Firm Hope is my personal therapy program intended to remind me of the things that are most important. It is a collection of instructional, motivational, spiritual and emotional content that keeps me grounded and moving forward. My hope is that the materials contained in this website may help someone, even you, who maybe having a bad day, a hard time, or even someone caught in the black hole of depression and anxiety – like I was.
I had a good childhood with great parents. I, like probably most of you, had good times and bad – but overall I have nothing to complain about. I was raised a member of The Church of Jesus Chris of Latter-day Saints, which is the greatest gift my parents ever gave me. They instilled within in me a love for my Heavenly Father, a good work ethic and the tools I needed to provide for myself. I graduated from college with a couple of degrees, got married and had three amazing kids. I was, and still am for the most part, a very successful business man in a very senior position at the company that I work for. I had what many would call a great life … until December 2016. That’s when I found myself in a deep, dark, cold and lonely place, which landed me in a hospital for 9 days diagnosed with severe depression disorder.
My depression didn’t just show up overnight, it slowly dragged me into darkness over a 6 year period. I hid if from my wife, my kids, my job and the rest of my family. I never talked about it, or anything for that matter. I wouldn’t talk about it even when other people saw me struggling and tried to help. “I’m ok, just having a bad day.” I was raised to be independent, so I assumed that this was just a passing phase that I was going through – even though all the signs were there. I ignored them and it cost me. It cost me my marriage of 25 years, my kids stopped talking to me, I lost any resemblance to friends, alienated my parents and my siblings. What I learned in those nine days in December 2016 saved my life!
I tell you all of this for context. Does it sound familiar? I’ll bet you know someone who maybe having similar issues – or it might be you who is experiencing them. I know what it feels like to be alone. I understand how hard it is to even get out of bed let alone read someone else’s story of depression. But … I want you to know that I love you. You are a child of a loving Heavenly Father, which means I’m your brother. If you feel alone, isolated, sad, weak, mad, frustrated (sounding familiar) please know YOU’RE NOT ALONE! God knows of your pain. He is waiting to help you. I know how much you hurt, how often you cry, how much it feels like there is no end. That is why I am glad you have found my Firm Hope! I am hoping that some of the content on this website will help you like it has helped me.
“But that ye have patience, and bear with those afflictions, with a firm hope that ye shall one day rest from all your afflictions.” (Alma 34:41, Book of Mormon)
Our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ know the depths of your trials, your pain, and your suffering. Jesus offers all of us eternal peace in times of adversity. He alone touches our sometimes tortured souls with His comforting words: “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28–30, Holy Bible)
Whether you’re life is wonderful or you’re having a hard time, He is always with you. He has promised that this will never change. “I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.” (Joshua 1:5, Holy Bible)
I have made many mistakes in my life, as will you. Because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, the Savior has enabling powers, sometimes referred to as grace, that can help you and me overcome our weaknesses and imperfections and thus assist us in our pursuit to become more like Him. The Savior’s Atonement gives us life for death, healing for hurt, and perfection for weakness. It is Heavenly Father’s antidote to the obstacles and struggles of this world. I lost sight of this for a time, but through His Atonement I’m nurturing my loving relationship with him. My hope has been restored.
Look to a wonderful future with faith in God and Jesus Christ. Pray knowing He is there, then listen quietly and patiently for His answer. Don’t worry or long for things that are past (Luke 17:32, Bible), look forward to great things to come.
I testify that Heavenly Father lives and loves you, that His Only Begotten Son lived and died for us, and that the gospel of Jesus Christ is that penetrating light which shines through the darkness in our lives. Seek and hold onto His light with all of your strength. I bear my witness that the Savior’s Atonement is not only infinite in scope but also individual in reach—that it can not only return us to God’s presence but also enable us to become like Him.
If you need someone to talk to, I’m a great listener 🙂 Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your friend and brother, Kyle