I believe in hope. I’m not talking the kind of hope you have when you are “hoping” for a new car to just appear in your driveway, or the kind of hope you have when you “hope” for a new job. No. I am talking about the hope that is necessary for survival. That hope which allows you to persevere through hardships in life because you believe-you know-that there is something better waiting on down the road. This is the hope I believe we all must have, and I found this hope for the very first time when I was just 12.
My parents are divorced. They fight constantly over different things, mostly who gets to see me and my brother. In April of 2009, the fighting escalated. It got to a point where it was a daily problem. I struggled day after day with coming home after school to hear my parents, whom I love and look up to, fighting on the phone over me and my brother. I started to lose faith that my life would ever get better and began to isolate myself from the rest of the world. I had no hope, and I had no idea what to do. I was a lost 12 year old boy.
Two weeks later, my family and I were invited to attend a church in Greenville called NewSpring. I had not been to church in months, and I didn’t have a reason not to go, so we went. As I sat through the sermon, I was completely blown away. The preacher talked about the things I had heard all growing up, but in a way I had never thought of till that moment. He spoke of a man who left a place of glory and perfection, a place with no tears, no pain or suffering, and died on a cross to pay for the things that I had done. I was speechless. From that moment on, I knew what I could hope for. I had hope that there is a place that I will one day be in that is much better than this world will ever be. I knew at that moment that the hope I knew about was going to change my life forever. It was real hope.
This past summer, the power of hope was shown to me yet again. I was at a camp in Gatlinburg, Tennessee,...