Does it Hurt to Hope?

hurt to hope

[Guest Post by Kelli McIntosh – When she asked to share about her son Kyle with special needs and why she’s not losing hope, I realized that I haven’t had anyone else share about that topic yet. If you struggle with being a mom or feel like losing hope–you are not alone!]

With the intention of taking my mind off of everything, I settled on the couch for a few minutes to read my current novel.

But as soon as I read what one of the characters in my book was thinking, I found myself lost in thought about Kyle. I realized that the book was not going to take my mind off of anything.

The character was thinking: “It doesn’t hurt to hope.” But he dismissed it, discouraged. “Yeah, it does hurt. Hurts a lot.”

I stopped reading at that point and began thinking of my own journey with Kyle, and all that I have hoped for since we first found out that he had special needs. At first, I wanted to agree with the character in my book.

How many times have I hoped for a miracle for Kyle?
How many times have I hoped that a particular test, diet or therapy would fix everything?
How many times have I hoped that my prayers would take away Kyle’s seizures, his delays, his inability to speak?

It’s been seven years and Kyle still has seizures, delays, and no words, and so my initial thought was, this character is right; it does hurt to hope.  (Don’t lose hope in me Readers…read on…)

I didn’t continue reading my book but instead looked down at the ring finger of my right hand, at the simple silver ring with the word hope inscribed on it. I bought it when Kyle was very young, when all I could cling to was hope. My mind then wandered to how I am literally surrounded by hope. It was my grandmother’s maiden name and because of her, one of my cousin’s middle name is Hope. And when I walk into my mom’s house, everywhere I look I see the word Hope–not only in memory of her mother and grandparents with that last name, but for what the word means.

My Bible’s concordance says hope is to desire something with confident expectation of its fulfillment.

I desire that Kyle be completely healed and I am confident that he will be. I expect it. Of course, I would love for the healing to be today. In fact, I would have loved for the healing to be 7 years ago when I first prayed and hoped for that healing.

But does it hurt to hope?
No, it hasn’t.

It is hope that has kept me in prayer, has kept me positive, and has kept me expectant. No, it’s not the hope that hurts. It’s not getting the outcome we were hoping for; that’s what hurts. So, what am I to hope then, to avoid this hurt? That’s when I began looking at hope from a Biblical perspective and found that I must put my hope in God. That is the hope that does not disappoint.

“And hope does not disappoint us…” (Romans 5:5)

“…those who hope in me will not be disappointed.” (Isaiah 49:23)

And so I have found my focus of hope changing and it has become a lot less complicated. I simply place my hope in God.

And this is the hope that brings me contentment, joy, and encouragement when I’m in the midst of the reality of our situation. This hope gives me strength, drives my faith and keeps me trusting in God.

My hope is in God and I trust Him and His perfect timing for Kyle’s healing. If the healing is an instantaneous miracle, so be it! If it’s a process over time, that’s fine with me, too. If it’s a healing that will be revealed in heaven, I’m okay with that!

I really am. 

I’m not giving up hope or being weak in faith if I declare my contentment with a healing that doesn’t come until heaven. But how can I be content with that?

Because my hope is in God and God’s perspective is different than mine. Isaiah 55:8 says, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways.” In II Corinthians 12:7-10, Paul asked God three times to take the thorn from his side. We do not know what this thorn may have been but commentaries suggest it was a physical affliction of some kind that hindered his ministry.

I am sure as Paul prayed, he hoped this ailment would be removed. But God did not remove it and instead said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

This is just one example that reminds me that God’s perspective is different than mine. And a few days before Kyle’s 7th Birthday, I listened to our pastor give a sermon on faith, hope, and healing.  One thing he said that stood out to me was this:

“Sometimes the physical healing is not the most important part.”

It may not be His will that Kyle be healed while on earth; I realize that God may have other plans for Kyle’s life. Since my hope is in Him and the purposes and plans that He has for Kyle and not on what I want, I can rest in that hope and trust that the outcome is going to be okay.

Kelli McIntoshKelli McIntosh is a wife and the mother of two children. Her 7-year old son, Kyle, happens to have special needs and as a result, has been on a journey the last 7 years that she never would have imagined.  She blogs at Not Just Anyone in order to share her experiences and how she has learned to accept her son’s diagnosis while still holding on to faith and hope.  She encourages her readers to focus on life circumstances with a positive perspective.

[Photo: photosavvy, Creative Commons]