Living Purposefully: How Hope Got Me Through My Darkest Moments

This picture popped up in my feed today.  It’s so crazy for me to look back at it now. It was taken exactly three years ago today. Fernando was battling stage 4 stomach cancer and we had been in the hospital for more than a month. I had been by his side every day and night, but on this day I decided to do this TV segment (since I had not worked in several months).

A few hours after this picture was taken, he would have passed away. Deep inside, I know he didn’t want me to be there when he passed—-him being so selfless as always. He didn’t want that to be the last image I had of him.  It's as if he waited for the moment I was gone. What’s crazy is that here I am in this picture—-with a smile. I still can't believe somehow I mustered up the strength to do a TV segment that day. But it wasn’t through my own strength, it was through God’s. That’s the only way I can explain it. You see, He always gives us the strength to do the impossible and to get through the unimaginable.

I also see a person full of hope in this picture. I had hope that Fernando would beat cancer.  To be honest, at first I regretted that I had so much hope, because I never really got to tell Fernando goodbye or have those important end-of-life conversations. There were times when he would tell me, "Carmen,  I need you to do this and this once I pass away." But I would always stop him right there and reassure him that he wasn't going to pass away. Everything was going to be fine. He was going to make it.

But now, looking back, HOPE is what got me through. It's what got me through those long nights at the hospital. It's what got me through those 10 months of battling cancer alongside my husband.
It’s also what got me through the days after and still does. I had hope that life could be beautiful again. Never the same, but yet beautiful in its own way. I had hope that maybe one day I could love again. I had hope that God would redeem my story. And he has, far more than I could have ever imagined. I say this, as a reminder to never lose hope. Hold on to it. It’s one of the most beautiful things we have. So whatever you may be going through (or will go through) —never lose HOPE.  Hope will get you through.



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