bENCOURAGEd to: Trade Cope for Hope

Tuesday's Tip to bENCOURAGEd...

Coping may be an initial human reaction, but the only way to bENCOURAGEd is to trade cope in for hope.  The word cope has a very interesting description.  In practical terms cope refers to a covering.  In emotional terms cope defined means- to deal.  Both these definitions describe a scenario where whatever this verb is acting upon it is being spread and handed out instead of confronted.  The more serious the situation the more we tend to want to cope instead of confront.  But does it have to be an either cope or confront? Could there be another way? I believe there is and I believe that it is the most encouraging thing I could ever share, let me explain.

When I was four years old I learned how to cope.  At such a young age I was involved in a tragic accident.  Traveling from a pre-school to a field trip location our school bus ran off the road into a deep ravine. Myself along with a few other children were trapped inside the bus.  Multiple injuries, made our rescue attempts even more challenging.  Once freed from the wreckage we joined the fifteen or so others who were recovering at a nearby hospital, where for weeks many of us stayed for professionals to monitor our recovery.  The physical repair was coupled with emotional trauma, not only brought on by what we saw during the horrific event, and I do mean horrific, but by what was to follow.  This accident had made headlines due to its severity, but was also very publicized because of the investigation behind why this had happened.  For the next few years all us involved were forced to relive this nightmare through counseling sessions, interviews, and court hearings.  The cover of cope came at us from all directions.

After the broken bones mended and the bandages were removed, after the trials ended and the counseling sessions tapered off, my days were back to normal but my nights were shattered.  The doctors and psychiatrists could not seem to break a “wetting the bed” pattern that happened almost every night.   These experts stated that I was having traumatic dreams, that all though I did not remember in an awakened state, that they were shocking my little body in my sleep. From deep counseling sessions to sticker reward charts it seemed as though this challenge would not subside.  After years of confronting this problem, wetting the bed at night was just something our family began to cope with because it seemed as if there was no hope.

When tragic things happen many of us merely hope that we can cope instead of being made whole. This was the case with me and my family.  For the next six years we learned to cope with the so called repercussions of a childhood trauma.  But when I was ten years old Hope made me whole.  You see the counseling was good, well some of it was good, and the doctors were skilled, but they could only do so much.  I am thankful that my family did all that they knew to help me recover.  I had survived for the most part, but all the other parts were coping, covered by a humanity that did not have the power to make me whole. 

BUT Jesus  "....Christ in you, the hope of glory" (Col 1:27 NKJV)

From that moment that I learned about Jesus and I chose to give my life to Him and a little girl's memory, of which no one including herself could reach, was made whole. 

At that moment Jesus wiped my slate clean and restored to me what no one else could.  He did it by showing me that I could trade in cope for His hope.  His perfect Spirit eradicated a seared moment in my memory.  My life was not made perfect, but with Hope living on the inside of me I could move forward leaving the cover of cope behind me. 

It is so encouraging that no matter what comes our way we can trade cope for hope - Jesus everlasting love that makes us whole.  There are somethings we may need to confront, but in those times when confronting seems too much, we do not have to lay down under the covering of cope.  bENCOURAGEd that whatever you maybe coping with give it to God and start hoping again - or maybe for the first time.

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