SHERMAN, Tex. -- The world around us seems to become increasingly dismal as each day passes. News of more casualties in wars overseas and loved ones are lost to natural disaster, cancer, and events we can't control.
It is so easy to become consumed with the negative things that surround us. So, through all this tragedy, where do we find hope?
The need for hope is a necessity these days, especially with all the negativity that surrounds us. And for many, it seems to come in the most unlikely of places.
Kelly Kirkpatrick is a junior at Sherman High School and in the midst the daily stresses that comes with being a teenager, she received what she calls a much welcomed "wake-up call.”
"I was sitting in my Spanish class just messing around just killing time and one of my friends and I had a Newsweek out,” said Kirkpatrick. “I was drawing on it and I was doing the typical mustache and, you know, beard thing going on and I flipped my paper over and was like ‘Oh my gosh!’ and we kind of looked and we were like 'That is definitely Jesus!'"
But what does it mean?
"I think it's more of like, ‘Hey Kelly remember, God's in your life, don't do anything too crazy and remember where your heart is," said Kirkpatrick.
For others, hope has to be found in the very face of devastation. Sherman fire Chief Jeff Jones has been a fireman for 23 years now.
"The toughest thing is to look back at some of the things that you wish you could've done different, or had the opportunity to do sooner or quicker," said Jones.
Even in the most devastating of situations, Chief Jones says he can still manage to find hope in the humanity of others, especially in some of the men he calls brothers.
"One of the firemen went inside this house while it was still burning, took a pillowcase, and inside that pillow case he stuffed as many animals and sleeping buddies a he could fit and brought them out,” said Jones. “When he pulled those animals out of that pillowcase and handed them to that little boy and that little girl, the look on those kids face, that's why we're really here."
For many, children are often the source of hope and faith. Some live for the opportunity to have and raise kids, but what happens when our plans don't work out as we had expected?
"We were married in '93, and we wanted a family. We tried to start having a family immediately, but with no success. We had some fertility problems," said Denison resident Jennifer Bercher.
Jennifer and Derrick Bercher had always dreamed of having a big family. So when they found out pregnancy wasn't an option, the couple quickly decided to adopt. Their son Blake was first. Then, not even a year later, they received another phone call that changed their lives.
But news of a healthy baby daughter soon turned to something else. The Berchers found out that their daughter, Ivy, was missing an important part of her brain and that there was a very real possibility that she could forever be handicapped. Now what could seem like a heart wrenching decision on whether or not to adopt Ivy, Jennifer says wasn't a decision at all.
"We had people ask us, why? Why are you going to do that? Like it was some huge burden,” said Bercher. “My answer to that was, 'Well, I love her. She still needs somebody to love her.'"
While many feel Ivy is blessed to have Jennifer and Derrick, the couple insists that Ivy is the true blessing.
"When she stares back at you, and she gives you that smile, it doesn't matter. The day is fulfilled," said Bercher.
"The reasons why I think people are interested and feel the need for hope is because we have become increasingly hopeless...and helpless," said Dr. Todd Penner, Chairman of religious studies at Austin College. "Everything is beyond our control: the political process, the economic process, the social process. What that does is create in us this desire to hope for something else or hope for something other."
In a place where bad news seems to out do the good and it seems like the world has failed us, hope prevails. There is hope and it can be found on a daily basis. You just have to know where to look.
"It just shows how your faith enters your life when you least expect it."