Hope in a hopeless culture

Dear friend,

“I would not want to have kids in this day and age.” I hear this or some variant over and over again, even from people my own age. I watch as my peers choose to push marriage to the wayside, voice their desires to have pets rather than kids, and seek the next best thing to fill a void with more emptiness. Inside though something must cry out saying, “Isn’t there something more? There has to be a meaning and purpose to this life… right?” 

In this society that has removed God and religion it seems almost impossible to find hope. I have heard news recently of couples getting divorces, individuals leaving the church, repentant sinners falling back into grievous sins of their past, not to mention the shootings, violence, and hatred constricting our culture. You only need to view the internet or television for 30 seconds before this disheartening news is flooding your screen. It can be so easy to fall into despair when you don’t have hope. 

In a Godless society hope is lost. When you don’t believe in something greater than yourself, namely Love who is God, then you lose hope. When you don’t believe that there is a life after our earthly existence, then you lose hope. However, when you do believe in God you have a hope that is unshakeable and you find meaning and purpose in the midst of chaos. With hope you realize that you can bring peace into this world in an unexpected way. 

As you probably could guess the phrase “love begins at home” is kind of my life’s motto. St. Mother Teresa once said, “If you want world peace, go home to love your family.” To go along with this she also said, “Do small things with great love.” Imagine if we all did this? If we fed the poor and clothed the sick right in our own households (whether a child or elderly family member), do you think the occupants in nursing homes and nurseries would greatly decrease? If we loved and offered help to family members on the verge of committing a crime, do you think the number of delinquents would greatly decrease? If we chose our spouse and marriage above work, money, success, someone “better,” and the empty pleasures of this world, do you think there would be fewer divorces? If we chose to love, care for, and listen to our children instead of handing them a phone, do you think we would see teen suicide rates decrease? You see when you believe in God you believe in Love and when you believe in Love you find purpose in life leading you to dedicate your whole life to Love. 

I once heard a homily at a wedding where the priest compared the newlywed couple to a tree. The priest explained that if God blesses this couple with children they are to be like a tree that becomes like a shelter for those beneath it. They are called to protect their children and create a loving and peaceful environment for their children to grow up in. In doing so the couple will provide a place of rest, peace, and love within their own household. Now, as a mother God has given me the opportunity to raise the next generation “to do justice and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with our God” (Micah 6:8) and to “love one another; even as I [Jesus] have loved you, that you also love one another” (John 13:34). 

So the next time you hear saddening news instead of allowing it to shake your hope possibly leading you to despair, allow it to motivate you to love God and your family that much more. God is giving you the opportunity to bring peace into this world from your own home, so do not waste this opportunity. 

Most importantly don’t lose hope. Try to think of instances that give you hope. 

I have hope when Gianna hears her baby sister crying and rushes to help her with mommy. 

I have hope when I hold my tiny precious newborn within my arms who is a miracle to me and our family.

I have hope when my husband leaves work on time so that he can be home with our family, which is a priority for him. 

I have hope when my daughter starts praying prayers I didn’t even know she could say yet. 

I have hope when I see other families living out their faith and loving each member within their family so beautifully. 

I have hope when a member in my extended family decides to go to confession for the first time in years. 

I have hope when another member in my extended family defends her pro-life stance even though her teacher doesn’t agree with her. 

I have hope because it was Jesus who said, “In me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” John 16:33. 

I couldn’t be more privileged to raise my children in a time such as this when all hope seems to be lost. Where love, mercy, and justice are needed now more than ever. God is commissioning Adam and I to raise our children for such a time as this. 

“Perhaps you were born for such a time as this” Esther 4:14. 

With love, 

Nina 

+JMJ+

6 thoughts on “Hope in a hopeless culture

  1. Today’s gospel reading is often a blessing to me when my heart is burdened with the tribulations in the world. “And I tell you you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it.” If even Peter had moments of doubt regarding tribulations, there by the grace of God it is okay for my heart to be burdened too; HOWEVER, He always reminds me NOTHING can/will prevail against Him and His ways. Hugs & blessings to you for your post being that beautiful reminder for me today. ❤️

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    1. Yes, that is such a good Bible verse to think of when saddening news surfaces! Peter really encapsulates the humanness in all of us and I think all of us become burdened at times. I love what Kierkegaard wrote about Peter in this regard. He wrote, “Christ’s love for Peter was so boundless that in loving Peter he accomplished loving the person one sees. He did not say, ‘Peter must change first and become another man before I can love him again.’ No, just the opposite, he said, ‘Peter is Peter, and I love him; love, if anything, will help him to become another man.'” I always think about that when my heart is burdened and then I’m reminded of the verse 1 John 4:18, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.” Jesus, who is love, also said, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” Matthew 11:29-30. In Him we can lay down our heavy burdens and He allows them to become light. I am so glad this post touched your heart. 🙂

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  2. Thank you for sharing your hope with others, Nina. What a necessary blog post for these times. Just the other day I went to Costco with my little girls and I couldn’t help but look around for the emergency exits “just in case” and think of how I would react “just in case…” Thank you for urging us to not let anxiety grapple our hearts, but to live with hope. It truly does start at home, and what an honor to be mothers and to teach our littles about Jesus.

    Thank you so much for this beautiful reminder. God bless your beautiful heart!

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    1. Isn’t that so sad we have to think of things like that during just an ordinary day out and about? It is interesting because as this sad news continues to be released I keep seeing the word “hope.” It is as if God was telling me not to lose hope. Then one of my friends said that he thinks our culture needs hope. So, I took this to prayer and then felt an urge to write this post. I am so glad it touched your heart! To God be the glory! May He continue to increase hope within our hearts and thank you so very much for your kind words! You are so right that we do have an honor to be mothers. 🙂

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