Sunday, May 22, 2016

Why Hope Still Matters...

       "And now these three remain:
         faith, hope and love. But the
         greatest of these is love."           
                                                             I Corinthians 13:13

Recently in a discussion that turned into a bit of a debate, a colleague of mine looked at me and said with a tone mixed with love and disgust..."Linda, you are such a hope-a-holic!"

"A what?" I asked, unsure that I had heard her correctly.

"A hope-a-holic," she repeated, looking unsure about how I might react to this labeling.

Since I teach Communication Studies at the college we both call our career home, I decided to practice what I preach. I always tell students, "When in doubt about what you heard, clarify and paraphrase to be sure you are truly on the same page." 

Okay, I'll try it.

"So it sounds like by calling me a "hope-a-holic" that you see me being hopeful when others have given up or fallen into discouragement?" I said tentatively.

She nodded, with way less disapproval than before.

I looked at her, grinned and threw my arms around her in a giant hug.

"Thank you!" I almost shouted. "That is such a great compliment. You made my day!"

She seemed stunned and then began to chuckle... and then began to have a full belly laugh where she had to hold her sides. Her laughing was contagious and I followed suit. 

"What's so funny?" I finally managed to say with my voice almost hoarse from all that frivolity.

"What's so funny is that even though I am trying to be sarcastic and critical of you, you stay positive. You keep talking about hope and faith in the midst of it all." She continued by saying, "Even when I put you down you responded with hope and optimism. It just cracked me up, that's all."

I hugged her again.

Hope-a-holic. Hmmmm....

It's not that I don't have hard days and weeks and even months.
It's not that I don't have struggles and concerns.

I do.

Yet at the center of it all is a firm belief that sustains me.
It sustains me when I am sad and worried.
It sustains me when all is going well.

It's simple...God loves me and my HOPE is in Him.
I have HOPE because of God's promises to me.
I have hope because God speaks about HOPE, the expectation of how things should be. 

No matter how things are working out, and sometimes that means there is pain and hurt, I still have a small seed of hope, just like a tiny mustard seed.

"If ye but have faith as of a mustard seed, nothing shall be impossible unto you."

Yup, faith brings hope and hope brings miracles.

I have always believed that hope was the starting place for
resilience and rebounding after hard and catastrophic things happen. And then I heard about a book called...
Fostering Resilience and Well Being In Children and Families in Poverty: Why Hope Still Matters. Valerie Maholmes is a 
hope-a-holic too.  I'm not the only one, that's for sure.

So I'll go on believing and praying and hoping. I'll go on expecting God to do miracles when all seems lost. I'll go on singing one of my favorite songs from the musical Annie.

May today be a day filled with HOPE for you!
God Bless!


Jackie said...

You inspire me. Your words always lift me. I know where your strength comes from (pardon that preposition at the end of the sentence. ) Your strength, hope, faith, and love come from The Lord.
I love my hope-a-holic friend.
Hugs from the heart,

Vicky said...

Oh how I adore that - a hope-a-holic! What a true compliment. But what I love even more is that you didn't buy into the sarcasm. I love what you taught us- clarify and paraphrase- I bet that helps. It gives you the power of taking the emotion out of it, and then its just words. Sometimes its the delivery and the tone of them that I become so sensitive to. Thank you, friend! This is a powerful lesson and I'm grinning at what you accomplished!! Love you friend!

Finding Comfort in Kindness...sharing from the heart

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