We are Inheritance of Hope. So, I was pondering: what is hope? If you ask most people about hope, they will tell you about their dreams. I hope to retire with enough money to live comfortably. I hope my kids grow up to be happy and healthy people. We think of hope as a maybe. I hope it doesn’t rain this weekend. We think of the word hope as a synonym for wish or want.
Usually our false pursuit of hope is focused on a pain-free life without any suffering. But here we are, walking very realistically into people’s suffering with terminal illness. So, as we ponder our purpose here, are we offering an Inheritance of “I hope so”? I hope not! That kind of hope is disappointing. So, what is hope for us, who call ourselves Christians?
Romans 5:3-5 says: “And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and this hope does not disappoint us, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”
Hope is found not in the avoidance of suffering but the working through it. So, what is hope? According to this passage, hope has to do with an experience of God’s love that does not disappoint but instead feels like a flood of God’s love in the heart. This overwhelming experience of love, through the process of suffering, perseverance, and character, offers us a sense of certainty about God and our future.
God is really good. God cares about us in profound ways. We will be reunited one day with those who have gone before us because of this hope.
So, what does this have to do with Legacy Retreats for young families with terminally ill parents? Inheritance of Hope offers this Romans 5 kind of hope. As volunteers, your presence and service with these families offers them a taste of the experience of God’s generous love. They brought their own suffering. Each of these families is facing the possibility of this holiday season being the last together.
Suffering must lead to perseverance, which requires others to walk with us. We cannot persevere alone. In a very real way, we are teaching them what perseverance looks like by creating safe places to do this together. Kids are connecting, parents are connecting, and families are connecting with each other.
We are guiding them to proven character by teaching them to live intentionally. Inheritance of Hope calls these trips Legacy Retreats because we are offering these families a chance to live with intentional character, to live on purpose.
And they are experiencing the overwhelming love of God through your service to them. God is flooding their hearts with His love because of you. We are offering them a true taste of biblical hope. And if you need to, take some hope home with you as well.
Gina Roes is a Licensed Professional Counselor who has been counseling for about twenty years. Originally from North Carolina, Gina has worked in many different settings, including New York for three and half years after 9/11. Currently in private practice back in NC, Gina has served families, children, couples, and individuals to help them find comfort, hope, and emotional healing on their journeys. She also is a Legacy Retreat® Coordinator and Counselor with Inheritance of Hope.