Once there was a girl. Her name wasn’t actually Hope; but the way she lived each day and looked at one and all, her name could have been Hope. For the sake of this post, we will call her Hope. She believed against all odds. She always believed that the world was full of love and possibilities. It never occurred to her to be jealous of anyone, because she already thought the best of them. She always believed that she was received with care and compassion. She clung tightly to her faith. She clung through all the ups and downs of life. She did not use her faith as a crutch. she used it as a guide, her companion, her ship to sail across the waters.
Hope continued to believe the best about others. She prayed for them, and always wanted the best for them. She took note of the sacrifices others made on her and others’ behalf. She was an optimist. She felt at home with oh so many people. She assumed she was a part of things and that she fit in. Of course, in those awkward teen years, she felt out of place at places like the swimming pool. But throughout her days and years, she eagerly joined in with all sorts of efforts. She committed her time, talent, and treasure to all kinds of things. Her family expanded and contracted over the years. Her heart melted and broke through the gains and losses of life. She gained dreams and lost huge dreams….but she still believed.
She treasured her family ~ her parents and siblings, siblings spouses and children, aunts and uncles and cousins, and her husband. She cherished her husband and son, and her husband’s family, too. Through it all, she noticed the ones who took special care to cherish her right back. For years and years she did not notice if there were some who did not treasure her right back. It never occurred to her that that would be the case.
There came a day when she became painfully aware that there were some who did not treasure her. Now this set her back and broke her heart. Many readers will find this silly, since this is really just a part of life. But it shook her to her core, and made Hope doubt her own value and place in the world. It gave her pause and made her realize that there was nothing, absolutely nothing she could do about it. Multiple things happened that confirmed the fact for her. Hope… in a way…lost hope.
But then a curious thing happened. Hope realized that although there were those that did not have her back (and perhaps never did), that did not alter her worth as a woman. All it altered was her own view of herself and the world for a time. She decided that she could not give those people the key to her ship or her heart. Although she was somewhat less Gidget-y or starry eyed….she knows this. She is STILL God’s creation, and a part of His precious crown.
Hope knew that the source of her glow, her hope, and her optimism, is and always will be God. Yes, it would be lovely if the Kumbayah world she sees still included everyone she knows. Perhaps it still will. But the chorus of love around her is good. Hope cannot lose hope anymore. It would say that those who broke her are more significant than God and the ones who restore her and love her everyday.
Naysayers’ hearts can change, too. Hope knows that she, too may have done something to cause the string of events to happen. For now, she knows that she must change focus. Rather than look at the torn knees in her jeans after the tumble into the doldrums, she must refocus on the mountains, the stars, the fields of gold, and the open arms of loving people and on the presence of the Lord.
Hope still hopes, she hopes because the King of Kings restores her heart. She hopes once again, because the gift of love through those who restore her help to renew her strength. Hope believes. Hope insists on choosing joy.
My name is Kate ~ and I am Hope.