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Hope Is My Middle Name

We recently released a new podcast called Hope Is My Middle Name, where I get to interview people doing big daring things to make the world better, people who give me reasons to hope. Hope is something I’ve been thinking about for as long as I can remember, partly because Hope is my middle name. 

So before we launched the podcast, I called my dad to ask him how I came to have that name, hoping to understand a little more about this lifelong quest for hope. 

My dad, and Dobby. Photo: Kate Tucker

Here’s my dad: 

“Your coming was a profound change for your mom and me. She had miscarried and we decided then we weren’t even going to consider having children for a few years, because we wanted to be more prepared. 

Once we realized that your mom was with child, this whole part of me that I never even knew existed just started to blossom and grow, and that was the concept of fatherhood. What was happening in my heart was, there was a huge sense of hope. Your coming, your arrival, hoping for that. 

You know, when looked at from a certain perspective, hope could be more important than any word in all of language. I think hope can almost be as important as the word love, because we have to have hope. You may be in a place in your life where you’re not really feeling a lot of love, but boy, to have hope is huge. 

Remember in The Lord of the Rings after Gandalf was caught by the Balrogs and pulled down into the flaming abyss? When the hobbits ended up outside of that cave with Strider the ranger, also known as Aragorn, they were crying and one of them said, ‘We have no hope. Now we have no hope without Gandalf,’ and Aragorn said, ‘Well, we’ll just have to go on without hope.’

I remember reading that, as a 17-year old, and thinking how hard that would be to go on without hope, what a drudgery that could be. So, between 17 and 25, when you were born, the whole concept of hope was very big to me, and I couldn’t imagine a better middle name. 

You were changing the whole dynamic of us as a couple. You were changing the paradigm of our world to become a mother and a father, to be parents and to be blessed enough to bring you into the world. Scripture says the fruit of the womb, being you, the very first one, is God’s reward to a couple and you were a reward to us. So your middle name needed to be as profound as a middle name could be. 

[My dad then explains how silly he thought it would be to name me Katy Love. So it would have to be Hope.]

In First Corinthians 13 Paul said, ‘and now abide these three, faith, hope and love, but the greatest of these is love,’ Okay, that is because God is love, but he is also the God of all hope. I think hope is, because of the darkness of the planet, on a par with love. If you’re not looking at the Godhead, hope is just as important as love on this planet and so therefore, since it [your name] couldn’t be love it needed to be hope. 

And it was hope with a whole lot of joy and gladness because I couldn’t think of a better name, a better middle name. I felt like that became the overarching sense of who we would be as a couple, and as a family. Our first born would have for her middle name, hope, and that would matter for all of us going forward.”


The People Who First Gave Us Hope

I’ve certainly struggled with hope over the years, but I’ve never lost it. I am grateful for the love my parents held for me even before I arrived on the planet. This love gave me hope, quite literally. 

We all have unique relationships with our parents and family; we don’t all have stories of hope when it comes to where we come from. But, there is a deeper love at work, the love that called you into existence with chances so slim, the odds stack up to 2 million people playing with a trillion-sided die and each of them rolling the exact same number. How’s that for some hope? 

This week, as we head into Father’s Day, let’s reach out to those dads, mentors, teachers, friends who have shown us love from the beginning. And if we didn’t get love in the beginning, let’s remember those who first gave us a reason to hope. 

Writing the Book of Hope 

We’ve been writing the Book of Hope together for 24 weeks now, but it’s never too late to join us! Here’s all you need to get started.

Join us every Monday on Instagram Live at 3pm ET and share what’s giving you Reasons to Hope today with the hashtag #reasonstohope