Even when it’s hard

Whew. Just the title alone brings tears to my eyes. I had the opportunity to facilitate an experience with a team of folx recently. While responding to a prompt, one person shared an action that they would consider as ideal to functioning. They went on to add a small phrase at the end of the action which read, “Even when it’s hard.” From that moment, seemingly the phrase emerged over and over again. Each time, those simple words spoke to my heart and my head. We operate in a world that presents an expectation to abandon quickly. There is little room to tarry. Either it serves in a manner that perfectly aligns with our “energy,” or we are propelled to exit. Now, let me be clear. I’m not suggesting abuse or harm. However I am challenging the notion that as soon as something gets a little tight or hot, we exit stage left. Or better still, we expect God to snatch us up and take us out. We make demand on a God that we bulk at for making a demand upon us.

When I was growing up and got upset that the game wasn’t going my way, I had the option to go inside. Yet, going inside would mean that I would miss the potential fun lurking in the next game or the ice cream truck a few blocks away that was the game changer. So, instead I would linger. I might stop talking for a while. I also could remove myself from the inner circle and meander around the perimeter of the fun. But for certain, I would tarry, just in case I saw room to re-engage, when my feelings were safe to present. II Timothy 2:3 reads, “You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” Listen y’all, no need to front like we are out here suffering to the extent of Christ. We are not set up that way. There was only one sacrificial lamb. Yet as we are crafted in His image and as we accept Him as our savior, we come to understand that some suffering is what we signed up for. Through Him we are able to stand, even when it’s hard.

I was working out about 18 months ago. Typically when the trainer prompted us to do something he called “army crawls,” I would opt instead to hold a plank. The army crawls appeared too difficult – too hard. However one day, I was feeling strong. I attempted the army crawls and was successful. I felt good. About eight hours later, I experienced pain in my arm that was indescribable. I spent the weekend in bed. Later in the week as my arm continued to hurt, I noticed a bruise on the arm that gave me pain. I went to the doctor and was diagnosed with a torn tendon. Since that time, I’ve had steroid shots and an inordinate amount of ice packs and medication. It wasn’t until I began occupational therapy that I received a different set of tools. My therapist didn’t want me to strain myself, but the exercises I learned felt uncomfortable but in actuality were the very things that strengthened my arm. I’d avoided use of the arm because even lifting something more than a pound presented pain. Increasing my strength through stretching, massaging and gently increasing weight is what is bringing healing. Does it still hurt? Yes. Does it hurt as much? No. Is it necessary? Absolutely. I am challenged to continue, even when it hurts. How might we create room for the same as we encounter the things that make us want to take our ball and go home? How might we build the muscle that is necessary to model for those coming behind us? We want lavish and luxury on a microwaveable timetable. Some things take time. Some things require endurance. Some things require us to sit and be still. Even when it’s hard.


  • Paula Newman

    A perfect word for today….. for those struggling to stay married or stay in relationships, for those struggling to wait for their ship to come in (e.g. finances, job opportunities, recognition, peace, health). Even when it’s hard, we will wait on God and trust and believe that He who began a good work in us, will see it through until the end.
    Thank you for sharing your gift!

    • Stephanie

      You spoke a Word! Waiting is essential, although hard sometimes. ❤️

  • Cassandra Williams

    Confirmed!!! As the memory of the pain of my last years’ experience flicker and subside, I too had days I had to remind myself that this was necessary, “even when it’s hard to endure!” We are never willing to admit it, but getting better is a slow painful process!

    • Stephanie


  • Marjorie P Douglas

    It’s Necessary!

    • Stephanie

      Say so!!!!!!!

Comments are closed.