I dialed my friend and told her about the Hard Thing I had to do.
“I don’t know how to do this,” my voice shook when I spoke, and I felt hollowed out. “How do I tell him the news? This is so hard.”
My friend Michelle said she’d go with me, because that’s what Jesus-sisters do when life plummets us into the category of “Hard Things.” Sisters help sisters bear burdens. We drove into the night, snow swirling like a pale curtain in front of our headlights.
I had just found out that my father-in-law’s cancer had returned, with great fury. The prognosis was not good, and I would need to tell my husband about his dying father.
My husband and Michelle’s husband were serving together at a men’s Christian retreat that weekend, so we drove a half hour to deliver the news in person. When our husbands saw our faces, they knew the news we brought was going to be hard to hear.
I shared the diagnosis, and then all four of us held hands and prayed, tears streaming down our cheeks.
In the middle of the Hard Thing, we met Jesus. We met Him in our prayers, our mingled tears, our joined hands — and in the promise of a Comforter who doesn’t leave us alone in our suffering.
What is your Hard Thing this year? What seems impossible for you today? Where do you feel especially weak, in need of a Comforter?
In the Latin, “comfort” reads like this:
com + fortis
with + strong
That means that our Comforter is strong with us. He is with us, making us strong.
This kind of comfort? It’s a game-changer.
God’s comfort, Amy Carmichael writes, “is not soft, weakening commiseration; it is true, strengthening love.”
Sister, when you are facing Hard Things this year, your Comforter “is strong with you.”
Maybe your Hard Thing is news you’ve yet to deliver, a difficult conversation that’s long overdue, a deadline that seems impossible to reach, or a life-calling that feels scary. Maybe your Hard Thing is the everyday battle of getting out of bed in the morning.
Take the next step. Your Comforter is strong with you.
Take the next step. A great crowd of witnesses is cheering you on.
Take the next step. When you step out with bravery you strengthen others who are struggling to take their next step. You’re showing them that it’s possible to do Hard Things.
Take the next step. Because Jesus will meet you in the middle of your hardest battles.
When the way is long, your Comforter is making you strong for the journey.
Remember that Jesus did the Hardest Thing already. He forfeited heaven and put skin on. He literally had skin in the game. He put skin on, because He wanted to make you strong, in Him.
Jesus knows what it’s like to face Hard Things, to bear the heavy cross. He knows your battle is hard. But, He says, What’s too hard for you, is not too hard for Me.
“I am the Lord God of all humanity. Nothing is too hard for me.” (Jeremiah 32:27)
What’s your Hard Thing? Where do you need the Comforter to be strong with you? Today, this comment box could be a place where we could share our Hard Things — a way of us taking the next step. And then, we could be the sisters who help sisters carry burdens. Take the next step.Leave a Comment
Bev Duncan @ Walking Well With God says
I love this…what amazing peace comes when we realize that our Comforter is strong with us. I find that my strength waxes and wanes, but His strength is constant and THAT is what can get me through.
Though I generally do very well, when I get tired and stressed out I am more prone to OCD anxiety/depression episodes. As I have grown in the knowledge of the Lord’s great love for me and with the help of modern medicine, the episodes are fewer and fewer, but I could use prayers that they would continue to dissipate. I am grateful that God always sees me through and never leaves my side through them and that I have good friends who “get me” and don’t judge, but come alongside to comfort. I also need my Comforter to be strong with me as I live and love my prodigal son…an ongoing burden, but I know that God is more than able.
Thank you for being real and sharing from the heart…love your writing and your gentle spirit!
I too am having a re-occurrence of anxiety…It is hard to make through a whole long day sometimes…it is exhausting and can at times seem hopeless, but don’t give up. There is hope in Jesus. Find someone to talk to and just keep praying…God is good and faithful and will give us the strength to get though this struggle. Praying for peace for you.
Jennifer Dukes Lee says
Jennifer, Thanks for popping in here to encourage another sister. I love that about (in)courage …. this really is a place where sisters help sisters carry burdens! Praying for you this morning, too, Jennifer, as you deal with re-occurrences of anxiety.
Jennifer Dukes Lee says
Dear Lord, I pray for Bev this morning — this beautiful woman who so graciously encourages all of us on the (in)courage team, almost every morning. She understands what it is to be a “sister carrying the burden of a sister.”
And now, Lord, it’s our turn to help carry Bev’s burden. We bring to You her anxiety and depression. We pray that these episodes would continue to dissipate. We thank you for the places she has already seen progress.
God, You get “hard things.” Your son literally had skin in the game, and He felt with His own skin what we feel. He knows heartache, and physical pain, and the salt of tears. He understands anguish. We call on Your name, Father and Son and Holy Spirit, because you really do get this. And we know that You’ve got us!
In Jesus’ name,
Joanne Dunsmore says
I am finding life very difficult at the moment having just lost my husband after a very long battle with leukemia. I thought my hardest battle was telling my sons that their dad was dying. When my dear Tom needed 24 hour care I longed for some respite but find I have all the hours now but no husband and the days and night are long and lonely. I know and have read all the books of Christian comfort but my heart is still breaking. Please pray for peace and comfort for myself and my two sons.
Oh God thank-You that You are with Joanne and her sons. Please bring them comfort and open their eyes to see You weeping with them and know You are there.
I am sorry for your loss Joanne.
Hi Joanne … Praying for you this morning, as you deal with the loss of your husband. Leukemia is a hard, hard road. My father-in-law, referenced in the article here, died from leukemia. Thursday will be five years. You have my deepest sympathies. I’ll carry you in my heart today, as well as your two sons.
Beth Williams says
Prayers to Abba Father to comfort you as only He can! Help Joanne and her sons heal and come to terms with day to day living. Bring people to console and be with Joanne and her sons. Give them people they can talk to about their dad/husband.
Cinda Thiel says
I am praying for you and your sons..for comfort and for God’s peace that surpasses all understanding. Phil 4:7
Kathy Parker says
JoAnne: I am praying for you right this minute and through the day. Our Jesus Christ loves you so much and he knows right where you are. He will give you the strength you don’t feel like you have. Amen Jesus!
Trying to figure out the next steps for my son, who made some bad decisions and got suspended from school. He is home with us now, doing an independent study, volunteering, working and just being at home. He left home at 14 to follow his dream…so now we re-evaluate what is the right thing to do…return to the school he came from, find a new place, finances have to work…so many what ifs…but God is in control and this happened for a reason….so praying we will know the right thing to do.
Praying for you this morning, Tracy, that God would guide each and every step.
Beth Williams says
I look forward to your comments. You are like a beacon to me! Please know I’m praying for you and your son. In His perfect timing God will bring about a heart change for your son.
