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Have you ever been afraid of hope? Afraid that if you try one more time, only to get your hopes dashed again, that it might be too much for you to take?
I never knew this kind of fear until I started submitting manuscripts to publishers and agencies. After revising my novel or picture book stories over and over again, listening to the advice of my very wise first readers, I’d research publishers’ catalogs, particular editors or agents and their likes and dislikes and life experiences, and match them up and send them off. I knew that there was at least a chance that I’d get a request for a full manuscript or some interest from the recipient.
It’s that chance–especially when it seemed like a particularly good match, at least to me–that created that fear of hope. The fear created a gloom over my life that I had to fight, especially when my novel was involved. There just aren’t that many publishers in the Christian publishing world who are open to stories about talking animals! What if I got to the end of my very short list and the answer was a “no” from all of them?
Being hopeful was scary, and sometimes I just wanted the rejection to come so it would put me out of my misery!
Romans 5: 1-5, 8 talks about a different kind of hope–one that doesn’t disappoint us. It says,
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Looking back, I’m beginning to see how God was working, and that I should have trusted him all along. Because he loves me enough to die for me, and that’s a lot.
Have you ever been afraid of hope? God loves you, too!