I have to tell you about my new friend, Nika Maples. We’ve never met, but that’s just a minor detail. We have prayed for each other, discussed struggles, rejoiced over victories, and cried over losses. She has shared my music, I have shared her God-inspired words. She has written an phenomenal book. I’ve been a part of several book launches now, but her book will forever have a special place in my heart. This launch experience has been like no other. So personal, so beautiful, so inspirational, and one I have enjoyed sharing over the past few weeks. Let me introduce to you, Hunting Hope.
You may have seen various pictures and quotes from the book on my Facebook feed, or even watched the video Daniel and I made of our song, “Hope is Not an Accident”, which was inspired by Hunting Hope. If it sparked even the slightest bit of interest, you have to read the book in its entirety. In a nutshell, Nika explains that hope doesn’t just happen. We can’t ever see the light in the darkness if we haven’t prepared for that moment. Our hope comes from God alone (Psalm 62:5), but if we don’t know Him, how can we expect to see how He’s working in those hard times? If we don’t know God’s character, we look for the reason behind the dark seasons, rather than the result of it. “Maybe it doesn’t matter what causes suffering in our lives near as much as it matters what suffering causes in our lives.” She goes on to say, “Perhaps our best question is not “How could You let this happen to me, Lord? but “How are you using this for me, Lord?””. This kind of mindset doesn’t just happen. You have to look for it- hunt it, if you will. She brilliantly compares hope to exercise. No one can just get up and run a marathon. They have to train. Just like trials, if we aren’t prepared, we won’t make it through. We have to spend time with God every day in the good times, so we can know that dependence in the trials. I’m trying really hard to not quote the entire book for you. I have a ton of highlights!
When Daniel and I struggled through the loss of Hartley, we listened to the song “Spring is Coming” by Steven Curtis Chapman A LOT. We needed to hold on to the promise that our metaphorical winter was not forever. We knew God would bring us through the darkness to a season of newness. Nika talks a lot about seasons. She reminded me that winter is a natural order of life. Winter reminds us that the weather will change, and “the hope of spring sustains us”. (I’m telling you- beautiful writing!)
It was an emotional book for me. I felt like everything I have ever felt in hard, dark times was explained on paper with renewed hope and beauty. I laughed at some of her stories. I threw my fist up in victory at others and rejoiced alongside her triumphs. I held my knotted stomach as I waited for her springtime. I’m just so excited about this book, can you tell??
I know I’ve been mentioning my reading challenge here and there, and this one went under my “Self-Improvement Book” because I honestly feel like a better person after reading it. I was truly just reading this as lagniappe, but I think it fits. If you’re interested in reading Hunting Hope, good news! It released today! It’s on Amazon, Lifeway, and Barnes and Noble. (Lifeway has it for $12.99, which is the cheapest, but I’m not sure about shipping if you’re going the online route.) It is such a good investment. I had a free copy from the launch team-which came signed, in a package that included gold twirly ribbon by the way, and I still bought a hardback version too. It’s that good. Let me know what you think. I can’t wait to call you a fellow Hope Hunter.