To begin Again

It seems lately that more and more of my friends are facing some seemingly insurmountable challenges in their lives. A few have lost their jobs and some have failed marriages. All too many have health issues or are battling cancer.

I don't know if it is desperation that causes them to turn to me for advice or they have come to value our friendship. But it is difficult, to say the least, to offer words of hope when all they feel is hopeless. They expect answers, some magic waving of a wand, or a roadmap to get them back on their feet again.

I have often struggled with what to say. Mostly because I have faced many of the same challenges in my own life and I remember how empty I felt after someone cheerfully offered words like, "Keep your chin up!" "Things will get better!" "Hang in there!" "It's always darkest..." etc.

Yes, even those who were quick to quote the Bible to me found me quite unreceptive at the time.

Now, being thought of as a resource of hope, an inspirational writer and/or a good example of what not to do in life, (I can always serve as a bad example) I have even more people contacting me.

So, what do I say?

"To begin again."

"What can I do, Bob? I've lost my job. What do you suggest?"

"To begin again."

"He walked out on me. My whole world just ended. What should I do?"

"To begin again."

"Bob, I know both your son and your wife had cancer. I found out my wife does, too. What did you tell them?"

"To begin again."

It almost sounds too simple. I imagine in the darkest hours of one's life those words would seem useless or I would appear uncaring. But it is indeed the answer.

All life challenges bring about an ending.

A job loss presents an opportunity to start over somewhere else and maybe even in another career.

A failed marriage does not mean you are through loving or being loved. It means there are others just like you needing to be loved. Find them.

A life threatening disease does not mean giving up. It means starting a new path to recovery and discovering within yourself the ability to fight back and win.

If you are a person of faith death does not mean it's over. It means eternal life.

Bob Perks

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