• Hope Stuart

Hope


I used to hate my name. Crazy as that sounds, it’s true. It started in childhood when we would visit souvenir shops during family vacations. Time after time and trip after trip, I would find my way to the rotating columns that contained name plates in various sizes and shapes. It always ended in the same result… scan to the H’s and there they were… Heather, Heidi, Holly… NO HOPE!


Then, the nicknames… especially the one my mom came up with my Kindergarten year… “Hoper”! That one lasted until middle school, where “Hopper” became the name of the decade (at least it felt like ten years)! In between those memories were the deeper feelings I had about my name. What does a “Hope” even look like? There weren’t too many Hopes around to get a visual. As a matter of fact, the only other Hope I knew in our small (I mean VERY small) town was about 70 years my senior. As lovely as she was, the 80 year old Hope wasn’t enough to give me an indicator on what a person with my name should look, sound or act like…


To me, my name was more like a joke than an inspiration. Hope was always accentuated (with a wink in my direction) when someone used the verb tense of my name… I HOPE we win the game… I HOPE we have nice weather tomorrow… I HOPE we pass our test… you get the idea. It wasn’t until I went through a major career change that I finally felt myself settling into a “hope state of mind”. After being an educator and school administrator for over fifteen years, I gave it all up to focus on my family. I transformed from a principal into a professional organizer. It was during that transition, the concept of hope began to shine through the fog of my past hopelessness. Nothing like taking me over forty years to grow into my name… I guess there’s HOPE for me yet (sorry, couldn’t resist).


What once brought uncertainty now brings inspiration. Hope is a powerful word when the right perspective is applied. My hope journey consists of various detours and paths, but still with forward momentum; bringing me to the present. While unable to pinpoint the beginning, I think I have always been on this journey (and always will be), I am able to reflect on the evolution of HOPE. The Hope GPS (God’s Positioning System) consists of a compass with Jesus as my guiding light. This light has become brighter as my faith has become stronger. As I dove deeper into His Word, through multiple devotionals as my guide, I began to grow closer to God.


I’ve become a better listener to The Holy Spirit, while always striving to be more like Jesus. I see God in the storms; knowing He works ALL things together for good. I trust God’s timing; knowing that coincidences don’t exist, but are divinely inspired. I am NEVER a victim of my circumstances because God allows them in my life to build my faith, while opening doors of opportunity… doors that are beyond my imagination. I see trials as lessons to become a better person; sharing what I’ve learned with others. I view pain as a way of being able to comfort others experiencing pain. I trade my weakness for His strength in order for His glory to shine through me. I surrender it ALL to Him because Jesus meets me in my brokenness. My eternal life has already begun because Jesus is working through me, for God’s glory.


When you focus on the eternal and not the things of this earth, your world is transformed. Hope is the focus on the eternal… what is to come; knowing God owns tomorrow. Hope in Him enables us to know He has got us in the palm of His hands… where we are at peace. Hope knows God has already worked out our problems with his wisdom, power and presence. Hope never fails because God never fails. His plan is the only one that provides peace, power and permanence. Hope is rock-solid faith in knowing you will go through the fire and come out refined like gold. Hope knows YOU are always HIS. No matter what is shutting down… NOTHING can shut Hope down. Hope is an anchor for our soul.


#hopeinthehuddle

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