Finding Hope in Difficult Times: Searching for Rainbows

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Finding hope in difficult times can be challenging. I have experienced several life-altering events that were extremely hard to face, but each difficult time drew me closer to God.

By searching for rainbows through times of trouble, I have learned to lean on Him and hold onto the hope only He can provide.

Finding Hope in Difficult Times: 9/11

It was a clear warm day when I started the dreaded task of potty training my 2 1/2-year-old daughter. I don’t know why that memory sticks–probably because of how the rest of the day unfolded.

We were headed outside for a walk when I heard my house phone ringing. I quickly answered as my frantic husband said, “have you seen the news?

The World Trade Centers in New York have been hit and all flights have been suspended. I am stuck at the airport.”

I clearly remember that moment when my reality shifted; the fear and confusion. I had 2 small children and worried about the new world they would be facing.

Uncertainty and angst attempted to swallow me.   In the months that followed we waded through the disturbing news and changes but made it to the other side of 9/11. We were able to find hope in hard times.

Finding Hope in Difficult Times: Hurricane Katrina

It was a usual Friday night for our family as we gathered for games and Chinese food with some of our close friends.  

Halfway through our evening, a cell phone rang, “Have you checked the latest track on that big hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico? It is headed straight for New Orleans and is predicted to have devastating effects.   Everyone needs to evacuate.”

I clearly remember that moment when my reality shifted once again. As we packed up and left our home behind, we never imagined the devastation that would follow.

We lost most of our material things but waded through change again. This time with a much greater impact on our family, but we survived to the other side of Hurricane Katrina. We were able to find hope in hard times.

Finding Hope in Difficult Times: Pandemic

In February 2020, at the end of a family vacation, we scrolled through the news on our phones following a new virus that was sweeping across China.  

The predictions were that the virus would spread across the world and have dire implications. I thought surely, we won’t face a pandemic across the globe.

For a third time, this was the moment my reality began shifting. This time it felt bigger, but maybe because the feelings are fresh as we slowly adapt to the process of battling this crisis.

Although these life-altering events were very different, the feelings have been very similar. The raw vulnerability and numbness as if walking around lost. Sometimes, finding hope in times of trouble seems out of reach.

The hovering fear waiting to pull us in and cause us to lose our way. The lack of control and uncertainty of how these events will impact our family and community. The grief and sadness of what is lost.

I look back and wish I could have known the beauty that would come from the ashes; the positive outcomes that would emerge in so many areas of life.

Since that is impossible, I am hoping to learn from these past experiences and process better with whatever I face. To grow spiritually and relationally and be better at learning to find hope in difficult times.


finding hope in difficult times

How do You Have Hope in Troubled Times?

Searching for rainbows during a crisis, helps us have the hope that good can emerge, but it is hard to recognize in the midst of a struggle.

How do you have hope in troubled times? Here are 6 things we can do:

  1. We can be present and rest in His comfort.
  2. We can push the fear out of our head and march on in hope.  
  3. We can notice the plight of those around us and serve others which helps take the focus off of ourselves.
  4. We can discover how this situation is transforming us into Christ’s image.
  5. We can embrace the slowing down of our routine and sing praises to God.
  6. We can look for positive outcomes that may come from this situation.

Finally, we can search for rainbows trying to peek through the horizon. The rainbow may come in the form of an encouraging word or deed from a friend or a sign of hope from God.

Bible Verses about Hope in Hard Times

The Bible is the place I turn to when looking for hope in hard times. There are many verses that can provide peace and comfort. Here a few Bible verses about finding hope in difficult times that I like to meditate on:

“Provide for those who grieve:to bestow on them a crown  of beauty instead of ashes, the oil  of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting  of the  Lord for the display of his splendor.”

Isaiah 61:3

“Be strong. Take courage. Don’t be intimidated. Don’t give them a second thought because  God, your God, is striding ahead of you. He’s right there with you. He won’t let you down; he won’t leave you.”

Deuteronomy 31:6

“The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see.”

Hebrews 11:1


Mary Rooney Armand

Mary Rooney Armand is a writer and speaker focusing on inspiring faith-based stories. She helps others grow in their intimacy with Christ and thrive in their personal relationships. Mary lives in New Orleans with her husband Cory and four children. Besides writing and speaking, she teaches Bible Studies and leads small groups. Mary has a Master's in Business Administration and is a Life Coach. In 2019 she created ButterflyLiving and wrote a Bible Study titled, “Identity” which is available on Amazon. Connect with Mary on Instagram or Facebook.

32 thoughts on “Finding Hope in Difficult Times: Searching for Rainbows”

  1. “We can search for rainbows trying to peek through the horizon.”

    I love this. Everything truly shifted. As if nothing matters anymore except for the present. I keep on wondering how everyone faced it in the old times. Slowly, things will move towards new things. I hope people we will all learn from this and start living right.

  2. Love how you walked us through each of these moments…it gives a calming “this to shall pass” feeling. Especially when we know our hope is found in Christ alone!! Hallelujah 🙌

  3. Jessica Brodie

    Such great perspective here, Mary! I, too, remember feeling so helpless about all the unknowns after 9/11, hurricanes, and now today. But you are right: God is there, always. We can count on Him to help us wade through, whatever that looks like.

  4. Oftentimes, as you write, life can be interrupted by an unexpected event or occurrence. And suddenly, our life and the world as we know it, just tilts, and turns upside down. And while we are in the initial stages of shock and disbelief and as we scramble to just get a handle on what has happened it is hard to see what is what. But as things settle and we have time to shift through things, we can start to look for the good things and the learnings. They will be there, we just have to look. Blessings during this time of uncertainty.

  5. Real and raw. Thank you for taking us through all the situations and leading us beyond. This situation is reminding us that we aren’t invincible. That’s an important lesson. And along with that, you show us hope. God bless!

  6. Mary, I too, remember what I was doing the moment 911 happened and the sick feeling and reality shifting as to what was happening in America. I’m so sorry for your crisis with hurricane Katrina. It does seem realistic to wonder what we learn from a previous crisis, how it changed us once we processed it and saw any good and positive outcomes in the end. I love how you said, “During a crisis, good can emerge, but it is hard to recognize in the midst of the struggle.” So “we can” forge ahead with every point you so beautifully make.

    1. Thank you for reading and for your wise insights. Its weird how certain memories are so vivid and others get lost in the traffic of our brains. Believe it or not Katrina was a good thing for me and my city, but of course not at the time…Blessings to you!

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