Mining Your Story to Understand All-In Hope

Good morning from Westminster, MD!

Sometimes mining your own story is the best way to truly understand something. I have found this to be the case with all-in hope.

Earlier this year, I wrote an article about how understanding my own story gave me more hope for others (click here to check it out). This was reinforced while writing my upcoming book, Hope Realized. As I examined my own life in the writing process, I began to better understand the role hope has played in my life and how that translates to bringing hope to others. As I revisited important moments from my past, it also provided me with a much clearer picture of what all-in hope is and the impact it has on a person. Why? Because of the impact it has had on me.

When I was making the transition from elementary school to middle school, my family was also making the transition from one town to another. This meant moving school districts and making new friends, both of which come with their challenges for an awkward preteen boy. Complicating this was the fact that the school district I came from was significantly behind the school district I was entering on a number of subjects. After sending me to testing, my parents decided I would benefit from tutoring in reading and writing, and they knew just the person, my grandmother.

Betty Jean Belt, or Grandmom to me, had been an English teacher for many years, and a was strong woman, up to the task of coaching the preteen punk I was at the time. As you can imagine, I was not excited about spending my afternoons flipping through workbooks and flashcards. That did not discourage my grandmother. She believed in me and my ability to learn and was committed to showing me I should believe in myself. Little did I know at the time, Grandmom has providing me with a large dose of practical hope.

Around the same time, I began to receive drops of spiritual hope in the form of hand-written letters from my grandfather, Don Smith. Grandpa, as I called him, was my mom’s father and had spent many years as a Methodist pastor. He believed in a spiritual hope from a God who loves us and created us on purpose and for a purpose. As I moved closer to adulthood, he made it his mission to ensure I understood this life-changing truth. The letters varied greatly as I grew up, and were occasionally a follow up to a less than intelligent decision I made, but they all had the same aim–to help me understand I was created for something more. This infusion of spiritual hope has played a critical role in my life.

The practical hope provided by my grandmother combined with the spiritual hope provided by the actions of my grandfather has had a profound impact on my life. How do I know? Well, among other things, I, someone who struggled with writing and self-worth, wrote a book about the power of hope to create real change. That is all-in hope. It has the power to rewrite stories and overcome the lie of hopelessness that perpetuates poverty in all of its forms.

Now it is time to look at your story. Where has the combined power of practical and spiritual hope played a role in your life? By discovering the all-in hope in your story, you will gain a better understanding of what it is and why it matters. You may also discover where it has been missing in your life, or the lives of people you care about, providing you with an opportunity to take a step forward.

Would you like a resource to help you take a step forward in making an impact in the lives of others? Click here to sign up to receive 5 Foundational Steps to Make a True Difference in Someone’s Life. When you sign up, you will also receive my newsletter with information on my upcoming book Hope Realized, as well as other resources to help you be a hope bringer.

Remember, no one is truly hopeless.

James Belt

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