for when you need hope to float up

hope floats
When Sandra Bullock got up to present an award at the Oscars last night, I remembered her words at the very end of Hope Floats when Birdie shares things her mama always used to say.

“Beginnings are scary, endings are usually sad, but it’s the middle that counts the most. You need to remember that when you find yourself at the beginning. Just give hope a chance to float up.”

Sometimes life feels like one long middle – one monotone list of sameness.

But then there are other times, like these days for me, when the middle drops from under my feet and life feels more like a series of endings and beginnings folding over one another.

If you’re standing in the middle, I hope you’ll remember it hasn’t always been this way and one day it won’t be like this again. Collect what you need, be faithful where you are, and remember the sacred gift of ordinary days.

If you’re stepping into a beginning, remember love drives out fear, you are not alone, and courage will grow as you move.

And if you find yourself approaching an ending, looking back over the colorful mess of joy and sorrow that have shaped all the days before,  give yourself permission to grieve your losses, celebrate your loves, and anticipate the start of something new.

Are you in a middle, a beginning, an ending, or some combination of all three?


  1. says

    My endings and beginnings are folding in on one another too. The only word I can think to describe it is ‘bittersweet’–one of the words I live by. Hope brings the sweet to soften the bitter.

  2. says

    Ah. SO good. Simple words, deep truths. For me I’m in all three stages depending on the area. The beginning for living in a new courage to use my voice, the ending of living in fear and safety (although I’ll say that’s more of a daily choice to “end”) and the middle of the “norms” like work, marriage, parenting, etc. Thanks for a great word.

  3. says

    A nice mix of all three.

    How fortunate am I.

    No but really, how fortunate.

    It’s just like you said –> Collect what you need, be faithful where you are, and remember the sacred gift of ordinary days.

    Amen <3

  4. Renee says

    I am in the middle of my husband’s recovery from open heart surgery. He is only 43 so this came as a huge shock to us. Pretty sure I am still in denial, even though I see the huge scar down his chest.

  5. Connie says

    I struggle with endings…fighting often too long and too hard to keep them as a middle. I’m at the beginning of a journey of learning how to let God’s light drive out the darkness of food addiction. I’m 3/4 of the way into my PhD program and feeling a bit weary. I think perhaps a God-itude adjustment is needed! :-)

  6. says

    Grateful to be experiencing all three at once…emerging from a life time of “Good Girl”-ness, embarking on the journey of grace while in the middle of raising three beautiful, unsuspecting teenage daughters. I am thankful for the end of my graceless existence and embracing new found freedom. There has been some grieving over the dead fruit in my life, but as I continue to put one foot in front of the other on this grace path I realize it’s true, God’s mercies are new every day and joy really does come in the morning.

  7. Jayne says

    Thank you for this. We will be moving into our own place this week after living with family for almost three years. Truly bittersweet to leave the safety of family and venture out on our own like we should. Your words comforted me and give me courage! Thank you!

  8. says

    I’m at the beginning of more seriously blogging and courage really is growing as I move. I’m in the middle of toddlerhood and daddy’s grad school which requires “being faithful where I am” and lots of grace above all else. Thank you for the encouragement!

  9. Abby says

    Thanks for this reminder…”Collect what you need, be faithful where you are, remember the sacred gift of ordinary days.” Beautiful words! I’ve been feeling stuck in the middle, longing for the next beginning, rather than being faithful where I am. Thanks you for the encouragement.

  10. says

    I echo Kimberly. It’s “bittersweet” right now–contemplating the baby beginning school in 5 months, contemplating turning 40 in 3 months, contemplating what I’m supposed to “do with my life,” contemplating maybe moving to a different house and leaving behind beloved neighbors and a truckload of nostalgia that spans 7+ years. I used to love change but these days, change just makes me cry. At this point in my own life, beginnings, middles, and ends are a giant stew and I stand at the stove stirring the pot {and crying a few tears into the mix.}

    Thanks for writing this post for people like me.

  11. Becky D says

    I am in the middle of “sameness” and it is hard to sit there and know that it will be different. The pile of paperwork, undone chores, work and all I want to do is stay in bed and wake up to different. But I have to take the actions…it is not going to get different by itself.

  12. Bonnie Jean says

    I am in the midst of all three and it sometimes feels like I am in quicksand… where I wonder if “hope” could float or would it sink too along with me ?

    I am waiting for hope to come… just a whisper of it on the wind. I am waiting for the Lord to help me out of the muck and mire as He has promised to do. It is a desert-like experience though more dark and sad and depressing. It is being in the middle of your life (perhaps… though one never really knows) and realizing you have wasted soooo much time and hardly done anything you had once dreamed of and thought you were meant to do … and you are wondering has time run out for this or that ? or What now Lord ??? or “HELP !!!!”

    It would be nice just to see or hear or feel a little teeny bit of “hope”…

  13. says

    Right now, I am in the middle, but with aging parents, I know I’ll be facing endings all too soon. Thanks for the reminder that love drives out fear and we should treasure each of our days. Blessings!

  14. says

    Hi Emily. I wrote a whole 31 days series about being in the middle space and living and learning and appreciating that…including the surrounding beginnings and endings. Thanks for your reminder to be faithful where you are. I love that.

  15. Ginny says

    How timely. It’s as if God whispered to you that these words would wash over me like ocean waves. Love your writing and devotional videos. Please do more! Thank you for your words and transparency.

  16. says

    Oh my. I forgot about that little gem from Hope Floats. That’s a good wood right there.

    I suppose I’m floating around all three parts, depending on what part of life I’m looking towards. Your words give healing comfort for all stages!

    Have a good evening, friend. xo

  17. Jeannie S says

    Thank you for the reminder of this great message. I love this movie just for this. Without hope (God’s) it would be incredibly harder to get through the endings.

  18. says

    Thank you for this encouragement – I am in the middle, and it does feel drawn out, slow, monotonous, etc at times. As I find myself eager for the end and another beginning, a little voice in the back of my head keeps reminding me of the great lessons learned in the middle – persistence, determination, perseverance, etc. This post was a much-needed reminder to listen to that voice!

  19. Anna Trout says

    This was beautiful and just what I needed but didn’t know it. I am in the beginning of one thing the middle of another and the end of something else. I definitely feel encouraged by your words. Thanks for sharing.

  20. says

    This is both beautiful and encouraging. I’m right there with you, my “endings and beginnings folding over one another.” I’m mostly excited to see where the Lord is leading in this new direction, but in my moments of uncertainty and yes, fear, as an ending is approaching, there is still hope and trust in His faithfulness and goodness and I simply want to know His presence in the now.

  21. says

    Hello! I know this is somewhat off topic but I was wondering which blog platform are you using for this website? I’m getting fed up of WordPress because I’ve had issues with hackers and I’m looking at options for another platform. I would be fantastic if you could point me in the direction of a good platform.

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