Ugly 4-Letter Words

There are many ugly 4-letter words.  I am going to talk about one of them today.  H – A – R – D.  This is part one of two (maybe three).

It’s one of those unfriendly truths about life.  Not that we should expect “hard” or have to like “hard” or look for things to be “hard”, it’s just that sometimes they are.  Life can be hard.  It sounds negative, but I think we can find good in it.   It sounds defeating, but it can produce freedom when we lean into this truth.

“I can do hard things” became a private affirmation I would say to myself after the birth of our 3rd baby.  At that time we had a 3-year old and 18 month old and a newborn.  We were outnumbered and unprepared for the intensity of the constant care of these 3 babies.  Yes, there was joy and fun and happiness.  And it was also H – A – R – D.   Remember how I like a checklist (include the link to that blog) because I thrive on a sense of accomplishment?  Well, all checklists went out the window and nothing ever seemed to be even close to “done”.  I found myself whispering under my breath throughout the day, “I can do hard things” – it gave me a sense of hope and strength.

When you read books about people’s lives and witness their success stories, the truth consistently shows up:  H – A – R – D – there it is again.  And it seems to be that the more positive outcomes, usually the more “hard” the journey involved.  It’s almost the proving ground for growth.  It’s like God is saying, “Can you be trusted with more?  Are you going to see this through just when it’s easy or are you committed for the long run, even through the valleys?  Are you going to learn to rely on me for strength or keep trying to do it yourself?”.  “Hard” is a testing ground, a proving ground.

I stumbled upon this quote a few years ago which talks about “hard”.  “The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.” – Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

Beautiful people do not just happen.  They are shaped and molded and transformed in the hardships.  Adversity can be the tool God often uses to form us into a more beautiful version of the person He’s created us to be.  Therefore, I’ll take hard when it comes and learn to rely on Him for my strength and transformation in the process.

Beautiful girl, you can do hard things.