The story of Provoking Hope was forged out of a promise given to a distressed and broken 9-year-old little girl. The pain endured by this little child led her to believe that death must be better than the pain of life. She was convinced that the world would be better off without her. Thoughts of suicide were in her heart even though she did not know the word. She believed that death seemed a reasonable substitute to life.
But there was an interruption in her well laid out plan. Staring at a pile of pills, in her heart, a question was posed to her: “Would you or could you choose life, if I promised that you could help others not face the question of life or death without help and hope?” This may have been my first journey into the Valley of the Shadow of Death. As I stand here today, all these years later, that little girl still chooses life.
From the beginning, my life was shaped by significant persons who struggled with disorders such as depression, alcoholism, and drug addiction. I was plagued by Domestic violence, child abuse, poverty and hopelessness. I had moments where I felt suffocated with the reality of it all. Truly, this has been my personal experience.
That was then, this is now. In 1988, I began an amazing journey of recovery and restoration that resulted in a completely transformed life. For the next 9 years, I lived, walked and talked my recovery and healing fulltime. In 2007, I furthered my education in a more literal sence. I completed my studies and became ordained by the Church of the Nazarene.
Regret is not a part of my vocabulary. I have come to truly understand that all life has purpose. I believe that all things happen just as intended and each challenge set before us is an opportunity for us to stretch and grow. While we are in those dark places in our lives, it is not a concept that is easy to grasp. That is where faith comes in.
It is my story, my experience, my strength and my hope, that truly is my preparation for where I am today. Remember the promise made to that 9-year-old little girl? Today, we call that promise Provoking Hope.