Staying Hopeful by Tracy Gaboyau

I’ve never had anyone ask me directly: “Why do you believe in God?” and if anyone did I honestly don’t think I would be able to formulate words. As a teenager, I am constantly growing into my faith and strengthening my relationship with God. Though I may not know about the Catholic faith as much as my confirmation sponsor, or my priest, or my bishop, I do know the joy that I experience at every youth convention that I go to with my youth group. I know the great feeling of triumph I get whenever I am exposed to the Holy Sacrament. I am best friends with the exhilaration of having a great confession, and I am in love with the way any and every Gospel has a way of shape-shifting itself and making itself true in any instance of my life.

That being said, however, it is (and I think I speak for anyone that has ever walked this earth when I say this) almost impossible to remain in that state of bliss forever, nevertheless a whole day. One way or another, whether it be things not going our way, or having to make sacrifices, or having to overcome difficult adversities; we will get moments when we are sad. If you’re a teenager like me, your hormones will go crazy, and you’ll want to scream and cry and yell all at the same time. But hey, that’s okay. (Okay, maybe not the screaming and yelling thing, but you get it).

With every situation we face, we are always given the choice as to how we want to react to it. In a good situation it’s always easy to be content, take it in, and remain hopeful. But what about the situations when we’re put on edge, and we’re hanging by a thread? It becomes a lot more difficult to remain hopeful when the hope that you did have is lost or has been destroyed by an unfortunate situation.

One of my favorite aspects of the Catholic Church and its teachings are the theological virtues. If you are not familiar with them, these include faith, hope, and charity. In reality, I think all three of these virtues idealize the Catholic faith, but the one I want to focus on today is hope. The Catechism defines hope as “the theological virtue by which we desire the kingdom of heaven and eternal life as our happiness, placing our trust in Christ’s promises and relying not on our own strength, but on the help of the grace of the Holy Spirit.”

While it is impossible to remain in the state of bliss I mentioned above forever, we shouldn’t let the unfortunate circumstances we are faced with alter the way we view that bliss, or alter our perception of hope. God gave us the gift of hope as a message saying, “hey listen, no matter the situation, there’s always a chance for improvement. As long as you have me in your heart, I will never abandon you”, so who are we to say all hope is lost?

Take the future, for instance, due to its uncertainty, and our fear of failure, we at times decide to take matters into our own hands and exclude God. We have to remember however, that fear is the opposite of hope. Whereas fear disconnects us from our joy and our feeling of protection in God’s hands, the virtue of hope reaffirms our faith and our beliefs in the grace of the Holy Spirit.

In Jeremiah 29:11, it is written, ““For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” I think of this verse quite often, actually. When the lives of innocent people are lost at a concert, in a place where people come to have fun and live life, when I hear of the injustices haunting our society in ways I thought were left in the 1960’s, when I hear that children are being orphaned over a fight for power-I always think, how are we supposed to bounce back from that?

Though we don’t get to choose what happens in our lives, or on this earth, we do get to choose how to react to it. And God calls us to react to it with faith, hope, and charity.

Remember: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” (1 Cor. 2:9) So hey, keep your chin up.

11 Comments

  • Macdala says:

    Congratulations Stacy, your article made my even as I am going through those difficulties right now. I’m so proud of you and I can’t wait to see you excel and yet with your love with Christ

  • Vale says:

    In this world we are currently leaving many have lost hope. Great remind that in the midst of everything God is there. Well said Tracy

  • Nidsher (your Godmother) says:

    Keep up your faith in God Tracy! Indeed, Jesus is our hope and the only way to joy, succes because his plan is to give us hope and a future!

  • Marie Monise Lete says:

    Oh my God! I’m so proud of you Cycy, your dad, mom, godmother, all the family too. Congratulations my love! “La ras pa pedi!” Sa kouzin ou Monise ak Nidsher te konn fe an kreyol ak jenn, wap fe yo jodia an angle. Sauf que tu partages tes ecrits, nous ne savions pas le faire. Ta nainaine savait composer des chants sur cassette a l’epoque, mais ne les multipliait pas peut etre par manque d’encadrement ou de contact avec la technologie. In other words, I want to tell you Cycy “you continue where we were stopped”, and this is why I’m so proud of you my dear. In addition, you must know your writing inspires me because I’m learning now how to write good essays in English. Likewise, your text will be used as a model to be given to the children of the family. Sum up, your text is a success! I hope you continue to produce more on different topics. Keep on going with God’s help!

  • Fr. Calonge Lemaine says:

    This is a very profound reflection. And that means we, parents, Church, group, have not been sowing in vain and your soil has been also fertile. Your article inspires us to continue to sow the seed of the future into every young soil and let and pray the Lord for the growth. You are gift of God to our Christian community. May you let him achieve in you what he has begun. Peace and love.

    • Tracy says:

      Thank you so much for the encouraging words! I would not be able to do it without your help along with the rest of the parish!

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    Appreciation to my father who shared with me on the topic of this blog, this website is actually amazing.

  • Mme Belizaire says:

    Congratulations Tracy,
    You are the real seed among the youth in the Haitian Catholic Community. May God keep on blessing you to be fruitful for the younger generation.
    With all my love

  • Johanne Belizaire says:

    Tracy thank you for accepting the mission of being a beam of light among the youth. Many are called but only few answer. I am so grateful to God to have me witness how young people like you can make a difference in other people lives. I pray that the Lord keep using you as His instrument and guide you through the path of life. May He always show you His way and keep you well grounded as you move forth in your life. May God bless you
    Johanne B.

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