The Power of HOPE
As you know, the name of my website is “hopeforyourfamily.com.” My username on a number of different online accounts and communities is “hopemonger.” Get an email from me, and you are likely to read the closing line, “With Hope, – Roger.” So, why all this focus on “hope?” Because it is one of the most powerful healing forces in the universe!
According to Paul in 1 Corinthians 13 (commonly known as “the love chapter”), “Now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” While love is the greatest of these (the Bible even says “God is love.”), and faith is hugely important, both seem to receive plenty of attention in our culture. We hear about love all the time, even though some of the common notions of love are pretty screwy. Faith, although frequently discussed with closedmindedness or open animosity, remains a popular topic in the public forum. But hope…seems we don’t hear much about hope these days.
In fact, for all the advancing technology and great wealth of America today, many people seem to be growing more and more discouraged and hopeless. (I will resist the temptation to launch into a discouraging list of social and health statistics at this point.) The reason I do what I do for a living is because I DO have hope for people. I believe individuals, couples, and families can make it through horrible problems, as long as they can envision a better life on the other side. This is the essence of hope. It is not just believing things will get better. It is seeing in your mind and heart what that better life will actually look like. It is focusing more on the solution than on the problem. It is having such a determination that a better life is attainable that you set about doing what you must to get there, because you KNOW you will get there. That is hope. And that is the power to change, grow, and overcome anything!
In my professional work as a marriage and family therapist, my first great challenge with many clients is to help them begin to envision the details of a better life. This is the challenge of instilling hope. I have seen people who seemingly have all the right pieces to a great life get stuck in misery…because they have lost hope. I have seen people who have endured breathtaking hardships and suffering almost beyond comprehension who begin to thrive again and live a joyful, fulfilling life…because they have found hope. I believe God always has hope for us, and He sees our failures and shortcomings and obstacles like no one else. If God holds hope for each of us to overcome the worst in life, then as His follower and servant, I’ve got to follow His example and offer that hope to others.
Beyond my professional training, academics, and experience, I believe there is a God-given gift within me that allows me to guide people into healthier lives and relationships. It is the gift of finding hope. If you find yourself struggling, hurting, and wondering how you will ever overcome your problems…If you have tried everything you can think of, and things just seem worse than ever…If you once had hope, but the months or years of disappointment and heartache have stripped it away…Let me share with you the gift of hope. And in finding hope, I believe you will find healing and joy and fulfillment.
Give me a call at 225-387-2287 if you would like to schedule a time to come and speak with me personally to begin your journey toward hope and healing. Or email me at Roger@hopeforyourfamily.com if you would like a brief consultation as to some possible resources or considerations in choosing a direction.
A final illustration of hope: One of my all-time favorite movie scenes comes from “The Shawshank Redemption,” a film based on a short story by Stephen King (far away from his typical psycho-horror genre). The inspirational figure in the story, Andy, is explaining to his buddies around the prison cafeteria table how he made it through a week in “the hole” (solitary confinement). He offers a stirring explanation of the power of hope, saying that no can take that away from you, even in prison. As you listen to his convicting words, you realize he is not just talking about some vague desire for things to improve, or even a desperate notion that he might be set free. He is talking about taking the joys and sweet freedom of the better life to come, and bringing them right into his life as a prisoner today. He is talking about seeing that better life so clearly, that he knows it will happen, and he can actually enjoy it now…despite the bars and concrete and guards that make up his present surroundings. As the rest of the dramatic story unfolds toward its powerful conclusion, the seeds of hope planted by Andy produce an unexpected harvest in his life, his best friend’s life, and in the lives of his fellow convicts. In fact, the film gets its name from the way in which Andy’s hopeful spirit serves to set free the “institutionalized” spirit of his best friend, “Red.” (Red explains being institutionalized as getting to a point where you have lived the prison life so long, you not only get used to it, but you get comfortable and dependent on it – even though it is the locked-up life of a prisoner.) This film contains rough language, rough violence, and painful depictions of rape within the prison, so don’t watch it with your kids. However, I wholeheartedly recommend this film as one of the greatest screen illustrations of the power of hope to change our lives and set us free.
With Hope, – Roger