I hope for so many things.
I hope the weather will be perfect for my child’s birthday party.
I hope NCIS will never go off the air.
I hope the cheesecake I had for dessert will go to fuel my brain instead of finding its way to my hips.
I have no reason to believe any of these things will happen the way I want them to.
But I still hope.
We have more serious hopes. We hope our parents live forever and our children make us proud. And whenever a baby is expected, whether that child is yours, your grandchild, your friend’s first or seventh, there is a universal hope for wellness. We hear it all the time. “I don’t care if it’s a boy or a girl. Just so long as they’re healthy.”
But sometimes . . . All the hoping in the world won’t change reality.
For me, it started with an early delivery. It progressed to a glimpse of a tiny body being whisked away. And not hearing any crying.
In the almost nine years since, I’ve learned a few things about hope.
I don’t hope for valedictorian honors, great big weddings, or grandchildren with her smile.
I hope we’ll be able to have a conversation. I hope she’ll have true friends. I hope she’s happy.
But most of all, I hope she changes the world.
I’ve learned that there are two kinds of hope. There’s the word “hope” that we throw around in everyday language - it’s more like a wish.
Then there’s Biblical hope. The word translated “hope” in the Bible has nothing to do with wishes and dreams. Biblical hope has everything to do with certainty. When the Bible talks about hope, it’s referring to things that will happen. No doubt. No maybe.
And it’s that kind of hope I’m talking about when I say I hope Emma changes the world. Maybe that sounds audacious to you. Maybe it is.
But I serve an audacious God.
The kind of God who, every now and then, takes a little bit longer as he knits a baby together in the womb. He tweaks the cells and creates a child unlike any other.
What we call a syndrome, God calls a plan.
Would her life—and mine—have been easier if her DNA looked like everyone else’s? Probably. But would it have been as rich? Would it have been so full of grace? Would it have pulled me to my knees in prayer and lifted my hands to the heavens in praise? I don’t think so.
I have hope—Biblical hope—that Emma is here for a reason. Her life has a meaning that transcends her ability to tell me about her day or do long division.
Believe me, there are days when I forget. Days when I’m frustrated. Days when I ask God why. On those days, God gently reminds me that He is the God of Hope. That He has “a hope and a future” for Emma—and for me—that is beyond anything I can imagine.
Audacious hope isn't something I can self-generate.
I can't talk myself into it. But I can run to the God of Hope and ask Him to provide it.
He can. He does.
He can do it for you, too.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope." Rom 15:13 (ESV)
Lynn Huggins Blackburn has been telling herself stories since she was five and finally started writing them down. She blogs about faith, family, and her writing journey on her blog Out of the Boat. Lynn is a member of the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild and the Upstate Fellowship of Christian Writers. She lives in South Carolina where she hangs out with three lively children, one fabulous man, and a cast of imaginary characters who find their way onto the pages of her still unpublished novels. She drinks a lot of coffee.