It's not like grace.
Grace, for me, often leaves me feeling vulnerable, undeserving, and unworthy. And while I appreciate it, and know without it I'd be hopelessly lost, it still stands out starkly in my mind as a debt that I can't repay. And I don't like that.
Hope though, is an entirely different matter. For me, hope changes every single moment of every single day. With hope (strongly entertwined with faith) there is an excitement about getting up every day. It changes how you deal with things, and how you pray about things. It changes you.
As happy as I am, (unbelievably so) the biggest mar in my smile is a bad attitude about something I'm struggling with and just can't get past. I'm absolutely frustrated with someone about something, yet, can do nothing about it. It's been awfully confusing to be so absolutely happy, then to find yourself in someones presence wanting to kick them in the shin.
I remember back a couple of years ago I was absolutely violently angry at a person. I literally felt they had murdered someone I loved and yet no one else seemed to feel this way. The rage inside me was unbearable, and I didn't see any way past it. During a conversation with someone one day I confessed as much as I could of my anger and the situation and received the best advice. I was told I was sinning and I should stop. It sounds crazy, since I knew this already, but having someone else lay down the fact that I was deliberately rebelling against God with my attitude helped.
Even now as I consider what I just said about how grace makes me feel I realize I have such difficulty extending it so often myself is because I feel whoever is in need of my grace is undeserving, unworthy and hopelessly lost. The very idea intrigues and shames me at the same time.
I've spent time confessing my attitude to God, praying for change and haven't gotten very far yet. But I'm not giving up. There is something amazingly exciting to me about being able to get past this. To be able to love someone I'm so fed up with. To have my grace be, well, more like God's.
At least that's what I hope.