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The Power of Hope
When we were newly dating, Krista went away for a few days to a teachers’ conference. We didn’t have a way to stay in touch during this time. I was feeling insecure in our relationship—mostly because of this nagging feeling that my previous romantic relationships had failed “once she got to know the real me.” That wasn’t true, by the way, but I felt like it was. And I was convinced that when Krista got back from the conference, she was going to break up with me.
What I didn’t recognize at the time was that this revealed an issue with me, not an issue with Krista. What it boiled down to, honestly, was the belief that she didn’t actually love me. Love would stick with me even if it discovered something in me that needed some work. But I didn’t have faith in her love.
What Is Hope?
Hope is a type of faith. Faith is the belief that something works the way it’s intended to, or that something or someone is trustworthy. I have faith that a chair will hold me when I sit down in it. Faith tells me that when Krista says, “I love you,” she knows what that means and says it with good intentions.
Hope is faith extended into the future. Hope takes what is presently believed in faith (This person loves me.) and says, That will still be true in twenty years. Or tomorrow or next week or even sixty years from now.
Hope Connects the Present to the Future
Hope can be about even better things coming too. If we believe in the transformational ability of love, we can look at our loved ones and see them not just for who they are today, but for who they are becoming. I look at my daughters and see not just the wonderful people they are today, but the incredible potential they have to be astonishing people in the future. Hope doesn’t just think that things will “still be good” one day but that they’re going to get even better.
Hope, in that sense, is a unique and important aspect of love. It connects our present and our future. The inability to predict the future creates a lot of stress, fear, and uncertainty in our lives. Hope alleviates that. Hope comforts us. Hope reminds us how strong love is, and that it will overcome barriers that arise in our future.
The Effect of Love on the Future
Hope is an act of future certainty based in what we know to be true today. And, sometimes, what has been proven to be true in the past. When we look back on the effect of love in our relationships in the past, we become more certain of love’s continued effect into the future. Love connects the past to the present, the present to the future.
Given what we’ve learned about hope, what would a hopeful person look and sound like?
Take some time privately to make a list of your five deepest fears in relationships. These can be specific to an individual relationship (like mine with Krista when we were dating) or a broad generality. How could the power of hope transform these fears?
Tomorrow, we’ll learn about how to confront pride, an enemy of love. I am so glad we are doing this journey together!
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