Prayers also that Abba Father will heal you completely. May your OCD/ Anxiety and depression. May they dissipate complete and you have stress free days. Some verses that may help in the interim are Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you” declares the Lord. “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you”. Also Isaiah 40:31 But those who wait/hop in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
Kathy Morrissy says
I have committed myself to the Lord, this I know! He is my King of kings and Lord of lords. I have a new phase of the call on my life and as I am walking into it the uncertainty of it all comes over me like waves in the ocean. Am packing to move to a new city to set up a business which will fund my ministry and provide jobs for mothers come out of prison. Like all of us, I am about to do things I never have done before. Thank you for sharing, this is what I needed today. I will reread it as I move forward in this new phase of my life.
In Gods Grace- Kathy Morrissy
Jennifer Dukes Lee says
Oh Kathy! Praise be to God for what He is doing in and through you. My husband has such a heart for helping men who are just coming out of prison. I can’t wait to tell him about you! Do you have a website? Tell me more about your ministry. I’m praying for you this morning, Kathy.
Beth Williams says
How exciting and scary all at once. God will see you through the move and the business start up. Thank you for following God’s lead in this ministry! Prayers that all go smoothly! Rely on Abba Father to always be there with you through each step of the way!
Friends moving, adjusting from a recent divorce, single parenting, life is hard but Jesus is here to carry us through the Holy Spirit.
Jennifer Dukes Lee says
Hey Kelley … You’ve got lots of Hard Things …. I’m lifting you up in prayer, lifting you to the Father who promises to carry you through.
I don’t like to type ugly words….breast cancer. The absolute hardest thing I have ever faced. My treatment options bring me to the pit. If I look too far past today I am overwhelmed. I am needing a plan, a map to navigate these deep, stormy waters.
Prayers for comfort, peace and guidance as you travel this road. Jesus is right beside you through it all.
Jennifer Dukes Lee says
Hey Terri … a prayer for you:
Dear Lord, I lift to you, your daughter Terri. She types hard words into the comment box, because life has dealt her some really hard blows. The mountain in front of her looks impassable, but God — Your ways are immeasurable. Show her the path through. In Jesus’ name … Amen.
I have a biopsy scheduled for Wednesday on my left breast & will have results on Friday. Am I scared, I’d be lying if I said no. Am I trusting HIm – YES!!! Recently Jennifer referenced the book Fight Back With Joy by Margaret Feinberg and I ordered it for my friend who was just diagnosed with brain cancer. I visited my friend on Wednesday and of course the book hadn’t arrived. When I returned home, there was the book. I thought…well, maybe I need to have a little more joy in my life. I’ll keep the book. As I started reading the book yesterday, things sounded so familiar, things I’m facing. I don’t think there are any accidents w/God. I believe Jennifer mentioned this book, I ordered & it arrived exactly when I need it most. I believe that this book is going to help me through no matter what diagnosis comes. God is good all the time & NO ONE OR THING WILL STEAL MY JOY! Hang in there Terri – I will pray for you – please pray for me.
Oh Sher! That book is amazing. I pray that it will be a blessing to you. I will be sharing your comment with Margaret, too.
I’m praying for you, Sher!
Beth Williams says
Right there with you giving you tons of prayers! Abba Father please be with Terri. Give her the comfort and contentment she needs to get through each day. Help her to devise a plan and rely on you for strength and courage!
Lynn Maloney says
Trusting God and desperate for His comfort as I love my prodigal son. Trying to know for sure what is helping him and what is enabling his destructive behavior. Also praying for peace during financial difficulties.
Jennifer Dukes Lee says
Praying with you this morning, Lynn, that God would lead your prodigal home, that he would know that you are waiting, and that the Father is waiting to “embrace him.” (Luke 15:20)
Nancy Ruegg says
Another scripture-promise (in addition to the one Jennifer quotes below) that I hang onto is Ezekiel 11:19-20. It’s actually God speaking: “I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. Then they will follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. They will be my people, and I will be their God.” With Jennifer I pray that God would lead our prodigals home!
Elyse Stewart says
Terri, I am a breast cancer survivor. I finished 10 months of treatment almost a year ago. I called myself a survivor the minute I was diagnosed. And you are too. God met me in an amazing way through the journey, and He will be there for you. Let people know how they can help you. It’s humbling to be on the receiving end, but your friends and family will appreciate you letting them help, and you will be blessed by their love and care…meals, funny movies or books to read, someone to walk with you. I kept asking God what He wanted me to learn and He showed me so many things. I am sorry you are facing this road, but it will have it’s blessings along the way if you look for them. God Bless you, Terri.
Thank you for sharing this today. Its my first time posting a comment, I’ve been getting these encouragements a couple of weeks now. But this one comes at the end of a difficult week of me finally facing up to my Hard Thing and then taking next steps.
I acknowledged that i am depressed and anxious.
Owned that i have been coping for a long while but that its getting harder, effecting relationships and actually i dont have to do it alone.
The Dr and medicine is not a failure or let down.
So with a lot of tears i went to the doctor. I also told my team in work why ive been so up and down and why i need their support. And i started taking anti depressants.
God held my hand every step. With my heart pounding and my breath rushed he whispered His love and grace. “Its ok Ruth im here”
Still a bit stunned and overwhelmed. But feel such a sense of lifted weight from my steps.
i dont know what the future holds or whats next papa but that i have overcome these hard things this week with my God!
Thank you for your post it was a great encouragement to me. Sometimes God wants us to step out with him and do the hard thing and only after do you get to realise he has you covered. That you are never alone cos he is always there. But you are also never alone cos you have unmet sisters around the world wrestling with their hard thing who would hold your hand in the blink of an eye.
Jennifer Dukes Lee says
We’re so glad you’re here. We’re so glad you’re receiving the daily encouragements from (in)courage, and that you felt like you could come out of the Internet shadows to spill a bit of your heart into the comment box this morning. This is a safe place. Many eyes will cross over your words today, and many of us will be praying for you.
Dear Lord, Continue to offer Your assurance of love and protection over Ruth. Continue to whisper in her ear, “It’s ok Ruth, I’m here.” Remind her that You’ve got this, Lord, and that You’ve got HER! I thank you, Lord, for Ruth’s life and her willingness to acknowledge that she has been suffering. That is a HUGE step! We praise You, God, in advance for all the steps that she’ll take, with You right beside her. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Ruth, thank you for your courage to care for yourself. God loves you and He has provided all things for our good including medicine. I have walked your path. It took me much pain and many months of mask-wearing to admit my need. Almost fifteen years later, I can say that my journey though extremely hard at times, turned for my good. I believe it has also benefitted others because I am much more compassion for the hurting in this world. You are facing a process…it takes time. You are worthy of being well. God bless you this day.
