Recovering Hope

For a moment, it all came unbalanced. The sad and the angry became heavier than the happy and good I gave in. The tears came, the anger raged, and my heart pounded.

For a moment, it all came unbalanced. The sad and the angry became heavier than the happy and good I gave in. The tears came, the anger raged, and my heart pounded. Then someone asked for my help. I heard them and moved dutifully toward them. They sounded anxious, and I reached out to assure them. With that gesture, I...Then someone asked for my help. I heard them and moved dutifully toward them. They sounded anxious, and I reached out to assure them.

With that gesture, I felt a shift in my heart. The sadness and anger lightened. The happy and good became stronger. The balance hesitated a moment, and then it became equal.

In fact, by the time I finished talking to a friend who needed some encouragement, I think the happy and the good may have tilted the scales.

I can't tell you how many times this has happened to me in my lifetime. It is a lesson that I have learned and taught, and yet, it still amazes me when it happens.

When we are so frustrated and angry, reaching out to others promotes a rush of endorphins in the brain. It brings about a positive physiological change and helps us distract from our own problems.

It is an excellent way to lift the burden and worry from our hearts and minds. The simple joy of helping others reduces stress and boosts the immune system. It also flushes negative feelings like anger and aggression.

It doesn't have to be a big thing. Opening the door for someone, letting them go first in line, or sincerely asking someone if they are ok can shift a moment.

With everything going in our world, it is easy to feel helpless and overwhelmed. I have friends who have told me they can't sleep at night and are worried all the time.

Social distancing and wearing masks has isolated many people. It has made it harder to find balance, but we can find ways to shift our focus from the negative to the positive deliberately.

Recovering our hope, joy, and power in our lives takes action.

My friend did this by closing her Facebook account for a while. "The anger and bitterness I see among friends and family is causing me so much stress,' she said. There are so many opinions posted each day of our current world situations; I can't even hear my own thoughts."

She isn't the only one who has said those words to me.

Recently, I took a few days off to join my friend at the beach. When I left my house, I felt heavy-hearted and stressed with all the bad news of a deadly virus, protestors, and hateful political divide constantly being transmitted into our home through the TV.

While I was away, I didn't look at the news. I walked on a beach and watched the sunrise and listened to the sound of waves, and felt the wind blowing against my skin. I took photos of jellyfish, birds, crabs, shells, and flowers. I rode a bike and felt the sun on my back. The sound of the ocean and children laughing filled my heart and being with peace.

My friend and I even discovered an alligator in the pond behind the condo where we were staying, took photos, and marveled at the wonder and goodness of God's creation. It revived my tired soul and lifted my faith in God.

Of course, I couldn't stay at the beach forever, but when I got home, I purposed in my heart to turn off the news, take more walks outside and enjoy the people I meet along the way.

This morning in church, the pastor reminded us that the peace of God is found in His creation in Philipines 4:8. "Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things."

We have to remember that whatever happens in this world does not define who we are or our souls’ joy or strength. What defines us is what we believe in, what we stand up for, and how we treat ourselves and others.

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Deana Landers
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I have had many roles in life
Pastor’s Wife , Mom/Nana , Nurse/Health Educator, Writer , Christian Speaker
I can't remember a time when I wasn't writing stories, either in my head or in my journal.

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Story Comments

  1. What a timely message! I love your encouraging writing Deanna! Great reminder to look for needs and serve!

    • Deana Landers -

      Thank you, Lori. I so appreciate your reading and commenting my stories. Thank you for looking this one up. I need to put it out there again right now. Deana

  2. breaks form the "world" are needed and spiritually healthy

    • Deana Landers -

      Thank you for your thoughtful comment.Deana

  3. So true and I'm real sorry your heart was heavy for a time Deana. Good for you on taking a break and getting back to all those beautiful things that make this world a special place. I'm trying my best to stay away from endless newsfeeds that only show the bad and don't celebrate the good.

    • Deana Landers -

      Thank you, Michelle. Yes, you are right. We need to stay away from the depressing and celebrate the good. I hope all is well with you in South Africa, friend.Deana

  4. Becky -

    I love this column, so very encouraging and we all need that right now! Glad you enjoyed your trip to the ⛱, good medicine!

    • Deana Landers -

      Thank you, Becky. It was a great healing trip with a good friend.Deana

  5. Beach is the best place to be nowadays! I agree about finding peace with simple things you can do like taking a break from social media for a while. Love your writing as always.

    • Deana Landers -

      Maria, thank you for commenting. We all need a little peace now, whether it is at the beach or somewhere else. Deana

  6. Very uplifting post. I agree a break for social media is much needed these days. I opened up Fb this morning to all the politics and he said she said and It was exhausting. I am ready for all of this to be over. Fingers crossed.

    • Deana Landers -

      Me too, Kim. Even FB isn't fun anymore, but we will get through it all. Thank you for always reading and commenting on my column.Deana

  7. Deanna, I'm glad just getting away to the beach helped. Honestly, leave off the facemask as much as possible (prevent CO2 overload in your system) and don't worry about the virus. I am pretty sure I and my husband had it this past winter as we had the 103 degree temps, the cough and sore throat like strep throat, and more. Three weekends on the couch and the right antibiotic helped. <3 If you get it, just rest a lot and try not to have to go to work. Doctors couldn't/didn't have the tests for the virus in Jan/Feb so I'll never know for sure but after traveling through nine or ten states this past month, we are fine. States and businesses are opening up and people are getting somewhat back to normal. It'll be alright for most of us. <3Many virtual hugs,Barb :)

    • Deana Landers -

      Thank you, Barbara. Very encouraging. I agree with you. I don't wear the masks unless I have to and I believe exactly like you do.Deana

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