Monday, March 4, 2013

We Can Do Hard Things

We are in a hard season. You know the kind. One where you can't start up a prayer chain because it's too personal and complex. One where you can't share in a small group without crying. One where my kids ate McDonald's for lunch yesterday because I didn't have the physical and emotional energy to think through something as simple as a meal.

To be honest I'm sick of the hard places. We've had a rough couple of years around here. If you've followed our journey even for a few weeks you've seen it. It would be nice to think the rough stuff is behind us and tied up with a pretty bow. But it's not.

I've learned that we can do hard things. I made this little sign for our kitchen a few months ago.  It serves as a reminder of all that God has brought us through. And that we can go through more if He leads us there.  It reminds me of Isaiah 43:2:

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. 

There are seasons in life that are just plain rough. The kind of rough that smooths out my edges that God uses to work out my redemption. It's in these seasons that God exposes my heart: where I'm leaning and looking. So often I'm leaning on a foundation that can shift and trusting what is directly in front of me rather than His kingdom. I'm looking to my circumstances and comparing them to others when I should be looking to Jesus.   

We sang this in church yesterday and I got a gut check. This has been my prayer. AND this has been my answer for this space that we've found ourselves in.

I Asked the Lord
(Words by John Newton, Music by Laura Taylor)

I asked the Lord that I might grow
In faith, and love, and every grace;
Might more of His salvation know,
And seek, more earnestly, His face.
’Twas He who taught me thus to pray,
And He, I trust, has answered prayer!
But it has been in such a way,
As almost drove me to despair.

I hoped that in some favored hour,
At once He’d answer my request;
And by His love’s constraining pow’r,
Subdue my sins, and give me rest.
Instead of this, He made me feel
The hidden evils of my heart;
And let the angry pow’rs of hell
Assault my soul in every part.

Yea more, with His own hand He seemed
Intent to aggravate my woe;
Crossed all the fair designs I schemed,
Blasted my gourds, and laid me low.
"Lord, why is this," I trembling cried,
"Wilt thou pursue thy worm to death?"
“’Tis in this way," the Lord replied,
"I answer prayer for grace and faith."

"These inward trials I employ,
From self, and pride, to set thee free;
And break thy schemes of earthly joy,
That thou may’st find thy all in Me.”

I don't want to wish away the hard things. I want to embrace them in some mysterious and crazy way knowing that God can use these seasons for my heart and my holiness.  

Our family can do hard things.  And we're slowly getting better at it...


  1. Uncle Doug and I think about your family often and lift you in prayer. I kind of understand about hard things....mine are different from yours but hard just the same. I try to stay positive but it is difficult. Walking through the valleys makes the mountain top moments even sweeter. (Just wish for mountain top moments!)

  2. Praying for you!! Tough stuff stinks! It is not fun, and makes us who we are....even the really tough junk I would not wish on anyone.

  3. Amen and amen friend. We are praying for you all- more than anything asking the lord to be ever NEAR in the midst of the hard. You guys are amazing-

  4. a IG friend referred me to you'd website. I just had a failed adoption and was supposed to go to an orientation today but husband was ill so now we have to wait until September. I am crushed but know The Lord has me here for a reason. been encoraged by your blog. I'll have to find you on IG :)

    1. Jenna - so glad you've been encouraged! You should email sometime so we can chat about your journey :)


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