It was a rare gray afternoon in Denver. The sky was moody, clouds pressing down, rain soaking the world. I sat at a traffic light, wipers moaning across the windshield when I looked ahead and to the right.
Why would someone put a license plate like that on their car?
Had their heart been so wounded by loss that they were compelled to shout it to the world?
Had they given up on hope? Claimed a new identity?
I’ve grieved mightily in my life—for relationships that fractured and for well-loved people that slipped into eternity much too soon for my liking.
But I never quit moving forward. I never quit believing life would again be joyful. Honestly, at times I had to force myself to believe. I had to remind myself that I was, indeed, a prisoner of hope. I trusted that the good and the sad in my life was a condition of being human, and that God would redeem the pain and sorrow.
To overcome my grief at failed relationships, I had to learn the practice of forgiveness. To overcome my grief at the loss of life, I had to accept that pain would be a part of my life for a season. After all, grief is hard work. But I believed grief would not last forever.
And in the end, I passed through that veil of grief. In the end, there’s always hope. Always. For me, because of Whom I place my hope in.
Friends, don’t lose heart. Don’t allow circumstances to ensnare you with grief. Don’t cling to sting of the loss of a loved one. Don’t give up hope.
When I was trudging through some of the darkest days of my life, I chose to give myself a new label. I chose to become a prisoner of hope. I believe that choice helped to propel me forward. It caused me to think of myself in a new way.
I hope “the griever” has a legitimate reason for that license plate. I hope whoever it is doesn’t stay locked in that place, claiming that label.
Choose hope. Choose life. Choose to keep pressing forward.