Kamea Hope says
I am a lover of words, and I was very encouraged by reading the Latin roots of the word comforter. Truly, it is with Him that we are made strong. I was reminded of 2 Corinthians 12:9-11, “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” That is, when I am weak, the strength of the great I AM shines through my life.
My ‘hard place’ right now, is walking into healing from early childhood abuse. The process has been slow and incredibly painful. There have been breakthroughs and victories, but many days are a struggle.
I am newly sharing my story of healing at incrementalhealing.wordpress.com – Sharing isn’t easy, but I long to comfort others with the comfort I have received from my loving, heavenly Father (2 Corinthians 1:4). The things I am learning are incredibly life-giving – That God is good, that he is always with me, that he has plans to prosper me and not to harm me, and that I am his precious child, loved beyond measure.
I would love it if you’d stop by my blog and share your thoughts. Like I said, I’m really new at this, and can use all the encouragement and advice that I can get.
Jennifer Dukes Lee says
Hey Kamea! I’m so glad you’re finding the strength from your Comforter to step out and tell your story. Your story will help others heal. I am praying that God will continue to strengthen you, comfort you, and heal you from all that you have endured.
Congratulations on your new blog!
Daily parenting is my hard thing. It is the thing that requires me to stay at the foot of the cross. It is the thing that keeps me constantly crying out to God. With that said, I guess it’s a good thing. I appreciate your prayers as I attempt to parent in love and not out of frustration.
Cindy R says
I agree and I am with you girl! 🙁 This parenting stuff is so hard and lonely at times. I need prayers, encouragement, strength, and guidance in this journey also! HUGS from me to you!
Jennifer Dukes Lee says
Joining in on this group hug, Cindy R.
Jennifer Dukes Lee says
You have my prayers, Tyra! The business of raising miniatures is a roller coaster ride. Mother on, Tyra! We are cheering you on.
Such timely encouragement to me as this morning my husband & I, along with our teenage daughter head to an appt. with her counselor. This appt. has been long coming (and she’s kicking all the way), I’m not sure what to expect. Our daughter’s journey has been very long & rough the past two years (ages 16-18) – one she did not “ask for” – filled with physical limitations as well as social. My heart breaks for her, I want to see her wholly healed – BODY, MIND & SOUL. There are times the only words to pray are “Jesus, Jesus” and this is one of those times for me.
Jennifer Dukes Lee says
When I don’t know what to pray, I am greatly encouraged by the verses in Romans that remind us that the Holy Spirit hears our groans and knows how to turn them into prayer. He hears you. He sees you. And with you, this morning, I pray …. Jesus, Jesus….
Diane V says
I pray for God’s healing presence in your marriage, and I cry with you. Two simple words speak volumes. Peace be with you.
Jennifer Dukes Lee says
Oh Diane… Prayers for you this morning. Wish I could reach through this screen to hug you.
We have to move. Out of our safe little town. Where my mom is, where my husbands family is, where all of my 5 children have been born. We are moving to a city I have been to once, my husband, never.
But has been calling us away. Away for His work. Away to a new life where we completely rely on Him.
Did I mention it was to a big city?
I have lived in big cities before-Pheniox, denver, Seattle. But this is bigger. No family, no friends. All 7 of us (the baby girl is only 2 months). But He has called us to this. And we will trust him and he will carry me. I will meet new sisters there. I will share the gospel there. CHRIST has gone before me and he will hold my hand on the path.
Pray. pray that for the 4-6 weeks my husband goes before us I don’t loose my mind parenting 5 children alone. Pray the money and work all come together as they are suppose to and pray that God will reveal himself new as we go through this process.
Jennifer Dukes Lee says
Your comment reminds me of Abraham who “in faith” moved without knowing where he was going or what he would find, but he went anyway. And he was blessed. I pray that God guides each step, comforts each of you, and strengthens you for the journey ahead.
Praying for your mama heart and your strength while your husband goes before you!
My 5-year-old son is going to “supervised” visitation with his father (my ex) today. His father is an extremely violent man and is facing his 3rd felony for almost choking me to death last March. I fear for his safety. I pray that God’s angels protect him.
Jennifer Dukes Lee says
Oh Sunny…. Crying out to Jesus with you today. I am so, so, so sorry. Thank you for sharing your burden with us. We carry that burden with you, in prayer, and I also pray that you have people on the ground in your life to support and encourage you through all of this. I pray also for your ex-husband, that God will move radically in his heart. And I pray for your son, that God gives that little boy everything he stands in need of.
Oh, Sunny . . . thank God for His intervening that YOU are safe. We must rest in the truth that He IS the LORD of ALL mankind, even angry bullies. I am praying He pours out the same power that stopped those hungry lions in Daniel’s pit, trusting that He is supervising all that touches your sweet boy.
Sarah Skinner says
Thank you Jennifer!
I needed this today. My hard thing is an autoimmune disorder attacking my CNS. It is terrifying. Right now, per doctor’s request, we are waiting until this thief strikes again so the doctor can observe and make an appropriate diagnosis and treatment plan. Since I’ve been through it twice already, I know it’s not going to be easy. I lose who I am. Last time I didn’t know who my husband was. But, I knew this…Christ does not have a heart for judgement. His heart is only for justice, righting wrongs. In him there is no condemnation. What I found in the midst of my hell, was that where ever I am… no matter how bad it seems… I can still love my neighbor as myself.
Jennifer Dukes Lee says
I am so sorry to hear about your condition! That sounds so frightening, girl. Please know that you’ve been prayed for here in the Lee house.
Lisa D says
Jennifer, thank you for this much needed message. And I need to thank God that it came today. There is a hard conversation I need to have with my son. I’ve been putting it off, not knowing how to start it so he won’t get defensive, again. But he’s going back to school the day after tomorrow. So it needs to be this weekend. Praying for the words. And for strength to hold my head up instead of burying it in the sand.
I am going to have a very hard conversation with my daughter as well. I am writing a letter to her and then going to read it to her. This will keep me focused on what I want to say without getting distracted. The letter will be positive letting her know how much I love her, how what she is doing is affecting the family and that I love her too much to continue doing what I am doing as it is not helping her. I will remain calm and not answer her defensive words. Hope this helps, and I pray for you and your son for healing and peace.
Jennifer Dukes Lee says
BethAnn — I am praying for you as you write your letter, and as you prepare to deliver those words. One of my favorite verses I turn to when I don’t know what to say is this:
“For the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.” ~ Luke 12:12
Praying those words over you this afternoon, BethAnn.
Jennifer Dukes Lee says
Lisa D – I am praying for the conversation that you need to have with your son. I hope that God can give you the courage to do Hard Things, but needed things. Praying for God to open a window of time, for Him to provide you with the right words, and for your son to really HEAR what needs to be said.
