My key simply said the word “Future.” I purchased it at a time when I needed to believe that there was still Hope and a Future out there for me. My dreams had been just within reach and then ripped out of my hands. It seemed like a consistent pattern in my life - start to believe that what I hoped and worked for would come true, and then watch it be ripped away and crushed. I had to make the hardest decision of my life, and because of it I couldn’t see much of that future that God had promised me. That decision had cost me everything... my job, my home, my independence, my friends. It was the right decision and I never regretted it, but it still hurt. The only things I seemed to have left were my family and my faith. Those two things were all that kept me believing that I might be ok. I wore the key as a reminder that even though I could not see an end to the hurt and pain I was in, I had to believe that one day I would be alright.
Along the way, I met this beautiful young girl. She was an incredibly talented vocalist with terrible ghosts from her past that seemed to follow her around. No matter how she tried, she could not seem to get past them. And though I cannot begin imagine the trials and horrors that she had been through, I could see bits and pieces of me in her. As I was beginning to climb out of the pit of depression that I had been in, she seemed to be sinking farther and farther in. Every time she tried to climb out, they just pulled her right back in. Just like me, it took a group of people who were absolutely determined to pull her out of that pit and refused to let go. They simply would not give up on her, even though at times she seemed to have given up on herself.
I began to recognize patterns in her life. When she would face a life altering decision, whether to go back to her old life or to keep moving forward on this new path she had chosen, she would stubbornly seem to refuse to listen and let anyone speaking to her into her life. She would protest and defend this choice she wanted to make, arguing about how it was her life and she got to make her own decisions. And she was right. It was her choice to make. Those around her would get extremely concerned that she was going back to her old patterns, her old ways. And just when those who loved her would begin to despair, she would come back and choose to move forward, to keep going.
I gave her my key after one of those major decisions. When she had to decide between going back to what is comfortable and familiar or pushing forward into the unknown territory of perseverance and faith. To choose to trust that even when it’s hard, God has hope and a future already planned for her, and that future would be better then anything she could ever imagine. She chose to believe that moving forward is better then staying still, that trust is better then fear, and that some promises are worth believing. The promise of "a hope and a future" is one of them.