Meet Your Hopers

Pssst. Hey… you. Yes, you. So glad you stopped by.

Maybe you know one of us or maybe not, but who are we? Well, we are 7 women that have faced grief in very different stories but the thread that stitches us all together is that by the grace of God we ain’t giving up.

And we don’t want you to give up either.

Every day we are going to explore more of God or the Bible or this world around us, together. We want to hear from you so feel free to leave a comment here or on any of our posts – your heart and God’s hope for it is why we write. 

Your Monday Hoper:
Hello there ya’ll, I’m Kate!

I moved a lot as a kid. A lot. After 7 different schools before 10th grade, these little aubergine-painted piggy toes finally dug deep into the cornfields of the Heartland. My love for the city of Indy borders on obsession, and there’s an open invitation to visit anytime with your name on it!

I felt lost studying Theology at an ultra-conservative university that didn’t know what to do with women who were called to any ministry besides working in the nursery or behind a receptionist’s desk, so after college I packed up my passions and wandered for a few years. It sure was fun as I hustled, bustled, and blossomed in the fashion industry, but the gnaw in my bones for full-time ministry never faded. I’d happily tell you the whole long crazy thing over chai (extra spicy please!) sometime, but the short version is that now I work and live doing the more-than-full-time relational ministry that God wired me for all along!

…but at 34 my ring finger is empty, no toddler calls me Mama, and the dream house is still that – a dream. Three cataclysmic heart-breaks in a row from men who’d promised forever wrecked my everything. The last left me desolate. I had finally “known the one my soul loves” and a couple of years later – I’m going on dates again, but I’m still recovering. I’m also trying to fight being defined by which box I check under Miss / Ms / Mrs, because being an intentional minister of the gospel has nothing to do with whether I’m married or single – but instagram + all the wedding registries + baby shower invitations tacked above my desk sure want me to feel sad & incomplete in this single life.

Life is FULL and GOOD, but it takes a lot of work to wait on redemption, to patch and stitch together a sort-of family out of friends and neighbors, and it takes a lot of work to wait … all while trying to hope. It does not take a lot of work to preach the good news ((says the extrovert)), but it does take a lot of work to believe it. Despair doesn’t go wasted and ‘Hope’ is sometimes my only life-line… it’s also sometimes a filthy four-letter word, but I’m clawing at whatever I can cling to. And I want to help other broken hearts cling too. Including yours. XO.

Your Tuesday Hoper:
natalie new headshot
Hello, readers! My name is Natalie.  I live in the great city of Cincinnati.  In my early twenties, I followed my handsome red-headed best friend from high school to Ohio; nearly a decade into marriage now and we find ourselves rooted in the friendships we’ve found in this city, the family we’ve been building together and the church we call home.

Growing up, I knew that my heart was designed for one primary role somehow and that that role was motherhood.  And it is with great joy that I write to you from this stage of life now.  How true is it though that when we pursue our greatest callings, we also encounter our greatest trials? Building the family we’ve envisioned and prayed for has required us to tap into the deepest depths of hope. It has NOT gone according to our plans. We’ve faced the trials and sacrifice of adoption, the shocking diagnosis and grief of losing a baby to a rare disease, and the daily challenges of living as a mixed-race family in a country STILL experiencing racism.  Bit by bit, God has revealed His plans are far better than ours and bit-by-bit we’ve gathered up the hope we need to just . keep . journeying . towards . Him. 

Along the path towards motherhood, I have gathered a few other passions too.  So nowadays, it you don’t find me with my kids, I’m likely working in a local coffee shop, escaping into the art form of painting, seeking sanity and solitude on a run, or processing life after the locking myself in my corvette minivan and listening to the music of MY choice very loudly.  I don’t have a flashy resume of qualifications to back up being a writer or spiritual leader of any sort.  But I do know that the words, prayers, and love of others have buoyed me through my most difficult times.  My prayer is that this platform for sharing my heart with you is a source of applicable Hope for you and your unique journey.

Your Wednesday Hoper:
Hi friends, I’m Megan. I live outside of Indianapolis with my little family and flock of chickens. My husband and I fell in love with Jesus and each other fourteen years ago while we were college students and celebrated ten years of marriage this year. We have three kiddos. My daughters have party hair, whisper in their bedroom too late into the night, and are trying to figure out who Jesus is in their tiny souls. Our baby boy is just a big old peanut butter pie with dimples. Appetizers and charcuterie are my favorite meal, and I love fresh watercolor and cold brew lattes.

My husband and I lived and started our family in central Japan and had our lives pointed toward a career and raising babies there. They were the best and hardest years. I hope in our restoring God from a place of broken dreams and a season of ashes after returning from overseas living, including postpartum mood disorder. I would never choose those pieces as my story, but God redeems. We now love our work (mostly Him!) gospel sharing with and loving on international students from all over the globe.

Your Thursday Hoper:
jess b

Hi Friends! My name is Jessica, and I reside in the suburbs of Dayton, Ohio. I have been married to my college sweetheart for a decade (because that sounds WAY longer than 10 years), and we currently have three children we love in our home (two biological children and one foster child).

