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by Mary Frances Hansen

Why is living with hope so important in our lives? First of gives us a reason to get up out of bed every day. It improves our perspective on life. Hope is the key that opens doors for healing our hearts, minds and souls. Research indicates hope causes our brain to release neurochemicals called endorphins and enkephalins which actually mimic the effects of morphine. These are the body's natural painkillers.

Hope and a positive attitude enhances a person's coping abilities and improves their quality of life who may be facing a chronic illness or incurable disease. British Author of self-help books, Samuel Smiles says, “Hope is the companion of power, and mother of success for who so hopes strongly, has within him the gift of miracles!” My son Michael was recently diagnosed with cancer of the liver and has to have a full liver transplant. We are waiting for him to be approved to be put on the donor list, Hope is the anchor of our souls that is holding our lives together until the storm passes. Hope, our faith in God, and a positive attitude, are our coping abilities as we face this adversity in his life. We know Michael is in God's hands and anyone who is among the living has hope. Inspirational quote by Lailah Gifty Akita,(Enthusiastic inspirational writer, born in Accra, Ahana,) “Hope is holding on to the promises of God.” Hope is what inspired me to write this article,

Hope reduces feelings of helplessness, increases happiness, and even helps with our immune system. It helps reduce stress in our lives and changes our over all well-being, reducing our sadness and helps us have a more positive self esteem. Hope is more powerful than fear. When we are facing adversity, we have two choices, we can either choose to have hope and make the best of it, or we can choose to be overcome by fear. A very wise quote by Pastor Jack Graham of Prestonwood Baptist Church, said.....”Suffering is inevitable, but misery is optional.” Hope encourages us to take positive actions motivating us to have positive attitudes giving us strength to believe it is a possibility and can help us change the way we think and live. We can never underestimate the power of hope. By thinking positive it allows us to believe the unbelievable and gives us the endurance to achieve the impossible.When a situation seems impossible, remember God’s power....He can do the impossible!

Encouraging quote by ( Archbishop Desmond TuTu, theologian and winner of the 1984 Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts in resolving and ending apartheid,)“ Hope is being able to see there is light despite of all the darkness.” Without hope a person may become depressed suffering from anxiety which has an impact on their quality of life. When depression sets in they may become disconnected from friends,family and the world in general. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said ... “We must accept finite disappointments, but never loose infinite hope.”

The virtue of Hope is a gift from God. “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer.” Even in the midst of trials in this life, we can have hope regardless of what we are going through or whatever storm we are facing. Hope is a strong emotion and is so important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear, and by thinking positive tomorrow will be a better day.

I would like to close by saying.... I am human and I have trouble staying positive all the time. Sometimes I lose my perspective and have thoughts of doubts, fear, and disappointments. I may get down for a little awhile and have my“pity parties,” but I get back up stronger than ever! Sir Winston Churchill inspires me with his famous quote... “Never, never, never, never give up!”

Stay Strong, Stay Safe and Keep the Faith

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