“Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.”

Romans 8:24-25

Yesterday I invited you to share some of the things you are focusing on in your homes, blogs, businesses or relationships. Many of you mentioned both something you hope for and some way it scares you: introverts making plans to open up; writers wanting to write more; mothers longing to release their tight grip of control. Some of you have hope that can’t be articulated with words but you know the familiar simmer of hope and  scary  in your heart.

If you’ve read my book or this blog for any amount of time, then you know that my dad is an alcoholic. He says he drank three quarts of beer a day for fourteen years. It’s important for me to follow that sentence with this one: he has been sober for over twenty years, loves Jesus, and has good sense. But the use and abuse of alcohol is part of our family history, for better or worse.

 It seems to me the people most qualified to talk about hope are the ones who have been hopeless and lived to tell about it. Dad knows hopeless. Yet, he lives. And now he’s telling about it.

Back in October he wrote 31 Days of Scary Hope. Now, he has expanded and refined that series into a free ebook. It’s called Scary Hope: Courage and a kick to hug hope, face fear, and get going. I’ve read it. Twice. Both times, I cried at different parts. Not because it was sad, but because it was true.

Hope, wonderful hope! The bright sun in the morning, the ring of twelve-string guitars, fresh red strawberries, sleeping puppies, giggling babies, inspiring choruses that never end, and the way the air smells giddy on a surprising warm afternoon in March after a long frozen winter. That’s how your dream of fulfilled hope feels, only better. But first, the scary. Do you really want change? You know you have a longing, a hope. Maybe you don’t even know exactly what it looks like. But you yearn and you dream for something beyond your reach. You have the hope, but do you want the change?

Gary Morland, Scary Hope

If you can’t quite articulate your hope yet, might I recommend Scary Hope? Dad is a storyteller, a noticer, and an encourager. His words help me see things. And as a bonus for you who may be or know an alcoholic, you can read the first two chapters of his story, From Beer to Eternity, at the end of Scary Hope.

my Mom and Dad

I’m really excited about this book, not just because of what it says but because of what it represents to me personally. My parents do not come from a long line of believers. They come from brokenness, addiction, and fear. And yet. They put their trust in a God who takes great delight in making beauty out of ash, so now we have a new heritage as a family. God is doing a new thing and because of this scary hope, I have a different and redeemed story to hand to my children and to my grandchildren. And so can you.

It takes just a few seconds to download the PDF of Scary Hope for free and read it on your computer. It may be about an hour to read. I just realized I’ve called him Dad this whole post. His name is Gary and you can read his blog or follow him on twitter @garedog919. And also? How cool is it that my dad, my sister and I have blogs? Useless trivia – which one of us do you think was the first to start one?