Hanging onto HOPE by Danita Hiles


12 years ago, I woke up a wife and went to bed a widow. Sudden single mom to 2 little girls. From Navy wife to nobody’s wife. The calm happy sailing seas of my life had become turbulent waves of grief that crashed over me and defined me until I couldn’t even breathe.

I posted the verse above a few weeks ago on the anniversary of my husband’s death. Because, all these years later, I still remember those feelings clearly.

When news like that hits you, it is as if all solid ground is gone. Have you ever experienced that? Not just death, but maybe a doctor’s diagnosis, a teenagers’ choices, a parents divorce, spouses rejection, a financial devastation?

When what you knew to be true isn’t anymore and you’re left trying to find any stability in a sea of emotion and hopelessness? Our minds go crazy with swirling thoughts and fearful possibilities…

Our souls are the spiritual part of us. The believing/ hoping/ dreaming /grieving part of us. And also the part of us that is so easily swayed by what we see and feel and experience.

So what can we do in times like these? On days like these?

We need an anchor for our souls. And that anchor is hope.
Hebrews 6:19 says ‘We have this hope as an anchor for our souls…’
What exactly is ‘this hope’? It is the hope that Abraham had in God. And in God’s faithfulness.

Basically God is saying:

1. I love you completely
2. I will do what I said I will do

There are over 8000 promises in the Bible. And all of them are true. That means when all hell literally breaks loose, and all of the solid ground under you crumbles, you can stand on the hope of His promises.

There is no one on this earth who will ever love you more than your God.

• The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing. ( Zeph. 3:17)
• The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. Jer. 31:3

There is no one on this earth who will ever be more faithful than your God.

• For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. ( Jer. 29:11)
• And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. ( Rom. 8:28)

That is the HOPE that anchors our souls.

hope defined

The HOPE that the way things are right now is not the way things will always be.

But how do we get that kind of hope? By spending time with God and literally hiding His promises in our hearts. Our hope needs to be built promise by promise.

Years ago, a beautiful chubby Hawaiian baby was literally dropped into our lives. Since another one of my life storms was 6 years of the infertility journey, this was AMAZING to me. But, after fostering this dumpling for over a year, her birth mother began the petition to get her parental rights reinstated. As she did everything right, my new wonderful world of mommy was in danger.

During that season I was doing a Bible on believing God. Studying His word, memorizing his promises. While I was panicking and wanting to head to court to fight this thing, Jesus was whispering truth and building hope, reminding me that His promises were true and He knew what was best for Audrey.
Audrey’s miraculous adoption was finalized August 13 ~ an amazing day of rejoicing.

My husband Dave died 6 weeks later.

And when the world crumbled, I stood on the hope that had been built verse by verse, hope by hope during other seasons of my life, and especially during that really difficult time of trusting him through Audrey’s adoption.

Since that time, the story of our journey has given hope to others who are walking the same journey. And that is the cool thing about the anchor of hope. The chains of the anchor of hope are built by our life experiences and all of the times that God has proven himself faithful.

Every time a miracle happened –hope was built.

Every time a miracle didn’t happen but God still walked with you– hope was built.

My story gives you hope. Your story gives her hope. Nothing that you are walking through will be wasted. Everything we walk through add links to the chains of hope, both our own and those of our sisters.

We need to build our HOPE.

And then we need to share our HOPE.

But this I call to mind,and therefore I

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