Anna Kowlessar

I know what it’s like to be told that my sickness is somehow my fault.


After all the doctor appointments, lab tests, exclusion diets, trial and error treatments, and exploratory procedures, I’d like to say that I’m now strong enough to tackle life on my own. But the truth is that the one and only constant in my life; the one thing that keeps me moving forward through it all is my faith.

I’d like to say that from the moment I chose hope I then proceeded to live “happily ever after.” I have an unshakable hope, but I'll dare to be honest. These past several years I’ve seen darker parts of my soul than I ever realized I had, and found holes in the heart of my character, itself. But it’s also because of these painful years that I can confidently say that when I pray, my prayers come from a deeper place in my heart today than they ever have before. When I sing about God's power to heal, it echoes from a place in my soul that I didn't even know existed all those years ago. When I talk about God's faithfulness, it resounds from the holes in my heart that God continues to fill.

Now more than ever I believe that everyone has a story. Everyone has some sort of pain hiding in the back of their eyes if you look close enough. I don’t know what your story looks like. I don’t know the pain in your life. I don’t know how you feel about God, or if you find yourself in a church on Sunday mornings.

I want you to know that you're not alone. I want to tell you that there is hope for you right now, no matter what storm you’re walking through. Hope is not a gift that's promised to us only when life works out and gets good again. Hope is not for things when they're fixed. Hope is not for people when they're fixed. Hope is not for hearts when they're unbroken.

Hope is for the loneliness when your friends aren't your friends anymore. Hope is for the emptiness when you know you've messed up and you can't take it back. Hope is for the crumpled up roadmaps when you're lost and you need direction. Hope is for bitterness when all you can do is bite your tongue and keep your venom to yourself. Hope is for the laziness when you can't seem to wake your spirit. Hope is for the depression that they told you was your fault. Hope is for your heart when they're cruel and compassionless. Hope is for people like you and me.

Hope does not disappoint.

Even though I don’t know the details of your story, I pray that God will fill you with the strength and courage to choose hope in your life. Choose hope over emptiness and darkness, and choose Jesus because he is love and goodness and mercy and peace. Choose Jesus because he will not disappoint.

“…hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners." Romans 5:3-6 (NLT)

...real faith isn’t always pretty.

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