The past few years I've begun to notice that I'm a really intense hope junkie. I need to know that something can grow, change, shift, or become better in some way for me to function well within it. Those closest to me know that while I'm not some kind of crazy positive sing songy gal, I am an extreme optimist and I like to hope for the best possible outcome until the last possible moment. I think we all know a stereotypical person who "hopes for the best" because maybe they haven't had a whole lot of things not go their way. Maybe they refuse to be realists because it would make them face facts that pain, failure, sickness, and death are there & they can't control what will happen to them. I think my optimism is born out of something different though and it is mostly from seeing hard and pain and seeing God still be good afterwards.
I don't necessarily fear failure in business or finances because I've already failed at business before. We've lived in poverty and collected quarters for bread for our kid's breakfasts. I don't fear pain as much as I used to because I've wept over my own losses and the losses of those that I love. I don't fear embarrassment or letting people down because I have screwed up big before and needed great grace to sustain me. I think I'm a hope junkie because I refuse to stop clinging to the belief that God cares about all of us, and all of these things. I want to hold fast to the hope that He will make a way, He will redeem, He will conquer, and if all else fails - He will be our comfort when the worst of the worst happens.
This season right here - anywhere between the time I wake up on Thanksgiving morning and January 1st of the next year, is my sweet hopeful season. Christmas is coming. People are celebrating. The twinkle lights are out and even though this is a season of materialism and buying and gifts, it's also a season of seeing the really beautiful parts of community blossom and materialize. And if all else fails, for most people, if they go around the table and say what they're thankful for, even if they've had the hardest year of their lives or they're in the middle of a battle with no end - they will find a silver lining. They will cling to hope and look in the face of the unknown and believe the best, if even just for a moment.
For those of us who are in Christ, we know what that is. It isn't hope in humanity or the magic of the season, or the goodwill of man. It's the light of Christ. That He came and He is coming back. That He made things right and is still making them right. It's advent. it's hope.
I am a hope junkie.
And I love this season.