When Hoping Is Hard

Because when I choose to hope, when I choose to engage in that awkward intimacy of believing He might say no while asking expectantly that He say yes, He gets the most beautiful part of me.

Sara Hagerty, Every Bitter Thing Is Sweet

Several months ago I came home and found a tiny surprise on my front porch for the tiny person we aren’t talking about, but have vaguely mentioned like one time around here. I cried when I opened it. I cried when I saw who it was from. I just sat and cried for a whole minute over the whole thing. When I sent them a thank you I got this in response, “It can be very hard to plan for your next child after you lose the first one. In my case the first two. Thought I’d plan for you with this.” I had a big fat weepy cry over that response because YES. The gift itself is not the thing that made me cry. While it was extremely nice and entirely unnecessary, the thing that made me cry was what the gift symbolized: hope. That tiny box on my front porch meant someone was hoping on our behalf. They were standing in the gap and doing the thing we couldn’t do ourselves. They were hoping for us.

Hoping can be hard because hoping is just that, hope. It’s the place we go to expect and anticipate and desire and want. It’s the place we go to wait. It’s the place we go knowing there are no guarantees. It’s the place we go knowing everything may happen or nothing may happen. It’s the place we go knowing we’re just hoping.

Hoping is vulnerable. Hoping is raw. Hoping is brave. Hoping is courageous. Hoping is risky. Hoping is scary (scary as a cuss word). Hoping is borderline terrifying.  Maybe it’s because I’m staring hope right in the face this week, but hoping feels insane. To hope after you’ve been hurt. To hope in the midst of the not yet. To hope knowing the end result may be the exact opposite of what you were hoping for in the first place. Hoping is heavy stuff.

But Jesus. I’m finding him in the hoping [I’m also finding wine and essential oils and my counselor. Lest you think I’m all high and mighty. Please.]. Standing before him, heart pounding and feeling terrified. Going before him, asking boldly and waiting expectantly. Believing deep in my soul, that if not he is still good.

This week I’m proclaiming hope over my heart. [I may or may not have proclaimed it to Satan, too. Like, back the H off man.] I’m deciding to straddle the line of asking and waiting expectantly, and knowing full well he may say no or not yet again. I’m choosing to hope because Jesus. I’m telling myself [over and over and over again] that He is good, regardless of circumstances and regardless of outcomes. It’s weird and it’s hard and a part of me would rather stay guarded than to risk hope, but to hope in Jesus is to hope in the not yet. To hope in the name of Jesus is holy ground.

I don’t know how you guys live in the hoping, but I pace and I repeat things. I pace my kitchen saying scripture out loud. [Am I the only one that does this? Please say no.] I also have this playlist that has been playing on repeat since March. I pace and proclaim lyrics over our house. [One of the songs is JT’s Mirrors. I do not proclaim those lyrics over my house. Instead I drop whatever I’m doing and do that glorious clap. Every single time. Before you judge my playlist, that song is the song that played on repeat while I cleaned out my JT’s room. That song is for doing hard things, and hoping is a hard thing. WHATEVER.] I proclaim those words while I’m running or driving or standing in line at Target. Because sometimes when we’re in the middle of hoping our hearts simply need a good reminder. So here’s to that, y’all. Here’s to hoping. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go pace my house.

“May the God of hope fill you with joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13

“You are my lamp, O Lord: the Lord turns my darkness into light.” 2 Samuel 22:29

“I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” Psalm 27:13

“The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” Job 1:27

“If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it,  and will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if He does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” Daniel 3:17-18

“For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.” Romans 8:24-25



  1. AMEN! Add one of my very favorites to your pacing list: “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful.” -Heb 10:23 So hard, yet so filled with PROMISE! Love you! Thanks for helping the rest of us renew hope, too!

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