Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Hard Seasons

Here's what I've learned about the super hard seasons in my life:

Like most people, I've had my share of difficult seasons. And when they come, I sometimes find myself feeling incredibly frustrated when I’m trying to get through it especially when I realize and come to terms with the fact that I, yes me, have contributed somehow or completely to the cause. Ugh ... those are the absolute worst! When those seasons come I’m most frustrated at myself and feel desperate for God’s grace and His mercy. But it’s increasingly more frustrating when I find myself suffering at the hands of someone else. When those difficult seasons take place, it makes me feel powerless and frustrated and I feel desperate for relief. And when I'm in a season like that, I can never understand why it needs to take place or why it’s even necessary. I’m always way too confused, or upset and too emotional to think straight or to remember that suffering is just a part of life. Let's face it, when it comes to suffering, sometimes we cause it and sometimes we’re the victim of it. And I know that God never promised us a life without pain. I know this because I've read it hundreds of times in the Bible. I also know that He promises to be with us through the difficulty but for some strange reason, I find myself forgetting that during my difficulty and I need to be reminded more often than I care to admit. It’s so hard sometimes because truth be told; pain feels dark, lonely, and ugly, really ugly. And when I’m going through something difficult my days are often filled with tears, many questions, alot of confusion, feelings of frustration and plenty of restless nights. It's really quite exhausting because in the midst of all that, we still have to put on our shoes, go to work and do life. On my worst day, I find it almost impossible to imagine what life might look like or feel like when I get to the other side because in that moment, in that very season, life feels so very heavy, hard and unbearable.

But here's what I know for sure ... every time I survive something hard and look back at my life or read through old journal entries I'm reminded that God is faithful to those who seek Him and love Him. I'm reminded that God is for us and with us always whether we feel Him or not. I’m reminded that He sends us sweet angels to comfort us. Those wonderful angels are called dear trusted friends and family members who are there for us, who comfort us and love us. Their prayers and their friendship carry us. I'm reminded that I'm stronger than I realize and I come to terms once again with the fact that suffering is inevitable in this world and its just a part of life and if we let God in, if we surrender and give Him all the broken pieces, He'll bring good out of the situation. He’s our comforter, our tear dryer, and our healer. And when I eventually get to the other side, I always come away breathing easier, sleeping better and I understand once again that everything has purpose even if I don't fully comprehend it at the time. And almost always, when I look back, I see with great clarity how God showed up over and over to help me through my difficulty. He shows up whispering quietly: there, there my dear. And He shows up with His boundless love, His amazing grace, His tender mercy and His inexplicable peace. And thats when I begin to see clearly how all those pieces came together in my life to help shape who I am today, stronger, wiser, better and filled with God's love and light.

Dear Reader,

If you’re going through something difficult right now, please, please, hang in there. Remain hopeful and never give up. You might find yourself crying a lot lately and things might feel absolutely heart wrenching and unbearable but I promise you that you will get through this, whatever your “this” is and it won’t feel awful forever. You’ll smile again and laugh again and life will feel sweet again. It might take some time but if you’re willing to sit with the pain, it will teach you much and you’ll be better for it. It’s never easy to sit with pain but I promise you, that it’ll be worth it. So trust that time and God are great healers and that your joy will be restored. You’ll shine brighter and more brilliantly because of your experience and eventually you will likely have opportunities in the future to comfort others who will need your wisdom, your love, your friendship and your light to help them through their difficulty. And when those opportunities present themselves, you’ll have something to offer and you'll experience great satisfaction realizing that your pain had purpose.

So if you're going through something difficult, stay hopeful …. it's just a season and you will get through it.

Wishing you peace and wholeness always,


Never give up hope. Never, ever! Allow me to remind you that you are deeply loved by a holy God ... always ... and forever.