About Hope

I tend to remember everything.  More specifically, I remember almost every conversation, especially minor ones, that I have with people.  As of late I have learned not to bring up old conversations, because the speaker usually doesn’t remember saying the things that I remember.  But I digress.  

I once had a conversation with a good friend of mine, Aaron.  I was 2.5 years ago, and my mind was still pretty messed up.  I wasn’t sure how long I would be metaphorically “sticking around” then, but I had a little bit of a grasp of what I would do if I got through my ish.  I had an answer for everything, even in my brokenness.  I was pushing people away in a successful manner.  Throughout our conversation Aaron noticed something.  He then asked me where my hope was.  I had no answer.  I had no answer, because I had no hope.  Even though I was in Bible college, doing my best to follow a God who I felt was betraying me, I had no hope.  My hope was not in God, even though I desperately wanted it to be.  

Fast forward a few years to where I am right now.  For church on Sunday we made s’mores and had community time.  We separated into groups around the four separate campfires and we told God stories.  I had on my heart a need to share where I had been and how I got to where I am now.  I talked about how I had always had a plan, and now that I have no plan I am more content than I have been in a while.  My sharing sparked an ongoing conversation, and some prayer and some vulnerability.  One of my roommates, Gus, went on to point something out to me.  He said that it seemed that for a long time I have had no hope in my life.  When I had a plan, I had no hope.  But now, he said, I have an evident hope.  Even though I have no idea what my life holds, I have hope.  

So maybe when I have plans, I put my hope in them.  If I have learned anything in my life though, it’s that if I don’t get my hopes up, they can’t be let down.  Now that I have no plan, I cannot be let down.  My hope is in God’s plan, and not knowing what it is makes life a little bit more of an adventure.  And I want to be in love with adventure.

Blogging about Hope, and wondering where it is

Hope is not something I put a lot of thought into.  I’m not sure that many people spend much time in their minds, focusing on the concept of hope, unless they believe themselves to be hopeless.  Even when I was hopeless, I didn’t see hope as anything.
My friend Aaron once asked me where my hope was, what my hope was in.  I didn’t answer him right then, and I’m not sure that he expected an answer.  It was something to thing about.  And I’ve never had an answer.

It’s been more than a year since my conversation with Aaron.  I haven’t thought back to that conversation in a while, but last week it once again intruded upon my thoughts.  I was doing devotions and came to a focus on hope.  Joel Elies describes hope as “an assurance, an ironclad guarantee that after all of our adventures and hardships, there will be a ‘happily ever after’ from which we will see every past difficulty as a necessary part.”  Hope is more than just a wish, it’s more than just hope.

So where is my hope?  Is it in heaven?  Living my life right because I’m going somewhere even better when I die?  No, because heaven isn’t my final goal, although it may be my final destination.  Is it that my writing and spoken word will take off so that my future will be stable?  I used to think so, but I’m sure that that’s right either.  My hope must be in Christ, because He is the only constant in my life.  I’ve had friends step in and out of my life so fast that I don’t know who to trust anymore.  I’ve learned that if someone is there for me in the most important part of my life, that doesn’t mean that they deserve my trust or my faith or my hope, because our lives are separate and most people are bound to leave, even those who mean the most.

Psalm 42:11 says “Put your hope in God, for I will praise Him, my Savior and my God.”  There’s no reason to worry or feel hopeless, because I have been saved.  All I have to do is praise God; I know He knows my future.
Today in church one of the speakers said to follow God’s blueprints for my life.  You can’t build a good house if you ignore the blueprints.  I can’t build a good future if I ignore the blueprints.
Jeremiah 29:11, “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a future and a hope.'”
I think wondering about where my hope is might be a waste of time, because God is going to give me a hope… and a future, which is really all I need.
God said that to Jeremiah in one of Israel’s, and Jeremiah’s, roughest times.  So I truly can take it to heart when my life goes to crap.

My life is going to prosper, even if I don’t necessarily know what that looks like yet.  I can hold, in my hands, a future and hope that has been given to me.