This was so encouraging for me to read. I do not have a specific “hard thing” right now but I have in the past and I know I will in the future. However , as y’all pray, please remember a sweet young lady I know. She is 22 and her name is Claire. She beat Ewings Sarcoma a year and a half ago. Recently she was diagnosed with MSD… Without a bone marrow transplant this leds to leukemia . In her recent scans there were new nodules on her lungs , possible signs of the Ewings returning. The family is waiting to find out if those nodules are indeed the return cancer or if it is just a type of scarring. The possibility of it not being Ewings is slim. if it is the cancer she cannot have the bone marrow transplant. I want to flood heaven with prayers for Claire. Selfishly I want her healed of this dreaded cancer. To see her live a full life with her family would be precious. Thank you for reading my request.
Jennifer Dukes Lee says
Dear Lord, I lift up to you Lisa’s friend Claire. We join Lisa in storming the gates of Heaven to ask for Your healing. Be present in Claire’s life in a profound way as she weighs her treatment options. Surround her with your love, through the love of Your people. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
I have recently had my anxiety and depression return and am trying to get back on the right dose of medicine. Each day with the anxiety is a battle and I am worn out. I must say I have had some relief and have a wonderful Dr. working with me and a very supportive family. I know God is there and working…I pray for the strength ,God’s strength, to get me though this season. Our God is Great and Faithful…please pray with me…
Jennifer Dukes Lee says
Hi Jennifer, Please know that I am praying for you as you work with your doctors to get on top of your anxiety and depression. I’m sure this is very exhausting for you. Sending virtual hugs and hot tea and chocolate through this screen! xo
Giving God control. At 42 I have tried to control everything, well after the loss of my best friend to breast cancer, and her Mom that I considered my Mom to A.L.S. both within 18 months I hit rock bottom, depression attacked my heart and soul. I sought counseling and found an amazing counseler that is helping me let go an let God. I still struggle daily but I turn to prayer. And (in) courage has been amazing. God Bless you!
Jennifer Dukes Lee says
Oh Beth. You’ve had so many Hard Things. I pray for you now, that you can feel Jesus near, so near that you can practically imagine him sitting cross-legged, on the couch next to you! Take care, Beth. And know that we are lifting you up in prayer, here at (in)courage!
God never fails even when we can’t see His work. For more than 50 years I have prayed for my spouse to know the Lord.
As time passes, as we get older, it is more difficult this waiting for him to know Jesus. I believe the Lord can change a heart, but I believe the Lord will only go where He is invited. I wish I could say I have been patient in this, the waiting, but I have been so devasted so many times by the ugliness I see and have even caused. No, I could not leave him. I felt so inclined to stay. Maybe this is my generation, maybe it is my inability to walk away into the unknown. I have prayed to leave, but get no peace and thus, I stay. As each day passes, I draw closer to the Lord and for this I am more than grateful. But, as each day passes, the distance between my husband and myself grows greater. Our home is no home at
all. I am so thankful to know the Lord, knowing that our lives as a couple could be so filled with God’s goodness. I thank the Lord for all his favor to me, and pray the Lord will open my husband’s eyes to His glory.
Yes, I have made many mistakes in living this, but the Lord holds me and as the time passes, I draw closer to the Lord. But ah..so grieved at the loss of what could have been. But God never fails!
Sarah Skinner says
Think on this, does your husband love you? You’ve been with him 50 years, that’s a long time. I expect you love him with that patient, kind, always trusting, always hoping, always persevering kind of love that Jesus has for you. Is your husband kind to you? Does your husband know you? Does he know your likes and dislikes? Does he know your favorite color, the things that push your buttons, does he know what makes you laugh?
Now consider this…Your husband knows you. He knows the kindness in your heart. He see’s how you have forgiven those who have done you wrong. He’s watched you painfully turn the other cheek. He knows you Paula. Christ lives in you. He see’s the Christ in you and loves you.
Your husband has been with you 50 years. He hasn’t left or turned his back on you. In turn, with Christ in you, your husband has been walking with Christ these 50 years.
Love your husband just as he is. Jesus does. Your husband makes no claims yet he walks beside you. See through to the heart, see him as Jesus does.
May you experience the blessing of loving your husband fully just as he is for the rest of your days together. You are free to love.
Sarah, I thank you for your thoughts. In answer to your question, ‘does my husband know me?’ No he does not. We
have never had any interaction, just my doing his bidding. My generation of women were so very submissive. If not in your area, in my area all were submissive. The husband ruled. This is a harsh truth, but one that recently has drawn me into a deeper relationship with the Lord. I am not to be in worship of my husband, just my God!! This has been a really great eye opener for me and I praise God for it.
Sarah Skinner says
I am so sorry. I’ll be praying that he will come to know you and your heart.
I haven’t had a change to respond to all of the comments here, Paula. But I read yours yesterday, and I prayed over you yesterday, and I’ve come back to read it again and pray again … and to tell you that there are many eyes crossing over your words this weekend, and I know that many sisters are praying for you. First, I am grateful that you are deeply woven into the heart of God, that you are putting down deeper roots in faith, despite your husband’s refusal to do so. I wish that I could offer a piece of advice or a word that would change your circumstances. I can only pray, so that’s what I promise to do. Headed to church just now, and I’m leaving the house with your name on my lips, Paula. I promise to pray …
My Hard Thing is experiencing my two girls moving out within one day of each other. One off to college, the other across town. Nothing earth shattering but the realization that this phase of our lives is over is hard. Was I a good mom? Will they want to connect with me? But on the flip side, I’m an empty nester. My house will not be just quiet, but peaceful. Now I have time, lots of time to do other things. Grieving is okay. I’m doing that now but it will pass. I live one day at a time, doing my best with this 24 hours God has given me. I choose to believe that the next phase of my life is God’s gift and it will be an adventure!
Hi Shelley … It sounds like you have a very healthy perspective … allowing yourself the heart-space to grieve, but also seeing glimmers of new beauty in the empty spaces. Thanks for sharing your heart here, and allowing us to pray with you.
Our hard thing now is parenting our 16 year old daughter through a rough season…
Praying for you as you navigate this season. I was that 16-year-old once, and can tell you that’ there’s hope for your girl on the other side. Keep pressing through! Praying you on tonight.
My husband told me that he has had two sexual encounters with men. I have to protect my children from the embarassment and pain this would bring them. I am devastated.
Michele, oh Michele ….
God has all the broken pieces of your heart in his hands. I’m at a loss for words, relying only on the Holy Spirit to take my groans and turn them into prayers for you, dear sister. I would give anything to reach through the screen to hug you.
