By Clare BruceMonday 22 Jun 2020
It’s always the people who listen to Hope 103.2, who explain best what a difference the radio station makes in our community. Here are just four of the many stories of lives impacted by Hope.
- Jess’ Story: “Hope Allows People To Not Feel So Alone”
- Joyce’s Story: “A Song Would Pop Out – And it Was Akin to God Saying, ‘I Am Here'”
- Alysha’s Story: “I Wouldn’t Know What to Expect each day.. But I Knew Hope Would Be There”
- Lauren’s Story: During Breast Cancer Treatment, A Song on the Radio Became Her Mantra
Uni Student Jess: “Hope Allows People To Not Feel So Alone”
For Hope 103.2 listener and uni student Jessica, bullying and childhood abuse caused her so much turmoil and pain, that she began to think it wasn’t worth living any more.
During high school, she began to have counselling, and remembers a pivotal moment where she didn’t know if even God could help her.
“I felt like it was better that I would die,” she said. “My parents would be better off, everyone in the world would be better off… I kept thinking ‘Why can’t I just go be with God now?’
But the constant, steady advice of Jess’s father kept her moving forward.
“The thing that stands out was what my Dad said. Every time things were hard, constantly going, ‘Just look back at the Bible… God is there. I have memories of my Dad constantly saying those Bible verses, and I can look back and go “Oh, he was right, God was there”.
When Hope Was a Lifeline
Many times, Hope 103.2 was a lifeline to Jessica, helping her to be more kind to herself.
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“I remember hearing Dear Younger Me at home. I judged my ‘younger self’ quite a bit. I felt very guilty and blamed [myself] that I didn’t do enough. “And hearing that [song] I was like ‘Yeah – I can’t judge myself so harshly’.”
Now a uni student studying theatre, Jess is a big advocate for the radio station – as she’s seen how powerful it can be in helping give people hope to keep going.
“You can turn on and hear something on Hope and go, ‘Wow, I needed to hear that. Thankyou Lord, you are with me’.”
“Hope is a positive force in our society, providing a good message against a lot of very negative messages that you hear,” she said. “Hope allows people to not feel so alone. I know we are all distanced. and that can be very isolating, but knowing a lot of people are listening to the same thing and smiling at the same thing is always nice.
“I find that so special that you can turn on and hear something on Hope and go, “Wow, I needed to hear that. Thankyou Lord, you are with me… I just needed a reminder and I got it.”
“God can use Hope to reach you, just as he reached me. He is carrying you the whole way.”
“A Song Would Pop Out – And it Was Akin to God Saying, ‘I Am Here'”
During the years of her grieving and struggle, Hope 103.2 was a constant companion in the background, which Joyce says helped to keep her “centred” during her toughest moments.
“The songs were faithful to what we believe in, which is, we have a hope in Jesus, and a hope of life in eternity with God… [that] my husband just went on to a better place ahead of me; I still have a life to live, and to live that for what God wants me to do during this time,” she said.
“And it was very encouraging to know that even during my alone moments I wasn’t really alone. In a physical sense the radio sense, the radio was there. In a spiritual sense God was there – but in a physical sense, I had company.”
“What I love about Hope is – as it is in name, it is in practice. Everything it broadcasts, it broadcasts hope.”
Many times, a specific song would speak right into her heart.
“Once in a while a song would just pop out of the background and was really akin to God saying, singing you, saying, ‘I am here, I am real, I know what you’re going through’.”
Joyce now encourages others to support the radio station, knowing that it helps people through life’s hardest seasons.
“What I love about Hope 103.2 is, as it is in name, it is in practice. Everything it broadcasts, it broadcasts hope.”
“I Wouldn’t Know What to Expect each day.. But I Knew Hope Would Be There”
“She was a couple of hundred platelets off internally haemoraging,” Alysha explains.
She was lined up for chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant, at the same time as her grandma was battling leukaemia.
Alysha recalls it as a gruelling time – but with beautiful moments.
“[Mum] and Liana connected on a level none of us really understood,” she said. “They’d come together and rub their little bald heads after they’d both lost their hair… Mum had a great sense of humour.”
Sadly, though Alysha’s mum fought valiantly, the cancer beat her. Alysha remembers many moments of yelling, crying and screaming at God in her grief—often followed by a sign that God was with her. Often, that sign was a song on the radio.
“Hospital time is a crazy time, and there’s a blurring of day into night,” Alysha said. “I wouldn’t know what to expect each day, but I would know that Hope [103.2] would be there, in some kind of positive way, connecting me to God, even if I didn’t have the energy to [pray] at the time. The constancy of Hope as a radio station was there.”
“The Perfect Song at the Perfect Time”
For Alysha, it was a point of connection that gave her hope in the darkness.
“If there’s one thing everyone does need in times of pain it’s connection to something,” she said. “There is a bigger picture that Hope 103.2 plays into… it’s [things like] the perfect song at the perfect time.”
The good news is that Liana had the all-clear two years ago, and is now doing well. In the words of her proud mum, she’s “resilient and cheeky and strong and wonderful”.
Alysha is keen to encourage others to help keep Hope 103.2 on the airwaves.
“We’re living in times of great uncertainty,” she said. “I don’t think that’s going to change. Even when the [Coronavirus] is gone, love and hope is something that we’re never not going to need.”
During Breast Cancer Treatment, A Song on the Radio Became Her Mantra
For Lauren, it was a routine ultrasound in 2018 that put her on a fast track into the world of oncology and chemotherapy – when it was discovered she had breast cancer.
“It was all a shock,” Lauren recalls. “I remember my elder son saying to me one day, ‘Mummy, if you don’t have the chemo, you’re gonna die, aren’t you?’ How do you answer that as a parent?”
Lauren was already a regular listener to Hope 103.2; but during her season of cancer treatment, she found it became a real lifeline.
“In little snatches of time when maybe I was in the car by myself driving back from an appointment, there’d often just be the right song or somebody saying something encouraging,” she said.
One of the songs regularly playing on the station at the time, Counting Every Blessing by Rend Collective, became something of a mantra helping Lauren to keep her eyes fixed on her hope in God.
“I felt like in the cancer journey, there was a lot of ‘letting go and trusting when you couldn’t see’.”
“The part that really stood out to me was the chorus where it goes ‘I’m counting every blessing… I’m letting go and trusting when I cannot see’,” she said.
“I felt like in the cancer journey, there was a lot of ‘letting go and trusting when you couldn’t see’. There was no guarantee that the treatment would work, no guarantee that the surgery would work. So I felt like that line was quite [important] to me.”
She encourages others to support the station and help keep it going for others like her.
“It’s a voice in our society that’s different, and that’s delivering an important message of God’s love, and encouragement for people,” she said. “You just don’t know the impact that it’s going to have for people.”