A young woman from a disadvantaged background stood on the stage in cap and gown, proudly holding the university diploma she had just been awarded. With perseverance, she had achieved what many thought impossible. When asked how she had done it — how she had managed to pull herself out of such difficult circumstances — she replied, “I had hope! I just kept going and never lost hope.”

It’s helpful to see and hear such examples of hope fulfilled, because all of us, regardless of our background, face challenges. Some struggles are obvious and visible to all, while others are more private, but every life includes circumstances that seem to defy our ability to overcome.

We may, often through no fault of our own, find ourselves in situations that make the future look bleak, with little or no promise of happiness or relief from the pain we feel. At such times, when we are drowning in a sea of challenges, when all seems lost, hope is sometimes all we have.

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