Recently I have been inspired by all of the lovely typography people on Instagram who share beautiful hand drawn images of inspiring/funny/random words that they have written or painted onto crisp sheets of paper.
Since I was a little girl I have always loved pretty stationery, nice pens and beautiful writing and my ten year old self even did a calligraphy course one school holidays. I think as a result of this life-long love I find these beautiful hand drawn photos such a highlight of my Instagram scrolling and I always pause to look at them and wonder how they have been crafted.
So, last weekend, in a fit of enthusiasm and a desire to be like these Instagrammers, I decided to buy myself a sketch pad and fine liner pen and have a go myself. When I buy nice craft supplies I often will hold back on using them, rather preferring to save them for when I have something truly special or ‘worthy’ to create, but this time I challenged myself just to go for it and get practising!
That evening I was sitting chatting to Joel when these two words popped into my head – “Hope Always” so I quickly jumped up and did this little doodle.
As I did it I started to think about these words…
They can mean many things.
These words are a sort of motto of one of the breast cancer chat groups to which I belong. This particular group is for women with the specific strand of breast cancer that I had. Although it is a small group, as this type of breast cancer is so rare, it is also a group where lots of the women walk a very hard path due to the aggressive and unpredictable nature of the disease.
I love that this is the motto of the group and that despite all of the challenges that members face that there is this thread of hope that runs beneath it all. I love that women often finish their messages of encouragement to one another with the words, “Hope always” and these words always resonate somewhere deep within my soul.
I was thinking a bit more about these words yesterday and the tiny phrase of scripture, which is part of a much larger and great section in Romans 5 sprung to mind:
Hope does not disappoint
Another translation says, “Hope does not put us to shame”
I know in my own life that sometimes it can be so hard to be hopeful. When our hopes are repeatedly dashed, when our dreams only seem to get further away rather than closer, when we see others doing or being what we so desperately hope for ourselves, it can be hard to keep moving forward, to keep hoping.
Because hope is risky.
Allowing ourselves to hope opens us up to disappointment. It opens us up to pain and the possibility that our hopes will never be fulfilled in the way we dream. And that is hard.
But then, what is a life without hope? It is surely a very dark place.
I believe that life is so much sweeter with hope in it. In spite of the vulnerability it creates or perhaps because of it, I’m not sure. But I do know this, a place of hope is a good place to be.
I think the writer of Romans knew what he was talking about when he said that hope does not disappoint. He was talking about the one sure hope that is found even in the face of suffering in the love of Jesus and salvation through Him. This is a hope that we can cling to even when everything else seems to be so unsure. It is the sweetest hope of all and surely will never disappoint.
Because, in Him, we are never abandoned.