Last updated on
How to Have a Brightness of Hope
How’s your hope been doing lately? In today’s world, it can be hard to hold onto hope, but if we change our focus to Jesus Christ, our hope can be renewed into something stronger than we’ve ever had before. In this post, I share my story of depression and anxiety, and how I’ve learned how to have a brightness of hope through it all.
I remember a version of me who not only saw the glass half full, but it ALWAYS being full. And then I experienced a different version of myself. Someone who dealt with crippling negative thoughts and anxiety that felt completely foreign to me. And the worst part was, these thoughts and feelings felt out of my control.
As someone who’s been on a mental health journey for the past 18 years, I hope you can find some peace and hope of your own as I share my story with you and how I haven’t given up. I still have hard days, but I know better days are always up ahead.
How to Have a Brightness of Hope
The Beginning of my Hope Journey
I moved around quite a few times growing up. During my teenage years, I did most of my high school career in LA. I remember there were tons of students who were Jewish, and several other religions. I was personally a Christian and a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (and still am today). My friends asked me way more questions about religion than I ever anticipated.
I remember one day during lunch, we got on the topic of religion, and particularly mine. My friend Becky turned to me and asked, “What if one day you find out your religion is wrong?”
I could’ve jokingly replied, “Oh, that’ll never happen.” But I could sense Becky’s honest curiosity through the look in her eyes.
Instead I said, “Well, if I do learn that, at least I’ve had something to hope for all this time.”
That was it. That simple answer was enough to satisfy myself and my friends that day. Little did I know this answer that 15-year-old Courtney gave would be exactly what I needed to hear over and over again throughout my life.
When I turned 18, my parents–who were seemingly perfect in my eyes–announced they were getting a divorce. I couldn’t believe it. Being the oldest, and the token peacemaker of the family, I immediately took on the role of trying to get my parents back together.
I knew it was wishful thinking to try and create this parent trap moment. However, I believed that if my parents were getting back together, I was the only one who could make it happen. They each shared their sides of the story with me throughout their divorce.
What I didn’t realize is the emotional toll this put on me. I started to feel weighed down by this responsibility no one asked me to carry. I ended up going to a doctor for my mental health concerns and was diagnosed with anxiety and depression.
At first my doctor mentioned maybe this diagnosis was just situational and that it would go away with time. But I have now been on this 18 year journey of battling anxiety and depression.
Rekindling my Brightness of Hope
For a while, I struggled to feel the comfort I yearned for, from my Heavenly Father especially. This struggle stayed with me even after getting married, having my two kids, and starting my business.
No matter how often I prayed and pleaded to feel my Heavenly Father, I felt nothing. To be frank, I was disappointed in Him and in myself.
Why was this happening? Why was it so hard to rekindle my hopeful feelings I used to feel effortlessly every single day?
And then I was reminded of something my dad told me when I was 16. (Right after I completely embarrassed myself from crashing the family car at my school’s fundraising car wash.)
He said, “The sun will always rise, and it will always set. Every day is a chance for a do-over.”
I’ve remembered this truth over and over again in times when I’ve needed it most.
I know I am meant to have a happy life. My family and my business bring me so much joy. I will focus on the good and never give up hope.
How to Have a Brightness of Hope cont…
For the rest of my story, you can listen to my podcast episode here! Above all, remember your brightness of hope. If you place your hope on the Savior Jesus Christ, He will not fail you. No matter how hopeless you feel, it will not last. There will always be a sunrise, giving you another chance to do better and feel happier.
I hope you enjoyed this special post on how to have a brightness of hope! (If you need a real pick me up, my best ever chocolate bundt cake will do the trick!) Follow me on Instagram @cakebycourtney for more insights on my life story and of course all things cake!