Kim j says
After 13 years of living with several chronic illnesses, my hard thing is getting up every day and pushing through. It is hard to know that daily you are going to feel fatigued, be in pain, and have to somehow push yourself to do what needs to be done. I know that Gods grace is sufficient, because I have seen it in action! I long for the days when I felt good and didn’t have to choose How active I could be, but this is where God has me for a purpose. I pray for strength and stamina to continue down this rough and ragged path.
Sweet Kim … I thought of women like you when I wrote these words — women like you who, every day, have to fight to get out of bed. I’m inspired by your faith, and the way you cling to His promises, even in the middle of your suffering. I’m praying for you tonight, Kim, for God to give you everything you stand in need of.
I’m learning that not every earthly love that we wish for is going to happen. Not everyone will fall in love with us, and that is okay. Because as we search for earthly love, we have God’s holy, enduring love filling our souls. And when it comes time to have that earthly love as well, God will lead them into loving us.
**Peruse, don’t pursue, godly men. Let them pursue.
Yes, yes, Shannon. Let’s allow nothing, or no one, serve as a substitute savior — only Jesus has rights to the throne of our hearts. Right there with you, Shannon.
Yielding to my Lord, accepting as gift, the demise of my daughter to stage 4 colon cancer after burying three of my children already. Even so, this does not change His goodness. Does not change His sovereignty. His ability to comfort or to have mercy. I am learning to lean hard upon His chest, listening hard for His heartbeat of love as He carries me through this valley. Oh, how He loves!
Deb, I cannot imagine the pain of burying a child. And you’ve had to endure this again and again. I am just sitting with you here, in the middle of all this brokenness, just asking God to help you put pieces together again. I am so.so. sorry.
And Deb? …. Your faith. You inspire and shine for Him. I read the last part of your comment and just praise God for His love for you, and your faith in Him…. sister, What would we do without Jesus? What in the world would we do? Deb, I am saying deep, tearful prayers for you tonight, that you would continue to lean hard upon His chest … that you would hear His heartbeat for you, and for all of your precious children. Thank you for sharing with us your pain. We are here, praying with you.
I am so moved by these posts. I am praying for each sweet sister in Christ..I ask for prayer as I am a full time nurse, care for my 91 year old father who lives 2 hours away and suffers from depression after my mother was put into an Alzheimers unit..they were married 70 years..and my sweet husband is in early stages of dementia.
I have constant pain that wakes me at night which provides me time with the Lord but keeps me very tired. I lost my sister friend of 30 years to a return of breast cancer last August and have been sad inside..I know trials are protein to the spirit and sorrow keeps us close to Him..I love the Shepherd and thank Him daily that He keeps me. We can do all things through Him and by His Spirit. .we still thrive by knowing the love and support of our sisters. I am thankful for you.
Susan … I am so moved, too. My heart aches for all the burdens of all these women. So much hurt. What we would do without Jesus? He is our only hope.
Susan, I want you to know that I am praying for you as well. You’re going through so much. I’m praying for God to be especially close to you … He IS especially close, of course, but my prayer is that you would sense Him near, that you would feel Him guiding you along this path. Thank you for sharing your heart with us.
this week has been a week of hard times. This is so encouraging. Coming to realize that I fight with depression which in turn brings procrastination out in me and now we have got the news that a job we had we no longer have. My God IS and ALWAYS will be my strength, for I am weak and can do nothing without Him. And right now I need Him and He is meeting me! I give Him all the glory but I also need prayer for strength to stand in Him and on His promises. He has promised He will never leave us nor forsake us, He has promised He is my provision and supply. And in Him I have peace and joy even in the midst of the storm, and I Praise Him. Thank you for your timely words and for your prayers. In Jesus Name all is well!!
I’m glad that the words came at the right time for you. I pray that you are able to get the help you need to work through your depression, and that you can get back on your feet, running strong for Him. Thanks for sharing, Joyce. May God bless you this week.
Cheri Raduenz says
I felt like God sent this post for me, but after reading all the posts, I know that God sent it for so many. We got an email yesterday from our dear daughter that she has started divorce proceedings from her husband of 22 years. She needs to do it on her own so we pry and pray.
I am grateful to know that God used by offering of words to bring encouragement to your beautiful heart. I am so sorry about the news you’ve received. So much brokenness, and I know that God sees you, He hears you, and He is letting you know tonight that as your Comforter, He will be “strong with” you.
com + fortis
God bless you, Cheri.
Nancy Ruegg says
My path is straight and smooth right now, but found myself reading your wise post, Jennifer, in light of a past Hard Thing. I could identify with each positive outcome you highlighted: 1) Sisters help bear burdens. What a blessing several sisters were, as burden-sharers. 2) Jesus meets us in the middle. I have kept a blessings journal since 1983. The Year of the Hard Thing I had more entries than the twenty-five years previously. I didn’t set out to collect a longer list. It just happened. 3) Our Comforter is strong with us. He does indeed move in close when we’re hurting. I felt his presence–even sitting beside my in the car on my commute to work. 4) We grow stronger in Him. During that difficult time, I struggled to stay focused on Jesus and the positive things in my life. The devil worked overtime in my mind, trying to highlight the negative in neon. Sometimes he succeeded. But through the struggle I developed stronger perseverance and learned the power of praise.
Thank you, Nancy, for being one of those sisters who helps carry other sisters’ burdens. You’ve done that for me, and I can see you here in the comment box, doing that for the women here. Grateful for your friendship, your wisdom, and your example. xo
Nancy Ruegg says
The thank you must be returned to you, Jennifer. You always inspire and challenge me! But if I have helped to carry a burden, provided a friendly word, or a bit of wisdom from God, I am thrilled. Isn’t He gracious to use us in the process of encouraging and helping each other?!
This is a awesome reminder of the greatness of God and His great love for us. He never leaves us. I am struggling to help my adult daughter who is battling with addiction. I am blessed to have a wonderful sister in Christ walking along side of me through this. I met with an addictions counselor who told me to write my daughter and letter and read it to her when she returns from where ever it is she has gone off to this time. The letter will be loving, but firm with an ultimatum for her to continue to live in my home. I am scared I will not be able to follow through. I am scared she will accept the help. I am scared about so much, but I know God is with me ,and He is in control.
Praying for you tonight, BethAnn, that God will give you the strength to follow through with that letter. And that He will give your daughter the strength to accept the help she needs. (So grateful you have a sister in Christ to walk with you through the battle!)
I’m walking the last two months of what should have been a pregnant belly and excitement over another baby joining our family. We were so excited for March to come…and now I just dread it. And there are days when I see God’s goodness and I feel Him holding me, but there are also days when it feels crushing. I just hurt…and brave is so, so hard.
