I often find inspiration from unexpected people, places, and even objects.
You know, like froyo spoons.
I love froyo. In fact, I consider myself a froyo connoisseur (yes, I have become that much of an expert on all of the best places and what all they have to offer—taste, texture, flavors, toppings, atmosphere, etc.). My absolute favorite place is still in the DF-Dubs area, but I have found a handful of places out here that I frequent.
One that I go to sometimes near work is Yogurtland, which is a popular chain that exists here and in Texas. One day when I was eating there recently during my lunch break, I looked down and noticed my spoon had a few words on it that I needed to read in that moment: Hope changes everything.
As I sat there, I started thinking about how sometimes it’s really difficult to find hope within your heart, especially when you feel like there is no hope worth hoping. It’s been the story of my life in terms of guys—I always have hope for my friends and their relationships or them finding their perfect matches, but I never really have hope for myself in that regard. Whenever I’m interested in someone, I assume it’s not going to work out and that I probably shouldn’t get attached to him. And it doesn’t help that none of my crushes have ever panned out and the two times that I’ve actually let those feelings be known and not just sit back and do nothing about them, it’s eventually ended in heartache for me.
But, despite any broken heart that I have to endure for whatever reason, I still need to remember that hope changes everything.
I went for a long walk Sunday after church, and it didn’t end up being the walk I had planned. I normally hike at a canyon I love, but I wanted to try a new area this day. I drove toward what look like mountains, but I’m not sure if they actually are, and I spent longer than I wanted trying to find a place to park to get to where I wanted to go. (Yes, using Google Maps was my first thought, too, but I didn’t like how long homegirl was telling me it would take to get to a certain spot. When I looked on the map, it seemed like I could get there a better way on my feet.)
But Google Maps can make things seem simpler than they are.
I parked at a high school and started walking toward where I thought I could enter the mountainous/hilly area. However, much of it was fenced off and didn’t look very walkable. I know it’s cheesy, but I thought of my yogurt spoon from a few days before and reminded myself to keep the hope alive. After walking for about 20 minutes, I turned on some sketchy street and found a dried-up ravine I could cross to get to an area that had a path. Navigating down the steep slope to the ravine was a bit tricky, and I had a slight concern I was walking straight through poison ivy at one point (it’s fine—I’m pretty sure it wasn’t because I only had a small rash on my arm and minor itchiness later). But I made it to the other side and felt a little accomplished.
I honestly had no idea where I was, but I knew that I needed to do what I was doing—I needed that hike because I needed a small victory. Life is tough sometimes, and we often need those moments that make us remember that we can do the hard things, and we can see our desires come true.
Especially when we let hope change everything.
I eventually turned around because I needed to get home to watch the Cowboys (which didn’t even air out here—I can’t talk about it), and I had a minor concern that a bear would pop out at any moment. I don’t know if bears frequent that area (I’m guessing not at all), but you never know. There were zero humans around, and it’s probably not super safe to continue hiking in an area with no cell phone service, no people, lots of trees and maybe poison ivy, and potential bears.
We aren’t always going to get the things we want in life. I’m pretty sure we’re all living proof of that. Ask anyone you know if he or she has had every single aspect of life go as planned, and I’d bet that the answer is a big NO. But it doesn’t mean you can’t hope for the things your heart wants.
I know all too well that Proverbs 13:12 is correct: “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life.” It hurts when we don’t get what we want—when the cancer isn’t cured, and you lose someone you love; when the job you applied for doesn’t work out; when the guy you poured your heart out to walks away and lets it break into thousands of tiny pieces; when your team is one pitch away from the World Series and blows it. Whatever it is, we’ve likely all been there at some point.
But what about all of the great things that actually do work out? Would they ever have happened without hope? My friend who wasn’t supposed to be able to have kids now has two beautiful children—because hope changes everything. Multiple people I know have survived truly tough battles with cancer that even the doctors didn’t think they’d make it through—because hope changes everything. My sister found a man better than any guy she’d ever met and now gets to spend the rest of her life with him—because hope changes everything. I once sat through one of the Twilight movies for a grad school project and lived to see another day—because hope changes everything.
My good friend Michelle recently reminded me that hope is actually “confident expectation,” and I like that definition. You truly believe something will happen, and you don’t need other people or outside factors trying to convince you otherwise. You might be wrong, but you might be right. Either way, it’s good to believe in the things you’re working for or waiting for to happen. If you don’t believe, what’s the point?
There are certainly going to be letdowns in life. Your hope may be deferred, or your dreams may be fulfilled. Life can be pretty unpredictable, but it’s also short, and you only get one—which is why it’s so important to dream big and let every ounce of hope in your heart help to carry those dreams.
Because hope changes everything.