What does that word mean to you?
In some sort of funny word association game, the first thing that comes to mind is a character from thirtysomething. Which is weird because I haven't really seen that show all that much. (Though I Netflixed the first season now that it just became available because, well, I am Thirty-something.)
I also think of my friend Stephanie. She has three boys and just found out she is expecting a girl! They are naming her Hope. Click here to see the fun way she announced it to all us stalkers.
I also think of things I flippantly hope for. Here is a random list:
Things I Hope For
1. I hope Andrew doesn't cry when I drop him off at preschool.
2. I hope I don't gain too much weight during my pregnancy.
3. I hope my DVR can keep up with my demands.
4. I hope Matthew doesn't have to work late tonight.
5. I hope my neighbors are happy that I finally weeded my flower bed. (Only took me about six hours.)
6. I hope we are able to avoid getting really sick this winter.
7. I hope my crockpot potatoes are ready soon.
8. I hope I don't misspell anything in this post.
9. I hope we have some great fall weather this year.
10. I hope I get an iPod for Christmas.
But in all seriousness (even though I'm serious that I'd like an iPod...hint, hint, Mom....), in thinking about the word hope, I looked its definition up online. I picked out three definitions I'd like to share and discuss.
hope (n) -- the feeling that what is wanted can be had or events will turn out for the best
hope (v) -- to look forward to with desire and reasonable confidence
hope (v) -- to believe, desire, or trust
I think you have to consider what or whom your trust is in. When I was in the seventh grade, I really hoped that I would get tickets to the NKOTB concert for Christmas. I had a feeling that what I wanted could be had. I looked forward to it with desire and reasonable confidence. I desired the tickets and trusted that my mom would get them. My hope was in my mom. I wasn't certain I would get them, but I hoped I would.
And I did.
We rocked it out at that concert in March of 1990. We were hangin' tough.
I think that when things go well, it is easy to hope. When you generally get what you want for most of your life (barring a few minor disappointments), hoping is something that you take for granted.
Here I am on the morning of April 24, 2008. I hoped that I would have a healthy baby that day.
Here I am holding Benjamin almost an hour after he was born. I was blissfully ignorant of what was to come. You see, I had put my hope in my own desires. In looking at that first definition, I really think I wasn't hoping at all. I was assuming that things would turn out for the best. But whose best? My best. The "best" that I thought was best for me.
But as you know by now, God had other plans. God's "best" meant a new life for me. A life that at first just seemed full of new worries, doctor's visits, crushed dreams, and this child who was not what I had hoped for.
In October of last year, a day or so after his open-heart surgery I hoped I would see Benjamin's smile soon. It was so hard to see this...
And then I did.
After his intestinal surgery in January, I hoped he would soon learn how to sit on his own. Then on February 10, I literally walked into the living room and saw this:
And it was about that time that God changed my heart. He showed me that hoping in Him was far more rewarding than hoping in anything my mortal mind could conceive.
And so I began to hope that I would fall in love with my sweet little Benjamin.
And I did.
Here he is just this morning at Wal*mart. After 16 long months, he can finally sit up in a cart like a champ. You have no idea how nice it was for me. And naturally, I had to snap some pictures.
(I hope he doesn't look too much like Gollum in this picture! LOL)
I know that God is teaching me new things about hope all the time. And He's using Benjamin to do it.
Which is just fine with me.
There couldn't be a cuter teacher.
To read more stories of hope, go to (in)courage or click here.