Friday, September 29, 2017

Hope Changes Everything by Dawn Kinzer

Hope Changes Everything

Fridays at Seriously Write are devoted to sharing personal journeys to publication and offering encouragement to new and experienced writers. But today, I want to turn the tables and focus on our readers. I’m talking about offering hope.

Almost everything we do in our lives stems from hope.

There wouldn’t be any point to starting a diet if we didn’t have hope it would work and we’d lose weight.

Would we make a trip to the mall to shop for a new outfit if we had no hope of finding something we’d like?

Without any hope of getting a certain job, would we spend time and energy sending a resume and pursuing an interview?

However, it goes much deeper than those things, doesn’t it?

People who have hope have a reason to get up in the morning. They believe during challenging times, painful circumstances will change. Their finances will turn around, the sick will feel better, and broken relationships will be healed.

Most recently, thousands had their lives turned upside down by Hurricane Harvey. The devastation we witnessed on the news from our comfortable living rooms was difficult to watch. The number of people who were reaching out to help, risking their own safety, humbled me. It also made me feel guilty for having grumbled about the ongoing hot temperatures and draught that Seattle experienced over the summer.

When people have hope, they expect a rainbow to someday follow the storm.

But what happens when no matter how hard they try, things still don’t go right? When they’re hit with one horrible blow after another, and there just doesn’t seem to be a way out of their hurtful or messy situation?

They lose heart. They give up. Without hope, people die. If not physically, they die inside.

As Christians, we know all about hope. It’s what helps us deal with dark days, insurmountable obstacles, and heartbreak. We have hope because we know what we experience on earth is temporary. We know there is more beyond our life here.

It may not take much to restore a desire in someone to keep going, to try again. But who’s going to light that spark?

Perhaps it means providing physical needs—funds, items for survival, shelter, or even opportunities that will help them move forward. But, hope can even be ignited by something as simple as an encouraging note, an offered prayer, or a shared cup of coffee and a listening ear.

As Christian writers, I believe we have the ability—and maybe even the responsibility—to inspire hope with our written words.

Will you be someone who kindles hope in those around you?

Remember . . . hope changes everything.

How can you offer hope to someone this week?

In 1904, Hope Andrews, an aspiring fashion designer, struggles with leaving New York City. But with no job, her parents leaving the country, and an abusive ex-fiancĂ© refusing to accept their broken engagement, Hope doesn’t have much choice but to give in to her parents’ wishes that she move far away and live with her cousin indefinitely.

Talented Benjamin Greene can’t deny his passion for painting, but guilt over a painful incident in his past keeps him from sharing his gift. Instead, he devotes much of his days to helping his younger sibling rebuild a farm inherited from a great-uncle. Only his brother is aware that Ben spends his spare time in a studio on their property.

In the small rural town of Riverton, Wisconsin, Hope and Ben can’t help but be thrown together. But as feelings for each other deepen, tension thickens over how talent should be used. Their mutual passion for art brings them together, but will it also drive them apart?

Dawn Kinzer is a freelance editor, and her own work has been published in various devotionals and magazines. She co-hosts and writes for Seriously Write. Her personal blog, The Garden of Dreams, focuses on encouraging women to find purpose and pursue their dreams in the different seasons of their lives. Sarah’s Smile is the first book in her historical romance series The Daughters of Riverton, and Hope’s Design is the second. Rebecca’s Song will be released in 2018.

A mother and grandmother, Dawn lives with her husband in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Favorite things include dark chocolate, good wine, strong coffee, the mountains, family time, and Masterpiece Theatre.

You can connect and learn more about Dawn and her work by visiting these online sites: Author Website, Dawn’s Blog, Goodreads, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.

Sign up on her website to receive her newsletter, and you’ll receive Dawn’s short story, Maggie’s Miracle (PDF format) as a gift.