I sat in the pew of the church, a church I had attended for five years. It was just 2-1/2 months after my daughter died, and I was feeling very alone.
Hanging in the front of the sanctuary were four red banners, each with one word; “hope”, “faith”, “joy” and “love”. It was December 23, 2000, and we were leaving for the Oregon coast the next day, just me, my husband, and my son, all of us feeling it hard to join in a family celebration without my daughter being there.
I sat there listening to the choir singing Christmas songs and looking at those banners and suddenly felt inspired to write the following poem.
Three months later, I walked away from that church after being shunned by the congregation and left Christianity altogether.
Despite the pain I felt, I still, to this day, have fond memories of that time spent at the two churches that I was a member of for 20 years, mainly because Courtney was a big part of both.
Hope, Faith, Joy, Love
Hope is the desire to find a lifelong soulmate.
Faith is believing that one day it would happen.
Joy was standing in church exchanging wedding vows.
Love is feeling the same way after 22 years of marriage.
Hope is the desire to have children.
Faith is believing that you will have a baby even after the doctors tell you that you won’t.
Joy is holding each precious baby in your arms.
Love is realizing that each child born to you multiplies your love.
Hope is that you have enough of what it takes to teach your children the right values.
Faith is believing that what you need will be there when you need it; money, time, words, guidance.
Joy is watching your children learn and master the concepts and ideas of life.
Love is having the patience to keep helping them learn.
Hope is that your children will grow up to be responsible and independent adults.
Faith is believing that what you’ve taught them is enough.
Joy is watching them excel.
Love is pride in their accomplishments.
Hope is that you have enough strength to keep going when your child dies long before her time.
Faith is believing that there is a reason, even if you don’t understand it.
Joy is seeing the miracles of what her life meant to those around her.
Love is knowing that she is always in your heart and will be forever.
“Candlelight, angel light, firelight, and starlight….”
By Cindi Wafstet 12/23/00