I wrote this article the week before Hurricane Harvey came to Texas and decided to stay here for awhile. I felt like God put the words on my heart in a situation that was hard, but only for a moment. Little did I know a so-much-harder situation for so-much-longer was on the horizon. I didn’t know if I was going to post this because when I wrote it, things were easier. But as I wrote on my post over at SPED Homeschool about hardship, “My hard and your hard are different.”
Moments of difficulty rock my world. I hear myself say “I can’t do this!” throughout the day. Self doubt and pain cause me to stop in my tracks. These are things I don’t really want to talk about. But if I’m feeling this way, some of you are out there feeling this way too, and we need to endure through the hard.
I find myself reluctant to talk about the hard. It’s time to have a conversation about the things we don’t want to speak about. Why don’t I want to talk about these things? I fear the condemnation and judgement I see around me. I don’t want to risk. Reality teaches that some people do judge. Truth is, when we take our eyes off of Jesus, many times we speak condemnation over others as a deflection off of ourselves. It’s time to lay down the words of condemnation and time to focus on Jesus. Keeping our eyes focused on Jesus gives us strength to risk walking with others and enduring through struggles.
Let the hard teach you
What lesson am I to learn through this? Right now I’m struggling with exactly what I wrote above. I don’t want to share my heart with others because of the risk of judgement. Yet I know I can use this opportunity to learn how not to judge others. I can learn how to stand under judgement because it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter what people think about me. The only one I’m accountable to is my Savior. I’m also learning about physical strain. I’m exercising and the physical is hard. I want to give up every day. I’m learning that I’m stronger than I think I am.
Let the hard be a gift
Anytime you have the opportunity to learn, grow, or love – it’s a gift. I can grow through my struggle of silence through speaking. Through my speaking I show love. It’s not easy, but it’s a gift. The gift of exercise shows up in discipline and strength. I wouldn’t receive these things without enduring through the hard.
Let the hard take you on a journey
Enduring through the hard takes you on a journey to the end of yourself and the beginning of total dependance on God. In the moments I think “I can’t do this” Jesus is right there saying, “but I can.” He gives me the words to speak through my silence and the strength to persevere through my pain.
Let the hard touch others
When things get hard we either run to others or away from them. Many times, even when we run to others, we keep ourselves alone. Alone is where the enemy wants us. Sometimes we even think our troubles or struggles will contaminate others. Another scheme of the enemy. Walking together we can point each other to Jesus. (If you are walking with people who are not pointing you to Jesus, find people who will.) Remember, before you run to others, run to Jesus!
I love this story of Moses. God told Moses to find others to help discern problems in the wilderness wandering.
And I will come down and talk with you there. And I will take some of the Spirit that is on you and put it on them, and they shall bear the burden of the people with you, so that you may not bear it yourself alone. Numbers 11:17
Right now things are hard. People are in catastrophe mode. Harvey left quite a wake of destruction. And he’s still on the move. Endure through the hard. Pray for each other. Even though my hard is not as hard as the neighbors without a home, we all have a hard. Endure through your struggles and help someone else with theirs.
Helping through the hard of Harvey: I’m working on a specific plan to help those struggling through the flood and damage. Follow me on Facebook or subscribe to my newsletter (box on sidebar) so you won’t miss how you can join me to help others!
*Update! After months of hosting a book drive, I was able to bless families by having a free shopping day for those affected by the Hurricane. The day after the book “sale” I opened it up to the public for a donation based book sale. So many families were blessed! Thank you to all who helped!