when hope is scary

“I hope you accept confusion, questions, crooked lines, fatigue, fog, loneliness, darkness, rejection, and low self-esteem as part of the journey of hope. These things come and go and have nothing to do with hope; they only have to do with how you feel about hope.”

Gary Morland, Scary Hope

Hope and fear are playing in a constant game of tug-of-war. And all of us live somewhere on the rope. It’s tempting to think that the closer we get to the hope side, the less we’ll be afraid. But everyone knows that when one side starts to win in tug-of-war, the other side just pulls harder. For those of us willing to see, life is never just one thing.

In the winter of 1998 when I met The Man in the seminary cafeteria, hope showed up as the tiniest speck of light. And so the fear stayed equally small. Love wasn’t a threat yet, just an idea.

One year later, in the winter of 1999, love threatened to overwhelm me with dreams and desire and longing. Because now, the guy from the cafeteria was a man I thought I could be with forever. Hope showed up as a brilliant morning sunrise over a sparkling, mirror sea.

But hope didn’t show up alone, because this is war. Fear of rejection, exposure, and change hovered just over my shoulder while I wondered about this man who would later become my husband. Unlike the year before, now love was more than just a possibility. Now, love was a full-out, all-in reality. Hope was bright. And so in turn, fear was heavy. Because now there was much to lose.

Real hope doesn’t show up without real fear. Most of the time, hope is scary.

My dad wrote a short-ish ebook called Scary Hope: Courage and a kick to hug hope, face fear, and get going. I talked about it a while back when it was available as a PDF. Now, Scary Hope has been formatted for Kindle so for 99 cents, you can start reading today. Hope has never been so cheap!

We are made to live life fully awake, to know God and be known by him, to reach down deep into the desires he placed within us and pull out by the handful. But what if that’s selfish? What if I don’t know my desire? What if I wreck it all up? Dad has asked all of those questions and a ton more, has carried hope around his pocket for years because the fear of reaching for it was too intimidating.

But he’s pulling out the hope now. He’s holding it in his hands and putting it down on paper so you can hold it too. The fear is real, but so is the hope. It might be just the word you need to get going.

His Amazon bio may be the best author bio I’ve ever read. Here’s a peek:

“I don’t have any awards, official credentials, or special qualifications. I can be proud or defensive of that, depending on the day. But overall it’s kind of nice being an unschooled, ordinary guy. I’ve always liked the people who follow their passion and make a dent without credentials or permission from the authorities.”

That’s about half of the bio – go to his author page to read the rest. If you download the book (for 99 cents!) you can read it in one sitting, or about an hour.

If you have already read Scary Hope (or if you download it today and read it sometime this weekend) and would be willing to write an honest review on Amazon, let me know you did so in the comments. As a thank you, I’d love to pick five reviewers at random and send you a signed copy of my own book. I’ll list the winners here on Monday, May 7.



  1. Anna says

    I read it a while ago and happily left a review. PS are you a part of the dream your Father talks about to have a house for his family to minister from? It sounds amazing!

  2. says

    I read it in an hour… and for the first time, highlighted on an eBook so I could go back and chew on it. How did he manage to write such an easy to read book with such profound thoughts?

    I posted a review on amazon. Email me at kreidermom {at} yahoo {dot} com if you’d like me to post a review on my blog as well.

    Thanks much for introducing hope this morning!

  3. says

    I love your dad. And I just downloaded the book to my Kindle. Plan to read it in the passenger seat as we drive to Charlotte this weekend. : )

  4. barbara says

    I have Scary Hope on my laptop…I have been so moved by it…first in its entirety…later in bits and pieces…here and there! What a treasure! I plan to put it on my Kindle too!
    P.S. I’m pretty sure you aren’t aware of me…but I have “adopted” your entire family through your writings! I am blessed–thank you so much!

  5. barbara says

    OOPS! I wanted to tell you–“my” word for 2012 is HOPE.

    also…I have shared “Scary Hope” with friends and family.

  6. says

    I’m anxious to read this book. Just bought it for my Kindle and will gladly leave a review.

    My curiosity is piqued — what kind of daddy does Grace for the Good Girl’s author have? Can’t wait to read and find out.

  7. says

    Much hooting, hollering and clapping of hands! Scary Hope is awesome and so is your dad… and so are you…and your sister…and your mom, but anyway.

    I think everyone who has ever dared to dream a dream or even have one fleet through his or her head should read this book! Should be mandatory for all inhabitants of planet earth!

    Can you tell I like it?

  8. says

    I’ve followed your Dad’s blog for a while and ordered the book when he announced it was available. Read it this morning and I just posted a review – – first book review I’ve ever posted! As you put it, the tug-of-war between fear and hope – has made a mess of me lately. His book is fantastic, so easy to read and just filled with everything I needed to hear. I’ll be recommending it to many folks. What a lovely, talented family you all are:)

  9. says

    I just got your dad’s book for my Kindle, plan on reading it next week on the plane when I finally travel to see MY dad :) I’ll be happy to leave him a review too.

  10. says

    I’m sitting here reading Scary Hope on the train after an afternoon in the Big Apple. I plan to leave a review either tonight or tomorrow. :)

  11. Lady M says

    Thank you so much, Emily! I am living in a place of great change, great hope and, thus, great fear at the moment. Your words were exactly what I needed!

  12. says

    Okay…is it totally crazy that I just about cried when I read that having a messy desk area and being a bit (okay…a lot) disorganized does not mean I cannot go for my hope? Seriously. I put the book down, googled those pictures, and felt relief!

    Love this quote…”You can’t be perfect at everything. Stop trying. It’s an excuse to avoid committing to your hope.”

    Wow. Sure called me out with that one! I do tend to look over my life, see all the places I fall short, and decide I really need to get it more together before I pursue the things in my heart.

    Thanks for telling us about your dad’s book. Highlighted 32 passages the first read through. Feel sure I will highlight more the second read through. :)

  13. says

    As I said in the review I just wrote – it’s funny because I was having a really tough conversation with my husband last night about some of the things I want to do but am scared of right now. I downloaded the book a few hours later and it spoke to all the fears I had been raising in that discussion. Really, really enjoyed it!

  14. says

    I’m currently reading Scary Hope, and I love your dad’s heart behind it, Emily. The subtitle alone captured me.

    I keep grabbing quotes from it to include in my review, but then I find that I would be quoting the whole eBook that way. Hmm.

    As someone who is prone to fear, this book inspires my heart and challenges my thinking. As a momma sitting here while her son in the hospital awaiting doctors to help his heart and lungs, I need to read sentences like “Sometimes the most important preparations for the ultimate destination are made in preparing for something else” and “Strength in the Lord your God is no guarantee your hope will be fulfilled. But it is strength for one more step than you think is possible.”

    (My review is going live tomorrow.) Thank you for sharing your dad’s writing with us.

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