Hope. This can be a difficult concept to grasp when all we’ve been told our entire life is that we’re not good enough, that we don’t measure up, that we have no chance. In my youth, and as a young adult, I always felt marginalized. We hang on for dear life, in fear of being rejected once again; and when that other shoe drops, it serves to solidify the dogma that’s been forced into us. Some choose to give up, never to rise to the top of the fear and pressure. Others, get sick and tired enough to do battle against the bullies of this world, to rise to the surface, step by step; every tiny step of this takes immense courage. Eventually, we find someone (or even a group) who accepts us as-is, no strings. We build each other up, helping one another to take courage and strive a little further to the top. On one hand, staying complacent kills us; on the other, taking that first step and never looking back eventually leads to victory. So, pray without ceasing (1Thess 5); seek the Lord’s wisdom (James 1); remember Philippians 4:13 – I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.