Beskydy mountain

You do not need to know precisely what is happening
or exactly where it is all going. What you need is to recognize
the possibilities and the challenges offered by the present moment
and to embrace them with courage, faith and hope.

~ Thomas Merton

Where do we find courage, faith and hope to keep going in the hard times? Courage is never convenient. Faith isn’t a faucet you turn on and off. And hope is a choice.

Courage, faith and hope may arise in our hearts if we’re willing to look inside for some answers and truth. The courage to do such inner work comes from community, whether that means one other person or many.

“Know that it’s possible … that the seeds planted here can keep growing in the days ahead.”

This year we have been exploring each Courage & Renewal Touchstone that make up the practices in circles of trust. As we arrive in November, this last touchstone feels a bit incomplete here without the entire collection. At first glance it seems easy to say but hard to believe. That’s because it’s not a conclusion but an invitation and an intention to keep on growing.

Know that it’s possible…

Like Thomas Merton’s quote, the opening words of our final touchstone speak to the need for courage, faith and hope in the midst of the unknown. But where do we find those three magic words in the midst of hard, busy days?

Sometimes we need to pause for a spacious span of time – which could be just a few intentional hours, or a few days – to reflect on what we most value in life, rediscover and affirm the ground on which we stand. To reflect on questions that help us live into our own answers. We don’t often give ourselves enough time to slow down and reflect. It takes practice to stay self-aware and awake to the messages our hearts long for us to hear.

How can we build healthy reflection into our daily life so that we remain present, with our hearts wide open?

Sometimes hope appears in the grace notes of a song in your ears or your heart, or perhaps in your inbox.

Hopefully, over time, we hone our ability to recognize and embrace life’s challenges as possibilities for growth. And in doing so, may we give more hope to each other.

Enjoy this song from our friend Carrie Newcomer, You Can Do This Hard Thing, from her new album The Beautiful Not Yet. Here’s my favorite line: The impossible just takes a little more time.

Where do you find hope, faith and encouragement on your hard days?

At earlier times in your life, how have you experienced a sense of possibility in the midst of challenge?

With gratitude,

Terry Chadsey
Executive Director

P.S. Reflect on your challenges and life’s possibilities at a Courage & Renewal program in the company of other people on the same journey.

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