If I only had one word to describe myself, it would be hopeful. The Holy Spirit must have whispered that to my parents before I was born, because that’s what they named me: Amanda Hope. I’ve teased them that it was a blessing and a curse as I grew up, but as I’ve learned more about what hope actually means, I confidently say it is a blessing.
Hope doesn’t just mean “wish” as most of us use it these days. To hope is to confidently expect that something will happen. I’ve spent most of my life wishing for very specific things: a proposal from David, admission to Harvard, safe travel to wherever-we’re-flying, a baby. A second (third and fourth!) book contract. I thought I was “hoping” for them, but after spending seven years begging God for a child, I learned that God gives us only one hope: reconciliation with Him through the work of Jesus. Jesus is my one hope.
During the years it took me to better understand the blessing that “Hope is my middle name,” I changed a lot of things in my life. Trying to make my body whole, I learned the virtues of clean eating and clean products. Trying to survive miscarriages, I realized the value of all my relationships–family and friends. And trying to save money for fertility treatments, David and I became debt-free. God blessed me with wholeness in so many areas, even though He never gave me a child of my own.
Right now, I am both enjoying and anticipating a renewed career as an author. I am beyond thankful that God has given me the opportunity to write books and record podcasts about my passion–biblical archaeology–and how it illuminates His words in Scripture.
Amanda Hope Haley has a bachelor of arts in Religious Studies from Rhodes College and a master of theological studies in Hebrew Scripture and Interpretation from Harvard University. She is a lover of the Bible–its God, its words, its people, and its history. She writes and podcasts as the Red-Haired Archaeologist, bringing readers and listeners on her journeys to understand artifacts that can contextualize Scripture. She contributed to The Voice Bible as a translator, writer, and editor; and she has been a content editor and ghost writer for popular Christian authors. Amanda and David live in Tennessee with their always-entertaining basset hound, Copper.