Sue Mocker’s new book The Hope Factor is not a feel-good book, at least not at first. This is no head in the clouds, wishful thinking, unrealistic positive attitude book. Instead, Sue knows the difficulties of life. In fact, the book begins with the shocking revelation made by her husband that he’s in love with another woman. How more depressing and upsetting can life get?
But hold on. I’m not being critical. I say all this to let readers know that Sue is a woman who understands how hard life can be, yet she hangs onto hope regardless. In fact, she’s spent a lot of time turning the abstract concept of hope into a practical process that she calls Hope Pie. Through that process she teaches us to put the pie pieces together so we can find the fruit of the pie, the hope that always exists when we look for it; and when we seek, we will find.
Sue knows all about seeking and the biblical source behind that reference. She knows the Bible and the hope it can give, and more importantly, she knows the great comfort and hope that can be found in a relationship with God, a relationship she has developed over her lifetime. It wasn’t always a good relationship; at one point she believed God might be out to punish her. But as she studied the Bible and went to church, she came to realize God is not only on her side but there to support her in sharing her talents, the foremost of which is spreading her gift of hope to others.
In The Hope Factor, Sue walks us through the different slices of the pie we need to bring together to achieve hope. Those slices are: Seeking, Believing, Accepting, Knowing, and Embracing. Each slice is the topic of an individual chapter. In addition, she ends each chapter with “A Treasure and a Pearl,” a concept from the Bible of how the Lord sees us. After all the difficulties of her first marriage, Sue found hope in the treasure and pearl concept. She tells us, “I made a decision at that very moment that if I were ever going to be with another man, I wanted to be treated like a treasure and a pearl. Without even knowing what that would feel like, I decided it was the only option.” She then explains this concept’s origin in the Bible, by saying, “Matthew 13:44-46 explains that God’s kingdom is like finding a hidden treasure or a pearl of great value. This treasure is connected to our hearts, the place of desire and longing. I asked God with all of my heart to send someone to love me who could treat me like a hidden treasure and value me like a great pearl.”
Imagine Sue’s surprise when one day in church this passage was read and the man she was interested in leaned over and told her that he wanted to treat her exactly that way. If that isn’t proof hope can be fulfilled, I don’t what is.
Another aspect of the book I really appreciated was Sue’s honesty throughout. She isn’t afraid to tell us about the different forms of abuse she experienced throughout her life or how they affected her self-esteem. Part of finding hope for Sue was learning to let go of her past by forgiving those who had hurt her, and she had a lot to forgive. But with God’s help, she was able to forgive. Once she achieved that, she could let go of her past and discover her self-worth, which then led to her ability to accept God’s mission for her life.
Trusting in God in turn meant that Sue had to realize she was so special that God had a greater purpose for her, including being told to leave her day job to be a public speaker and inspire others. If that weren’t enough, she also discovered that God wanted her to write this book and through her story give hope to others.
I believe anyone looking for hope or struggling for answers; who believe that wherever he or she are in life and whatever troubles he or she faces their problems can be overcome, will find this book well worth reading. After all, you can’t put a price on hope. Hope is what changes lives and the world. It is the belief that more and better things are possible. Sue found that hope for herself, and now she hopes you will find it too. Take the journey with her.
For more information about Sue Mocker and The Hope Factor, visit the author’s website.[amazon template=iframe image&asin=1400320097]