How To Overcome When You Feel Hopeless

You feel hopeless.

You never thought that you would be in this place. Ever.Yet, here you are, waiting…and waiting.That was me. I was waiting, waiting, and waiting for my heart’s desire—a home to raise our family.
Is it ever going to happen?
My husband and I had high hopes for building our forever home and then life handed us what felt like one disappointment right after another. As it says in Proverbs, hope deferred was making our hearts sick.
Maybe you can relate.
You’ve been in a similar place or you are there right now.
Life is not at all like you thought it was going to be and to be honest, it feels like you have lost hope. Life is falling apart.
If you feel like you’re hopeless, I’ve been there more than once. I can tell you from experience, God doesn’t place hope in our hearts to just let it waste away.
It turns out that our feelings of hopelessness revealed a surprisingly different purpose in His plans for us.
How to Overcome When You Feel Hopeless

I was done with feeling hopeless.

It all came to a head one day—I just couldn’t take it anymore. We were coming up on the two year anniversary of when we moved into our garage.
Temporary.
That is what it was supposed to be—and yet here we were nearly two years later. I was tired of waiting for a change in our circumstance. There was still no sign of movement. I felt like I had lost all hope and
I just wanted to give up. What’s the use anymore?
History holds a handful of times in my life when I’ve felt these feelings, but this time, almost automatically, something different happened.

Surprisingly Different Hope

For years, I have cultivated a habit of turning to God—seeking Him first in all things. That day when I felt hopeless, I naturally and automatically did the same thing and He renewed my strength.
I walked outside and started to walk and talk out loud with the Lord.
At one point I couldn’t handle my emotions anymore. I literally fell down to the ground on my knees in prayer begging, sobbing before the Lord, offering all of myself to Him.
The tears, the anger, the frustration, all of my questions, the fears—I cried out everything that I was holding inside.
That day, I told God how I felt like giving up. I was hopeless—and He surprised me. He took my hurt and replaced it with a different kind of hope. It was what He had been doing all along—because of our circumstances.

how to overcome when you feel hopeless

A Different Perspective of Hope

In the stillness of my brokenness, God brought to mind the passage in Matthew 9:17 about putting new wine in old wineskins.
 “And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. For the old skins would burst from the pressure, spilling the wine and ruining the skins. New wine is stored in new wineskins so that both are preserved.” (NLT)
If God would have given us the desires of our hearts as we saw them three years ago—it would’ve been a disaster. The “skins” so to speak would have been destroyed.
In order to do something new, He allowed the pain and waiting to happen—getting rid of what was holding us back, to bring us forward into His plans.

We Feel Hopeless but Hope is Grown

This September will mark three years of us living in our garage. I look back on a year ago and think, I felt so hopeless then. But here I am today standing in the strength of the Lord.
Since that day, God has continued to reiterate in my heart what He’s been up to these three years despite no change in our circumstance.
For the past three years we’ve lived without a lot of things. In the process, we’ve been learning that our journey hasn’t been about God wanting us to build a house only—it was more about Him building a home in us.

Building a Home Even When We Feel Hopeless

Part of our dream for a home included the strong support of family, sending our son to school with his cousins, and carrying on my husband’s family legacy.
Through an interesting twist of events each one of these hopes one by one fell apart. But God in His goodness began replacing our plans with His.
  1. A Better Support System.In this season of discomfort, God led us to a place where we’ve made a 180 degree turn in our mindset. As a result, He’s blessed us with a new support system.
  2. A Call to Homeschool.We discovered that God has been leading us to homeschool our son instead of sending him to school with his cousins. This was a huge shift for us. My husband was quicker to recognize this and accept this than I was!
  3. A New Legacy.Although my husband’s family was choosing to abandon a family legacy—God was calling us to start something new—a new legacy that was set free from past wounds, rules, and was full of joy.

