Someone told me recently, “I liked your recent entry about faith. I wish I had faith like you.” I said “Faith isn’t usually the issue. I think what you’re talking about is your lack of Hope.”
I get this from this simple definition I have adopted:
Faith is being sure of what I hope for,
Certain of what I don’t see.
You may have never thought of it this way, but Faith and Hope need not be proportional. If a grain of Faith the size of a mustard seed can move a mountain, I’m positive that you and I already possess this measure of Faith.
As I see it, what’s missing isn’t Faith. It’s Hope.
That’s why I describe my book as a Story of Hope Amid Severe Loss. Hope got it all started. Hope dreamed it. Hope sustained it and Hope pulls me through my hardships of late. This was the constant thought that kept me writing amid self doubt. I kept repeating, “I hope this work will matter to someone. I hope it will lift somebody out of their hopeless situation.”
My Hope knew where it wanted to go. Faith shoved me out the door.
I’m flush in Hope now, and I plan to dump as much of it out on anyone who will listen and receive.
I write knowing I’m in the middle of a story. It’s not even close to being finished. But I take the risk to put my thoughts in cyberspace because your story isn’t complete either. You’re also in the process of wondering if you can Hope or not.
- You’re in a relationship that you’re settling for. It’s not driven by Hope. It just feels better than the thought of being alone.
- You’re stuck in a shitty job. It feels hopeless. But at least it’s a paycheck and they provide healthcare.
- You’re getting older, feeling the limitations of an aging body. The Hope of anything being better sounds foolish.
- You’re 60 and have no retirement savings. This wasn’t the way you planned it. Where’s the Hope now?
These aren’t theoretical situations. I’ve been there. And how often do I combat my hopelessness with a salvo of defensiveness?
- “Nobody understands.”
- “My situation is different.”
- “That’s nice for you, but I live in the real world.”
- “Hope doesn’t work that way.”
Faith will see to it that I get what I want, regardless of how great or small. If I merely don’t want to be alone, Faith will obtain that kind of relationship for me. Faith won’t find me a deep intimate connection unless Hope desires it. Faith will take me as far as my Hope wants it to.
Faith will keep me in my shitty job if that’s what I hope for. Faith will get me up and out the door every morning to collect my paycheck. But Faith won’t go beyond my Hope to seek out anything better.
Faith always likes Hope to take the lead.
Faith will pack up the wagon and drive it wherever Hope says to go. It’s not an easy path to travel, at least not in my experience. Hope will lead through valleys as well as peaks and soaring vistas. Faith might walk for years before even getting a glimpse of what Hope is talking about. But Faith is being sure of what I don’t see.
On another note. I received word that all tests from my cardiologist were negative. Everything showed a normal functioning heart. The only thing abnormal was the episode that Sunday night. I’m feeling right and continue carry on. Thank you to so many of you who reached out once you heard of my news. That means a lot.