Praying for you today Mel. That pain is so real and deep and confusing and hard.
Hugs to you.
Mel, brave IS hard, but you’re doing it so well. I don’t believe that bravery is ignoring the pain, but having the courage to take the pain to our Father and acknowledge that we simply don’t understand. Praying that He cradles you into March and surrounds you with His comfort.
Oh Mel … Just sitting here on the floor with you, amidst all the broken pieces, and knowing that God is sitting here with us, as we scoop all of it up and hand it over to Him in prayer. What would we do without Jesus? Praying for a very special closeness with Jesus for you and your family during this difficult season. Sending so much love to you tonight.
Thank you for this post, it is very timely. My husband left me and our three sons yesterday. I trust God to comfort me and heal our marriage, clinging to Him and trusting He will comfort us all.
Oh Elizabeth … Oh the freshness of such an unimaginable, stinging wound. I am praying that God would come very, very near to you, and that He would prove Himself to be the Comforter that He promises. That he would be STRONG WITH you. (com + fortis) I am so sorry for all that you’re going through. We are here with you sister, sitting with you, hardly knowing what to say, but just holding your hands and squeezing ’em tight. So much sisterly love and prayer for you tonight, Elizabeth.
Kathy Morrissy says
Lord, I lift these women to You. Each are beauiful and wonderfully made in your image. I pray You make Yourself known to them today.
Jennifer, I send you a message to you thur your FaceBook.
Thank you Kathy, for joining in the prayers here. You know what it means to be a sister who helps carry a sister’s burden. Grateful for you tonight.
2015 is a year that my family will begin the adoption process again for a sibling for our 18 month old. Prior to adopting our little Liv we endured two heartbreaking attempts and so I know what can happen on this road, which makes it scary and vulnerable and hard. Thank you for this post. Just what I needed today.
Oh Amy! Praying all goes well for you as you begin the adoption process this year! May God’s favor be with you!
Love love love this share of strength and encouragement to remind ourselves that Jesus does not fail us in the hard times we encounter. Praise be to God!
I’m so glad the words encouraged you, Michele.
Such great words. My hard thing is I have two children, my daughter is getting married. Due to the age difference my son refueses to meet my daughters fiancee. Breaks my heart that my son refuses to share in the excitement. Therefore the words they speak are few. I am heartbroken, seems my prayer for this relationship goes unheard.
Praying for you tonight, Annette. God hears you and He sees you and He promises this: “Nothing is too hard for Me.”
I have been separated from my husband for a year now. For 22 years he was verbally and emotionally abusive. We tried a reconciliation after 10 months apart and him saying he had changed. But we hadn’t changed. We still brought out the worst in each other and that Hutt. And he hurt our daughter in the same manner calling her worthless and that she will never amount to anything. She has had numerous suicide attempts and has been in treatment centers. After this name calling happened she relapsed and has been cutting again after 18 months of not self-healing. It pains me to see this. And now we are doing psych testing to see if aside from depression and anxiety and etc if she also has bipolar. So painful to walk this road with her. So uncertain to know how her journey will turn our. So many Hard Things.
So painful, Jennifer. I pray that God takes all the pieces of your broken heart, and all of your family’s brokenness, and builds something beautiful that shows His incredible faithfulness to you. He holds you so close, dear sister. He cherishes you.
Becky Jones says
I need to check with my doctor next week to see if the breast cancer has come back in the other breast. Pray for me in this situation.
Becky, I have prayed for you tonight, that your check-up would go well, and that there would be no cancer. Thank you for sharing your heart with us here.
Amanda N. says
Thank you for this post. Sometimes speaking the truth of God’s strength and presence to yourself is not enough and you need to hear it from another person for your heart to truly understand and remember.
My Hard Thing is loneliness. I live alone and much of my work is solitary. My closest friends are spread all over the country now. And I am new to my area and will only be here temporarily, so I have difficulty finding the motivation to invest in new relationships, even though my heart tells me this is vital. I am facing a potential cross-country move later this year and I often find myself desperately wondering when I will reach a place in life where I can be rooted in a solid community of people who love and know me.
Thank you for creating space where we can all share our Hard Things. It helps.
Amanda, Your Hard Thing is so pervasive among women, and I believe, is one of the biggest drivers of our lack of contentment. It saddens me how many of us are struggling with loneliness. I struggle with this at times, too, because most of my work is done in a solitary environment. It is hard. I am praying that you can feel rooted, can find heart-friends, and the love of good people to fill that ache. I am really, really glad you shared.
i pray for u sisters.Thank u for the post.
My hard thing is completely letting go of my ex-boyfriend and financial stress that might lead to my dream of going to university not materialising.also my family is broken. But i put my trust in God.
Praying for you, Pearl. I am so sorry for all the broken places. Asking God to be STRONG WITH YOU.
Julissa Nieves says
I gave my life to Jesus for some years now I’ve battled with mental issue half of my life and still battling I thank you for your words that Jesus will meet me in my battles, that’s comforting. I pray that God may show up every day its so hard to hear from him it discourages me. I pray that he may help me to be sensitive to his voice and presence. please join me in prayer
I am praying for you tonight, Julissa. I have prayed as you’ve asked, and am so glad you shared your burden with us here at incourage. It’s our privilege to pray with you.
Susan Gruener says
Oh so many ‘hard things’ in this life…but I am so glad we have Jesus who is our HOPE. Loved this post, and especially the reminder that we need trusted ‘sisters’ to help us carry our burdens and share our hearts with. After 48 years of knowing our wonderful God, much of my ‘hard things’ are set at ‘His feet’ much sooner rather than later. I know His Word and and who God is so much better, that I do know He has my best interest at heart, and is working everything out for my good and His Glory…and that helps to know those Truths in the middle of ‘hard things’. I am praying for my son to rely on Him again and to share Jesus with his wife and my two wonderful grand kids. I know God hears my prayers and will do everything to draw my son and his family with His lovingkindness to Himself. If we live and breathe we will see ‘hard things’ in this life, but so thankful to Jesus who bears all our burdens!
Bless you as you bless others!
Hi Susan! Thanks for your encouraging, light-filled words here in the comment box tonight. So beautiful!
My husband leaving after 31 years of marriage. He is the only man I have ever known. I have been with him since I was 17. I don’t know how to live life without him. Knowing I need to move on and start over but don’t know how. Children are gone and I’ve never been by myself before. Prayers appreciated.
Karen, What an utterly heartbreaking trial you are facing. I am praying for you tonight, that God would lead you along a path toward healing. Oh Karen … I am so sorry, and feel at a loss for words. I am asking the Comforter to BE STRONG WITH YOU.
