How to Have Hope Without Giving in to Fear

Sometimes I find myself in a desperate kind of wrestle to have hope.

I’m hoping for certain things to happen in my life.  Certain success, certain acceptance, certain love.  But they are slow in coming, and I begin to fear they will never come at all.  Questions of what I can do better, regrets that things aren’t different and nagging thoughts that I just don’t have what it takes to do this flood my mind and sink my spirits.

My logical response, of course, is to wrap my arms tightly around my hopes.  To bring them in nice and snug.

Next thing I know, my legs have come to the aid of my arms, and now I am fully committed to this bear hug of hope.

So here we all are.  Me.  My hopes.  My dreams.   Stuck together like glue.

Tangled up so bad none of us are going anywhere.

And that’s just it.  None of us are going anywhere.  

I’m too busy clinging and clutching that I don’t realize I’m squeezing the life right out of them.  And they are so smothered that they have no room to grow or to take flight.

To brighten or evolve and have hope.

Hope can be a beautiful thing.  But when mixed with fear, hope has the potential to twist into something ugly.  It can become obsessive and possessive and controlling.

Everyone always says, “Don’t lose hope.”  But what I desperately need alongside of hope, and what I cannot afford to lose, is trust.

A trust that there is something greater that rises above the roar and static of this life and all its hopes.  A trust in the God I follow, that He knows well how to take care of and guide my hopes.

I need this kind of trust to mingle in with my hope because hope doesn’t always turn out the way I want it to.  My hopes may not turn out at all. And I don’t want to crumble if they don’t.

Trust safely removes my hopes from the reach of my crushing fingers and takes them outside where there is plenty of room to fly.

Trust relaxes my arms so that they can instead work toward achieving instead of stifling.

Trust gives me the freedom to dream as big as I want and the security to be okay if reality turns out to be something different or something smaller.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately, and I’ll admit, I’m really struggling with being able to trust as I hope.

It’s so hard to do.  And I want things so badly to turn out how I hope.  I have hope this little blog of mine will one day be much bigger.  I have hope I can learn to be confident in this being a stay-at-home mom thing.  I have hope my daughter will grow up knowing and loving God.  I hope we can save enough money to go on a nice, long vacation sometime soon (hopefully really soon).  And eventually, I hope to actually have green grass in our backyard.

Some hopes are loftier than others.

I know it’s good to have hope.  It gives us vision and motivation and something to work hard for.  I also know that not all hopes come to fruition.  But with trust, I won’t lose to fear all of the joy and contentment that can be had along this journey, no matter what happens.

If I can learn to let it, trust has the power to change my relationship with hope from an awkward, controlling bear hug into a sweet embrace.

“…but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not be faint.” – Isaiah 40:31


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Sara Smith
Sara is in constant need of grace as she stumbles through the wonderful yet frazzling adventure of being a mom to her delightfully feisty baby girl. She's married to an adventurous officer of the law, loves Jesus and can't say no to sugar. She writes about motherhood, marriage and faith at Feathers & Roots(http://www.feathersandroots.net). You can also follow her on Instagram at @sarasmith1021.