I work part-time as a licensed counselor at a private practice and as I have time and as the Lord leads, I blog. When I’m not loving on my babies and processing the hard and ugly with my clients, I love to read, eat Doritos, be outdoors, drink copious amounts of coffee, cook, cheer for the Pittsburgh Steelers, talk theology, and send random flowers to friends.

For me, writing is a safe space to process and make sense of what the Lord is doing in, around, and sometimes through me. Writing is a place for me to keep my memories, log my journey, and reflect on His everyday presence in my really imperfect life. And lastly, writing is a means to run alongside other believers and encourage them with “ME TOO” sentiments and “HE’S THERE” truths! Because let’s be honest…sometimes HOPE IS HARD.

 Your Friday Hoper:
I am Bri DuPree and I am the Discipleship and Connections Pastor at Glad Tidings Church in Ocoee, FL (near Orlando). I’m a coffee purist (read: coffee snob), avid reader, and lifelong learner.

My life’s vision statement is to help others embrace the love of Jesus. I think that knowing you’re loved and living like you’re loved are the most freeing things we can do for ourselves. Sometimes, hope is hard, and this can be difficult to grasp. But I believe that there’s grace for the process and that God’s not intimidated by the messiness of the journey.

Your Saturday Hoper:
eve headshot

I’m Eve and I live in Indianapolis with my husband Cody and a goofy poodle pup named Reggie. I studied Biology in college with a plan for medical school, but the Lord had a different idea and I did an internship with Cru in New Zealand right after college, followed by short stints in a variety of temporary jobs until I earned my Master’s degree and taught science in an urban high school for six years – it was an adventure and I loved my students fiercely, but I eventually needed to take a step back and breathe. I now work in communications at the church I have loved for the last nine years.

In October of 2016, we lost a baby due to an ectopic pregnancy. That season was full of doctor’s appointments and waiting that ended in a type of grief that neither Cody or I had previously experienced. Since then, we’ve been leaning into the Lord to learn what it looks like to hope in the right things. We haven’t figured it all out, but we’re processing. And, the Lord answered a specific prayer – we’re expecting a little one in January 2018!

Your Sunday Hoper:
My name is Bridget Erin Hogan Hurry and I live in Northern Uganda, Africa. I am a physician who has been sent as a missionary out of Common Ground Christian Church in Indianapolis since 2012 with my one husband (important detail in my polygamous community here) and two awesome kids.

God has challenged me to stop living in response to Satan’s lies and start living out of His fullness and truth alone! Part of that “obedience” was a calling from the LORD to start writing. The battle has been real, however, and I’ve found myself questioning: “Who am I to ask for a captive audience?” “Why waste my time writing when there are more ‘productive things’ I could be doing?” etc. etc.

In early 2017, I lost a very dear friend and it was during this time that was first released and I saw Eve write some posts around the loss of our mutual friend (this man and his family were to move to Uganda with us– before the cancer diagnosis and several other life hurdles they were dealt).  As I told Kate, it has been since this time that I have been intrigued and impressed; I even told my husband at that time, “It would be so cool to write with that community.”

Fast forward a few months to when there was an opportunity to join the writing team for HiH and a reference to Isaiah 61 was made.  I know Scripture is living and active, but it literally caught my breath.  The LORD has powerfully used Isaiah 61 as part of our original call to the mission field and I could share example after example of how He is moving our family through that chapter of scripture, verse by verse, as our time here on the field has evolved and grown.  Needless to say, this chapter of scripture has weaved it’s way deeply into the ethic of who I am and why I am even here in Uganda (when I could be there – in America, with a SuperTarget and fountain soda!)  With the call to obey and write added to the respect and esteem I have for the Hope is Hard community, and then the specific calling to my heart with Isaiah 61, well – I am honored, excited, and ready to join alongside in order to bring Him glory and renown through a new voice! He is able and you are each a chosen, needed, and uniquely beautiful extension of our Heavenly King!

Your Social Media Guru + #1 Fan:
I’m Jenn, a newly single mama of 2 little girls. I have a philosophy of saying YES to almost anything, just to see where the door leads. Because of that, I suppose you could call me an entrepreneur. For the last 4.5 years, I have worked from home. When I left the field of nursing after having my first daughter, I stuck with the health field by means of direct sales.

Being a stay-at-home mama has been one of the most isolating seasons… Running a business through social media gave me a community I was strongly lacking, but then I found myself starved for face-to-face interaction, so I said YES to being a middle school cheer coach in my hometown. [Something else you should know about me, I am obsessed with my tiny little Indiana town!] Striving to be an example  of Christ to those middle school girls is a ministry I take very seriously.

So, 2 babies, coaching, and running a successful business were not enough. And through prayer, God planted a new dream in my heart. Doodling turned to practicing which turned into saying YES to starting a hand-lettering business. God has used my gift to minister to myself and others, and not a moment too soon.

God is currently carrying me through a divorce and proving to me daily that He is my forever partner. His promises are true and they are GOOD. He provides, He protects, He comforts and He CARES. And in a season when I should, by society’s standards, feel the most alone, I am actually growing into more fullness than I’ve ever known.