If I haven’t told you lately, I love you, dear readers. For the last few weeks, I’ve seen you pour out your hearts in response to blog posts like “Don’t Give Up”, “Count Your Blessings” and “Hope After Loss”. Your vulnerability inspires me. That and the fact that you love videos of laughing babies and talking toddlers as much as I do. Any way, you’ve encouraged me to be a bit more vulnerable in my writing too.

My recent birthday was a multi-day celebration full of good times and good friends, but my happiness was threatened by a shocking surprise. A romantic relationship that I thought was developing into something special completely fell apart. In the midst of birthday wishes and blessings, all I could think about was this one guy who decided now was the time to tell me that he didn’t want to be with me. I was crushed.

Lucky for me, I have an amazing support system, and I was well taken care of in the days afterwards. There were lots of with hugs, kisses, prayers and listening ears.

So now that I’ve recovered, I’m sitting here at my desk recounting the last week and I realized what made me the most upset. I muttered to myself, “How dare he make me hope again…” Because that’s what getting disappointed means. You dwelt in the possibility of something new and wonderful. You opened up and allowed yourself to imagine more than what you have. It felt great… until those hopes were dashed.

It made me recall words I’d just written in a previous blog post: “When tragedy strikes, it can rob your sense of hope. It tampers with your ability to believe in the best that life can offer.” Although I wrote those words, I didn’t realize how real they were until I found myself grappling with the same issue.

Your response to that blog was overwhelming, as each of you told story after story of adversity. You’ve been hurt. You’ve been bruised. You’ve been sucker punched by life. I understand that it’s hard to imagine a dream coming true ever again. I get it. But you know what?

I dare you to hope. Hope against hope. Hope against what’s happened in the past. Hope against your worry about the future. I dare you, in these difficult days, to be an optimist and take a chance that the best is yet to come.

I felt the hit, but I’ve decided to consider it a lesson learned and move forward. I’m going to try again. Will you?

For More Encouragement:
12 Ways to Let Go of Past Loves
Susan Piver: Healing a Broken Heart

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