To live with hope is hard. Mostly because you have to live in vulnerability to hope. The reality is you may be let down or worse yet—crushed because of hope. Being crushed is something you never forget, So to risk being crushed again makes hope evasive. It is safer not to hope. It is safer to beat vulnerability to the punch and strive to control your surroundings.
It is safer to treat hope as a wish. It is something ethereal that we wish upon a star and then continue on controlling our outcome. Or holding steadfast to hope–what really is your version of what you want to see happen–as a symbol of your faith.
This is not hope. Hope involves more of you and your soul (look out vulnerability!) than wishing it up to God. It is easier to wish it to God but a life of hope involves your guttiness.
Here is what I’ve learned from living my life of broken-heartedness. Hope is a combination of:
- setting goals
- having the tenacity and perseverance to pursue them
- believing that worthiness is your birthright.
As Dr. Brene Brown and her research has taught me, hope is Plan B.
Plan A has crushed me at times. But when I can make the decision to make a Plan B I have found hope. Plan B may also crush me but I have chosen to set goals, my tenacity gives me room to change and revise those goals because deep down I know I’m worthy of having something good happen to me.
Yes, I am worthy of something good happening to me. That is the truth. But my Plan A may not be that good thing.
Hanging on to Plan A is where the heart gets crushed. How many times have I prayed this? God it has to happen this way. You told me it would happen this way. Your promises state it will happen this way. Please add in your own sentences to this prayer as I’m sure you’ve prayed this way at least once.
But when I have the bravery to make a Plan B—which still falls into God’s promises because they are wider than my “supposed-to’s”—I have hope.
I have a son in jail awaiting sentencing for 20 to 30 years. This was not my hope for him. This was not the practical plan we had given him to live a normal life. His plan though was to recidivate because (as of now) he is more comfortable being incarcerated and is more confident that God will use him behind bars. What???
If I live in the failure of Plan A I’m going to continue to be crushed and most-likely will fill myself with self-doubt and “where did I go wrong?” thoughts. I have got to find a Plan B through this. In my mind right now Plan B sounds like 20+ years of prison visits (a hard reality I already know from another son) and no grandchildren from this wonderful man. Maybe Plan C will be something entirely different. I choose to keep my goals, be tenacious to the end because I know God loves me and loves my son. I know God hates this pain and will redeem every bit of it.
I may not know what this looks like now. But I trust the Promiser. So I have hope.