beautiful message on hope and for bearing your heart, soul and mind to us all during this time. I’m sure many of us wonder and worry about how you are coping with facing death. To know you have no bitterness, that you still believe in miracles and hope is such an inspiration and real comfort to us all. May you continue to see beauty around you everyday…it will be there and I if there’s one thing I know for sure….you will see its many forms:)

    Nite, nite Love Karen👣💜

    Sent from my iPad


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