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 surely must be a better option than life. She was convinced that the world would be better off without her and that she didn’t even matter anyway. This might have been her first journey into the Valley of the Shadow of Death. Thoughts of suicide were in her heart even though she did not know that there was a word to describe her gory thoughts.
She believed that death seemed a far more reasonable substitute for life and less painful. But, there was an interruption in her well laid out plans. At the end of her rope and staring at a pile of pills, in her heart, a question surfaced; “Would you or could you choose life, if you were promised that you could help others not face the question of life or death without help and hope?”
After that it wasn’t easy, from the very beginning, she was surrounded by significant persons who struggled with disorders such as depression, alcoholism, and drug addiction. During her early years, she was plagued with domestic violence, child abuse, poverty, and intense hopelessness. Anyone going through this will feel suffocated with the reality of it all. Truly, this was her personal experience, Her personal hell. But then something amazing happened, her hope rose up.
In 1988 she began an amazing journey of recovery and restoration that resulted in a completely transformed life. For the next 9 years, she lived, walked, and talked all about recovery and healing full time. She went on to get a higher education degree and in 2007 became an ordained minister of the ”Church of the Nazarene.” Through it all, she conquered her fears, and now regret is not a part of her vocabulary, not at all.
She has come to truly understand that everything in this life has a purpose, and she believes that all things happen just as they are intended to happen. Each challenge set before people is an opportunity for them to stretch and grow. When people are in those dark places in their lives, it is not a concept that is easy to grasp, that is the point where faith comes in.
This is her story, her experience, her strength, her struggle, her being, and her hope. As it stands today she chose to act on the promise, not commit suicide and all these years later the vestiges of that little girl still choose life as an adult woman. And that truly is her preparation for where she is today. Remember the promise made to that 9-year-old little girl? Today, we call that promise “Provoking Hope.”