God could You carry Karen close to Your heart. She needs Your help. Please comfort and grant her Your peace and Jesus love on Karen just let her feel Your unconditionally love right now. In Jesus name.
My hard thing is in my waiting. I’m in the season of waiting. Waiting to see what God is doing. I have ask God to restore a friendship that means a lot to me. I don’t want this friendship to go the where others have gone. I’ve ask God to make the impossible possible. My hope is in His word; with God all things are possible!
Like you, I am in a season of waiting. While we wait, we need to keep praying. Last year, I prayed and prayed for God to reconcile a friendship. I was friends with this person for almost 20 years. We had an argument and I was pretty certain we would never speak again. But I kept praying about the situation and asked people from church to pray with me as well.
Two months later, my friend contacted me. We are now speaking again and while the friendship isn’t the way it was before, I know that God knows best and He is in control.
I will keep you in my prayers,
So glad that you are seeing restoration, Donna.
Praying for you in this season of wait, Joanne.
mary conner says
My husband and I are having some financial difficulties.I work a full time job.My husband is disabled and has to take alot of medications.Please pray for a financial breakthrough for us.I know that nothing is impossible with God but we are struggling to pay our bills every month.thank you and God bless you for sharing this site.
Good morning, Mary, I join you in praying for a financial breakthrough. May He give you all you stand in need of, dear one.
Thank-you for your post. I’m so sorry to hear of your Father in Law and will keep your family in my prayers.
Reading these posts tugged at my heart. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you. I pray that you will be blessed with peace and comfort, and to be able to keep the strength to carry on.
Thank you, Penny. I appreciate your kindness.
My “hard thing” for 2015 is trying to remember that I am not alone as I grieve for the loss of my husband (May 2013 car accident) and the loss of my mom (Dec 2014 cancer). I have to believe God has plan and He is with me.
Oh Teri … You’ve endured Hard Things. May you feel the hard, solid Rock beneath your feet in 2015. Praying for you this morning!
I will keep you, your husband and your family in my prayers. I went through a similar situation with an aunt two years ago. I pray God will give you His strength, His comfort and His peace.
I love this: Take the next step. A great crowd of witnesses is cheering you on.
At church this year, our theme is extravagant faith and I’ve been reading about faith. Just this morning, I read Hebrews 11.:). Faith is like a spiritual marathon. We are called to persevere. It isn’t easy and God didn’t promise us a simple life free from pain and suffering; He promised us Himself. We need to “fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross… and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2).
I hope this encourages you,
Thank you Donna. I appreciate your kindness and encouragement in the comments. Grateful for you.
lynda dunham-watkins says
I pray for each of these women who are struggling with hard things. Today is my birthday. I am waiting for surgery to remove kidney cancer from my body. It’s still at least 2 weeks away. Waiting is so difficult, but the Lord my God is with me. My faith is so much stronger, and I feel the love and protection of God all around me. I pray for strength and patience and courage. Please pray for me and my hard thing this year.
I am praying for you this morning, Lynda. Happy (belated) birthday to you. Praying with you in the wait, and praying that all the cancer will be removed from your body.
Just found out the door is being closed on restoration of our family after divorce. Former husband has announced he is getting married. This is very unexpected and need prayer for the hearts of my two teenage children.
Oh, Caroline. I am so sorry. Praying for you and your teenage children this morning. May God be STRONG WITH YOU, as your Comforter.
chris jacobsen says
2014…a year of Hard Things. How is it I am lead to this place most nights to find exactly what I need…comfort…words written in a way I cannot express, yet speak as though from my heart…..
Hi Chris, We’re so glad that our messages at Incourage speak to you. Our intention is to help you along in this journey. None of us should walk alone.
This is such wonderful truth. My hard time is my marriage of 27 years and needing a job. Just getting out of bed lately is hard
Hi Deena … Wanted you to know that you’ve been prayed for this morning. I hope this is a really good week for you!
Ashley Morris says
My hard thing Is the loss of both my parents in less than a 6 month span then I had another baby about a month ago (a month after my mom
Died) I’m feeling so many emotions it’s overwhelming
Ashley, I have you in my prayers and on my heart this morning. I can’t imagine the overwhelming sense of grief you must be feeling right now. I am glad you shared with us here, to let some sisters help you carry this burden to the Lord in prayer. When I’ve been overcome with grief, I’ve hardly known what to pray. Just couldn’t find the words at all. I’m grateful that we have sisters who can find that words that seem lost to us, and that we have a Holy Spirit who turns our groans into prayers. God is near. So are we…. Wish I could reach through the screen to hug you, Ashley.
Wow – I too received cancer news of my FIL and was the only adult available at the time, my husband and his siblings were all out of town on various business things . . . So there I sat in his hospital room with my two five year olds when the doctor came in to share the results. I made the calls to my husband and his siblings. It was hard, but such a gift.
So true, how those hard moments are lined with grace, turning them into unexpected gifts. Thank you for sharing.
Kimberly Thompson says
Praying for my prodigal. It’s been three years of watching his decisions destroy him. He knows what to do, he’s just stuck. Praying for God to give him the strength to turn back to Him and the place he knows he belongs
I often call God “the Great Unsticker of Stuck Work.” Today I’m praying to Him as the “Great Unsticker of Stuck Sons!” We join you in prayer, Kimberly.
About six months ago I stepped into my calling & purpose to encourage other women by leading a women’s support group, appropriately called LIFE Support…Living In Faith Everyday. I have been qualified by God after walking through many hard things including the death of my husband 3 years ago and coming out on the other side in His victory! My hard thing today…a diagnosis I received a few days ago, DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ). I do not fear this report because I believe the report of the Lord…healed! I’m asking for prayer in the “walking it out” in front of these precious ladies that I would walk worthy of Him, bring honor and glory to by Healer! NOTHING hard I have ever been through has not been worth it, bringing me closer to Him and a higher level of knowledge and understanding of Who He is and who I am in Him, I trust Him. The InCourage website has been a great gift to me! Thank you!
My son is caught in an addiction and needs the power of a comforter to break through. Please pray for my husband and I to have wisdom how to best move forward in that area.
prayers for strength to live out tough love with my daughter, Ashton.
Lynn D says
My hard is my 26 year old daughter. She has two children and currently lives with us. She met young man on-line. After a year, she met him in person. After visiting four days, they are planning a wedding. She is planning to pull her children out of school, and out of our home to move 1500 miles to live with him to prepare for the wedding. For many reasons she is breaking my heart, but also she has no concept of what this will do, emotionally and financially, to her and her boys. I am needing strong comfort these days. She has set her emotions on this and is not willing to talk with us about the logic vs emotion of the situation. Appreciate just being able to say the words here. Thank you for the encouragement.
