Hoping vs. Coping–What’s the Difference?

I feel like something has happened inside of me this past week. It’s almost as if the heaviness and sorrow that I’ve felt since we found out about Josiah’s autism is lifting. My husband and I seem to be laughing and joking more again. We’re getting stronger. We’re celebrating more about Josiah’s small steps forward, rather than bemoaning how far we have to go. We’re not expecting the worst and hoping for the best. We’re just expecting the best. Period. We’ve got 3 1/2 years to pull him out of the confines of autism before school starts, and we’re going after it with all we’ve got. In the meantime, we’re hoping, not coping.

I’ve been reflecting a bit on the title of my blog. What does it mean, exactly, to HOPE and not just cope? Here are my thoughts:

Coping=Trying to muster up the strength within yourself to get through a situation that you realize may not change, so you have to deal with the reality of it.

Hoping=Going to God to get the strength to help you not only to get through today, but to keep steady faith that the future can change.

Coping=Focusing on my own mental health so I can get through my situation–internalize it.

Hoping=Releasing hope and encouragement to others even while I’m going through my own journey–pay it forward.

Coping=Adapting life to the new reality because you don’t want to be disappointed if the outcome is not how you would have hoped. It can perpetuate extended sorrow, bitterness and doubt.

Hoping=Appropriate response and action for the situation at hand in hopes for eventual restoration or vast improvement. It perpetuates strength for the fight, goal-setting and creative solutions.

Coping=Focus on working through the problems.

Hoping=Focus on depending on the promise.

Here’s one of the promises: Lamentations 3:20-25:

I remember it all—oh, how well I remember—
   the feeling of hitting the bottom.
But there’s one other thing I remember,
   and remembering, I keep a grip on hope:

God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out,
   his merciful love couldn’t have dried up.
They’re created new every morning.
   How great your faithfulness!
I’m sticking with God (I say it over and over).
   He’s all I’ve got left.

 God proves to be good to the man who passionately waits,
   to the woman who diligently seeks.

Patiently waiting and diligently seeking,



3 Responses

  1. May you never lose hope – God’s wonderful gift!

  2. I’m so glad it is starting to get easier. I’ve always thought of it as a melting iceberg. Your soul gets hard and frozen but over time (global warming maybe) it starts to break up and unthaw. Instead of being an immobile being you become fluid and warm again. I know I’m wierd 😆

  3. My heart goes out to you. At the same time, I am so grateful that you are the parents to whom God chose to give Josiah. Hoping is the best way. Your faith in God’s abiding love, and ours, will see you through and give Josiah all the benefits he needs. Know of my prayer

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