Hope and Doubt

Sometimes when I make things, I try to tell a story. Other times, I am trying to show a familiar idea from a completely new perspective. In the piece “Hope and Doubt” I am trying to show an emotion…create a feeling…take the viewer to a place in their heart that maybe they have been before.

I am generally a “glass half full” kind of person. I do have skeptical thoughts about people and situations, but I generally act in hopeful ways. There is a path forward for everyone. I believe that. And for me, moving forward is moving towards God. There are no material promises in that. But what there is, is peace.

Sometimes doubt creeps in like a wave and washes over me, breaking apart my hope. Doubt reminds me of all the times that people have let me down before, and tells me that this time will be no different. Doubt overwhelms me with my own inadequacies, and paralyzes me with indecision. Doubt whispers to me that perhaps God is not really there, not really listening, not really caring.

For me, hope seems to be able to bounce back from the bar-age of doubt waves. I eventually find my feet and am able to stand. The more I practice getting back up, the easier it is to do. However, hope is a very vulnerable place to be. Hope is risky. Hope makes you take a chance at getting hurt, or being wrong, or letting go of someone or something that you have been holding on to. Hope requires you to believe in things outside of yourself and surrender people and situations to God that you really couldn’t control anyway. Hope is not blind, it chooses to trust. Trust in God and trust in people. And to trust that God loves people and that sometimes the path to move closer to Him is hard and potentially painful. Hope requires a soft, malleable, teachable heart. A friend once told me that trust is a more intimate expression than love.

These two ideas of trust and hope are becoming intertwined for me. And they are definitely a choice that I make. Almost like an act of defiance towards doubt and  this fallen world, I am choosing to take the next step that will bring me closer to my Creator. Choosing to stand in the light and see what is there…beautiful and ugly…and trust that God loves all of me and will not leave me. And choosing to want that for the people around me as well.

In The Magician’s Nephew (from the Chronicles of Narnia) C.S. Lewis says, “What you see and hear depends a great deal on where you are standing. ” I want to be standing closer to God, that’s where the hope is. And I want you to be there with me.

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Jennifer Chetelat

I am a potter, gallery curator, wife, and mother of two adultish people. I write about life and faith and learning.

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