|  Blog Post   |  Hope: The Anchor for My Soul, Not My Plan 

Hope: The Anchor for My Soul, Not My Plan 

I wrote this piece for an online magazine but it did not get picked up. The crazy part is that I wrote it months ago when my hope series was the tiniest of ideas. Thought it was a great way to close the week, so here it is!~~~ Hope can be a tricky concept for many us, especially those of us who have gone through any kind of major struggle, trauma, loss or tragedy in our lives.

I am a survivor of infertility and loss.

Through our infertility journey hope at times was our best friend and at other times was our worst enemy.

You see my faith did not grow strong until after our infertility journey ended. And you may be surprised, as our journey ended without the desired result of babies. I usually tell people there is nothing like being a mental health therapist who struggled with infertility to make you be pretty mad at God.

And yet, here I am, my faith the strongest it has ever been.

This strength was not found in hope, but rather in allowing myself to doubt and question. And yes, to even be angry with God.

It was within my doubt, questioning and anger, and allowing myself to fully embrace it all, that His clarity washed over me.

And hope shined again; a healthier hope that is.

Not the hope that if we kept trying, kept praying, kept doing what society told us to do that God would do our will because we had hope.

I had to learn to let go of this hope because if I am truthful it was only the hope for things to turn out the way I wanted; how I thought things needed to be.

It was the clarity of a healthier hope that came with learning to practice active acceptance of what we cannot change balanced with the trust that He holds the end of our story.

Within my working faith, within the doubt and the questioning, I allowed enough room for hope to be a true anchor.

We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. (Hebrews 6:19 NIV)

This work has allowed hope to be an anchor for my soul, not a hope for my plan, but the clarity and trust in His.

And, so I will continue to hold His hope for my life, even if it has not necessarily turned out how I planned.

Because, I know he has the end of my story, and I trust it is amazing.



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Justine is a Licensed Professional Counselor with more than 25 years of experience in traditional mental health and personal and professional development. Justine has been certified in the work of Dr. Brené Brown for ten years. Justine is the author of eleven books, including five Amazon bestsellers covering subjects such as infertility, faith, and grief. She has been honored to do two TEDx Talks, The Permission of the And and The Donut Effect. She travels nationally and presents virtually to global audiences delivering keynotes, workshops, retreats, and trainings on topics such as leadership, courage, resilience, mental health, preventing and coping with burnout, and courageous and curious conversation, especially in creating cultures of belonging and diversity, equity, and inclusion. Justine lives in St. Louis with her husband Chad, their three dogs, and for four months of the year hundreds of monarch and swallowtail butterflies.

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