When Life Is Hard

March 14, 2017

“This week is trying to kill me.” I said it out loud, in a feeble effort to be funny, but feeling it to my core nonetheless. So many hard things all at once. A car in the repair shop for way too long, a violent illness & canceled trip, an absolutely crushing slammed door just as we were finally about to walk through it, a tragic death of a close friend of our daughter’s. 

It’s been a week, I tell ya. One for the books. Life is like that sometimes. Everything can be going along beautifully, and WHAM, life knocks you on your bootay. No warning. No explanation. It leaves you scratching your head, wondering what on earth just happened?!! 

For me, the lack of control I have over ANY of those things is the most difficult. I want to “fix” everything. I want to make it all better. I want all the bad stuff to go bye bye, please; so I can go back to living in Never Never Land. Except for this one thing… I KNOW BETTER THAN THAT. The hard stuff is what builds character…if we let it. It’s what makes us kinder, more compassionate, more loving people…if we let it. Without the hard stuff, we would no doubt become very shallow, cocky, & self-centered. On the other hand, if we wallow in self-pity, we can become bitter, angry, & yes, self-centered. I’m sure we all have met people who are living out their days on either end of that spectrum. 

Last night I allowed myself to wallow in self-pity. I ate my feelings in a bowl of coffee ice cream. I imagined that our roof might cave in under the weight of today’s snowstorm, that the power would go out, that all manner of bad things were clearly going to happen, because WHY NOT??! SO hurt. So angry. I cried out to Jesus before I went to sleep and asked Him to change my heart, my attitude, and to help me to trust Him. To lean on Him. To really understand that He has a much better plan for our lives than I ever could. I knew it; but I didn’t feel it. At all. At ALL. AT ALL.

I woke up this morning, and while the sadness, heart-break, and overall “raw-ness” of it all is still there, I’ve decided to accept the gift of this new day with a renewed purpose. To be grateful. To love more. To give more. To make this whole hard, crazy life less and less about me, and more and more about HIM. 

I tell you this, not because I want you to feel at ALL sorry for me. Please, please do not. I tell you this because chances are you’ve been there too, and maybe you ARE there right this very moment. I do believe that hard things happen to point our life compass back true north. For the greater good. Sometimes it’s impossible to see or understand how that can be; but in my heart of hearts I know it to be true. 

As the tears fall gently down my face, I hear Him whisper…

Do you trust me, my precious child? Yes, Father, yes, I DO.