Monday, 24 April 2017

Holding On To Hope

Sometimes it's so much easier to struggle in silence. Sometimes it's so much easier to paste on a smile when people ask how you've been, where you've been, and find a quick and cliché answer. I'm a private person anyways.... I don't like talking about myself. Years of hurt have taught me that most people don't really care how you are... they just want to satisfy their own sense of curiosity. So when I hurt, I do it alone.

But I will say, this past year has been wonderful... and at times very, very difficult.

This blog is called The Path of the Carpenter for a reason... I started it to chronicle my journey as I follow the Carpenter of Nazareth, the man named Jesus the Christ.

But when self-proclaimed followers of the Carpenter leave you without a support system, without an identity, without a word in your defense, with your foundation crumbling... sometimes things start to look a lot different, and you begin to wonder if anything you ever believed was true.

When your head and heart go to war with each other, you start to feel like you're slowly going insane... like you are two separate people trying to co-exist in the same body. Your head believes in the Truth-That-Is, but your heart wants to run... as far and as fast as you can. Numb the pain. Scream for help silently. Rage at the world in anger, behind the smile on your face.

I have come as close to losing my faith as I ever have.

I'm being honest with you.

Not because I ever stopped believing in the Truth, but because I was driven from the place where I first learned that Truth. I've somehow made more enemies than I have friends, because I learned another "truth"... that Money, and Power, and Pride, are the gods of this world and some people will sacrifice anything for their gods... even their fellow believers.

Many times I feel like I've been flayed alive and laid on the altar.

And sometimes I've wondered what, exactly, I've been trying to hold on to.

And in the darkness, 8 little lights shining from the other side of the world, reminding me that I'm holding on to Hope.

Uwimana Hannah Photography

It's my daughter Isimbi reminding me that Jesus knows my name.

It's my brother Mbula asking me to pray for him to keep believing.

It's my daughter Ada telling me that my letters give her hope for a better a life.

It's my sister Shakira telling me that she loves me for ever and ever.

Somewhere in the world, there is Love. There is Peace. And there is Hope. For my kids in poverty, yes... but if only they could know, that the little physical provision I am able to give them, is nothing compared to the spiritual strength they give me.

Maybe you have a hard time imagining my kids, especially my tiny munchkin Miriam, forcing anyone to do anything, but yes... my kids have forced me to hold on to my faith. They have forced me to refuse to give up. They have forced me to see that there is still good in this world. And they have forced me to remain in contact with Hope Himself.... the Carpenter. Because of them, I have a reason to never give up. Because of them, I pray, and read, and study, even when I don't want to.

Because of my kids, I'm still holding on to Hope... and I don't plan on letting go.