Where does hope come from? That is the question I’ve been considering today, as we begin the new year. After doing some reading and asking those who are closest to me there seems to be three main responses to this question. Hope either comes from the heart – our emotions, head – through conscious decisions, or faith – belief in a higher power. If I were forced into admitting which of these is my strongest source of hope I would unequivocally say that my faith as a Christian is the main sustenance in my hope for the future.
I would, however, have to place some large conditions on this response. As I approach my 44th birthday I have learned two things about optimism. Yes my faith in God sustains me, but sometimes my head is needed to overcome my heart and vice versa. If you have ever had a season of depression (and most have) you know that emotions cannot be trusted. During these periods our mind must choose to believe the promises provided by our faith, and not have our actions affected by our dark emotions. We actively make a decision, the likes of which are generated in the head, and dive head first into trusting that which we cannot feel nor see. And even as I think this through I can recall plenty of instances where my thinking was poor but my faith was strong, and my heart emotionally responded to this belief and pulled me through times of trial, when all logic defied the positive attitude I exhibited. As such my heart was fueling me and giving me the much needed power boost to endure.
If someone had asked me when I was younger what the source of my hope is, I would have said it was my faith and my faith alone. My faith in God and his will for my life has guided me though some terrible storms. As I look back on these experiences I shudder to think of enduring these trials alone. My hope most definitely finds its strength in God. However, after a few decades of life experiences I have also learned that the head and the heart both strengthen and hold back my faithful walk and hope for my future. They are my hopeful trinity and I have learned when to engage the heart to steer my trust in the unseen, and when to use my logical head to guide me around the storm of emotions that aren’t allowing me to trust my faith.
Where does your hope come from? Are you a head, heart or faith hopeful person? Or do you have another source for your optimism about the future? And lastly, what color most signifies hope to you? For me it is green…
When a plant turns from brown and dead to bright green in the early days of spring I see great hope. Hope for bright strong branches, flowers, and warm summer days to come. Unfortunately, we don’t have a lot of green around us this time of year. But the moss endures…remaining us of the spring that is just around the corner.
Happy New Year to you…and best wishes in establishing high goals and resolutions that fill you with hope as we dive into 2014!