How to Overcome When You Feel Hopeless

The key to overcoming when you feel hopeless is to turn to Him for hope, just like I did. It doesn’t have to be perfect or pretty. You can be as raw and vulnerable as I was. God welcomes us to come to Him just as we are—because He longs to restore us.
The hopeless feelings you have—might be hiding the real hope only He can give.

If you feel like life is great, that’s okay too. Life will happen and there will be times when it will challenge your hope.
What will you do when that happens?
For years, I have cultivated a habit of turning to God—seeking Him first in all things. That day when I felt hopeless, I naturally and automatically did the same thing—I sought Him first. The habits you cultivate today, prepare you for tomorrow’s challenges.

Building Our Home

When this all started we had the hope of building a house—and this week, plans have been finalized to do just that. We have the hope that the physical structure will be completed within the next year—but God has been building a home in us for nearly three years.

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14 Comments

  1. I have been in a very similar place of learning to allow God to replace my expectations with His plans. Thanks for this encouragement!

    1. Thank you so much, Hallie! It’s such an encouragement to know that we don’t face these times in our lives alone. I’m so glad my story could encourage you as you face a similar place. Hugs to you!

  2. I think we can all relate to this in one way or another, Sonya! I love the hope you provide here! Btw….I LOVE the look of your site….it’s beautiful!!

    1. Thank you, Alisa for your sweet comments! It is so funny how at times we think we are the only ones, isn’t it? I think that the enemy likes to hold us there—but I’m grateful God uses our stories to help encourage one another. I’m so glad you like my site! I’ve been working hard on it and wanted every mom who feels overwhelmed to feel invited into a simple, fresh, and beautiful experience. I am reminded of the passage in Proverbs where it says, “As water reflects a man’s face”, my prayer is that each mom who comes to my site may truly see that it is only a reflection of who God sees her—the real beautiful one.

    1. Thank you so much, Grace! Yes! You should go write that blog post, Grace! To be honest, this post was really hard for me to write. I didn’t want to because it is really vulnerable for me. But, God kept nudging me to put it out there—because He uses our stories to generate community among us. It helps us press on and persevere. I’d love to read what you write!

  3. I was just in this place of hopelessness….for months! I didn’t know that it was hopelessness though. I was starting to go down that path of depression. No matter how much I tried, I couldn’t stop being so impatient and grumpy with my kids. I was exhausted all the time…and I felt like running away. I felt like giving up. Then, one day at the beach, God gave me hope and I realized those months of yuck were all because I felt hopeless. Our circumstances haven’t changed either but I have renewed hope and that is enough to carry me through!

    1. Melissa, your reply just blesses my heart so much! Yes, yes, and yes to all that you were feeling. This is exactly the same type of feelings I was having too! I think it is interesting that it was at the beach that God gave you hope, because the beach is often a place that He speaks deeply to my heart too. Thank you so much for sharing and I rejoice with you over the renewed hope that He has given us both. Hugs to you!

  4. I just started a blog post. More than 20 years ago I was faced with one of life’s challenges. I had to find a new career path. After more than 20 years in this industry I became sick and was advised by the family doctor to look for some other occupation. After going through a time of depression and feeling sorry for myself, I went back to school to finish my degree. Well I found out that when the Lord closes one door, he opens another. Your words have really encouraged me to write this blog so the trials and challenge I went through, may help and encourage someone that may be facing the same challenge. Thank you.

    Ronnie Gregory

    1. Ronnie, thank you so much for your kind words. It is pretty amazing how God uses challenging things in our lives to draw out the best in us. I’m so glad that you were encouraged by what I wrote—and that it has inspired you to continue working on your blog post. I’m confident He will use your story to bless others and in turn it will bless you too!

  5. Thank you so much for sharing your truth. As I battle depression, I have moments of hopelessness and despair. You have helped me to understand that although I struggle mentally and often lose hope, God is still doing a work in me. Although I suffer, I still have to build my spiritual home and wait to see God’s manifested presence in my life.

    1. Alicia, thank you for your transparency in your battle. He is faithful—I know this all too well. He has began a good work in you and will complete it. May the God of all hope fill you with joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13)

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