Karen Janjanin says
My Hard Thing is that I am dying from multiple fatal illnesses and one has come to the forefront. It is destroying my internal organs, making them hard and stiff. It is Scleroderma. I have been fighting illnesses for so long, 30 years, and I am tired. I know to be absent from the body is to be present with Christ, but I will leave behind a precious husband. I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me. I need Him now more than ever. Thank you for allowing me to share. I have never done this before. Karen
Karen … I hardly know what to say. I am just sitting here with you, groping for words, and asking God to draw you so close to Him that you can heart the heartbeat of your Savior. May He grant you all that you stand in need of … and then more of what you could have never imagined –immeasurably more. May He flood you with His presence, and His assurances. I feel so inadequate here to come up with any of the right words to convey my appreciation for your bravery, and my compassion for your circumstances. I’ve had you on my heart all day long, and have struggled with how to respond. I will continue to pray for you, Karen. I carry you in my heart, and your name is on my lips.
This is nothing compared to everyone’s comments , I’m praying for you all ! Pls know ur not alone , my hard thing is I’m stepping out and auditioning for the music team – a big thing for me<3 you all
Praying for you, Emma. I apologize for the delay in getting here to pray for you. So many comments, and all so heartfelt.
First of all, way to step right past your fear and onto that audition stage. How did it go? Cheering you on!
Hi Donna, my love and blessings!
Thank you for sharing your story with me and for encouraging and strengthening my hope in God that with Him all things are possible!
Just like you I do have people at church who is praying and I’m praying praying praying. And when I feel like all is lost and feelings of doubt and defeat comes upon me so I will give up, I pray and God sends His encouragement to me, the only way He alone can do it. He uplifts me and tells me not to give up. I see Him do it again with you Donna writing to encourage me. Thank you my friend.
May the Lord bless you and protect you, may the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you, may the Lord show you His favor and give you His peace. In Jesus Name.
3 weeks ago I delivered my 36-week stillborn daughter. My Hard Thing right now is everything (even the once-simple things). I have so much sadness, anger, denial, questions, & numbness.
Oh Court … I am so sorry. Just sitting here with you … right here, praying. God sees you, cups your face in His hands, and whispers His love over you.
As I read each above comment, I cried cause they’re more than written words but heart and souk hurts and struggles. This past week one of my attackers popped into my place of work…I was stunned. Flashbacks and memories have reflooded.. it’s been 2 years. I still hurt. I tell you so you can pray for him he is getting into more and more dark trouble.
I am praying for you today, and for all that you’re going through.
Mary, I am so glad you reached out and shared your struggle in the comment box. Your Hard Thing is NOT minor at all. I lift you up to the Lord tonight … as well as your son, your ex-husband, and your other children. I also pray that God gives you the strength to push through the fear and insecurity to do what He’s calling you to do with your writing. God bless you, Mary.
I read your post today and it reminds me we have the ultimate Comforter. Our baby girl Harley was stillborn Nov 6, 2014. She went straight to Jesus due to a the umbilical cord around her neck. I’ve had a very hard time today. I have deep moments of grief. It comes at unexpected times. I pray for all these courageous women. We couldn’t do it without Jesus or each other. We are going to have a long journey grieving the death of our baby girl. It’s almost like I survive minute by minute. I read your blog and God sends me comfort. Thank you
Kristi … Unbearable, unimaginable. … I am so sorry for your great loss. You have my deepest sympathy and my most earnest prayers this morning. I am grateful that my offering of words could pour some comfort into your life, Kristi.
Jesus, I lift up each lady here. You know thier names and thier burdens. Please Lord Jesus help them to feel your comfort. Wrap your arms around them. They need to feel your presence as they walk through the valleys. Yeah though I walk through the valleys of the shadow of death I will fear no evil for thou are with me. May you get the glory and honor. In Jesus name Amen. My hard thing are my two prodigal children and separation from my daughter. Please pray for my children. My heart is breaking as I watch them choose the world over Christ.
Thank you, Mary, for joining in the prayers…. I’m praying for you, too, as you deal with your own Hard Things. May God be your Great Comforter — one who is STRONG WITH YOU. (com + fortis)
I stop just to share love. I can’t hardly put into words my Hard Things.
So instead I bring you love.
If I could come knock on your door just to give you a big old bear hug I would. I would do this for each and every single one of you. Something I know is that in those hugs I receive love, healing and grace that carries Me forward for countless days. For that, I’ll thank you!!
Thank you for joining in the prayers and encouragement, Nicki.
thank you for the chance to share and be open and pray, My hard thing is my son who is not walking with God and waiting on the Lord to bring him home
Praying for you and for your son, Debbie.
It is so hard being a woman at times. I just read through all the posts,sending love and so many prayers to each and everyone of you. Some times life rubs us raw and we just ache.
We are dealing with aging parents . My husbands mom has entered a rehab center, at this point things are just not good. My husband is my caregiver as well and this awesome man rocks. I know right now he feels like Gumby being pulled in so many directions. I also have 13 more treatments to go for a auto immune disease cause my my cancer and treatment of it years ago. I pray we can do all the things we need to do to help our parents. Right now we are just placing it in Gods hands. I simply don’t know what else to do.. Please pray for my husband our Family. xxx
Hi Kerry … Sending prayers up for you this morning. You’re dealing with very Hard Things. I pray that God is near and He proves Himself strong as your Great Comforter. Thank you for sharing with us. It’s a privilege to pray for you.
I am new to (in)courage and this is my first courageous comment. Here goes…
I am 25 years old, from Brisbane, Australia. In July 2013 I married my husband who is based in South Africa. We wanted to live in Australia but are waiting for his visa to come through. In the meantime, I decided to move to SA indefinitely so we can be together. I made the decision, with God. But there are times that I just miss my family and friends so much, I miss “my life” and working and doing the things that I could do in Brisbane. I love my husband, but 6 months in… things are not as perfect as it seemed before we were married. We fight now and again and it’s always disconcerting. We always make up soon after and communicate well, but… it’s hard! Marriage is hard! Leaving home is hard!
It’s funny, because I know I will miss this time when it is over and we move back. I am not working right now and I worry about whether I will find work when I’m back, but… I have so much time for our relationship. There are pros and cons to this, as with everything. I have always resisted change, especially moving cities/countries. I don’t know how some people do it often. But even as I write this, I feel so silly, because there are harder things in life.
I’m thankful for all the avenues out there to help, inspire, and guide women like me these days. Incourage really does help to have hope and know there are other like minded women out there going through God-approved hard things. Love to you all xx
We’re so glad you reached out in the comments, Keziah! That’s what this comment box is for, so feel free to share your thoughts, your needs, and also your encouragement of others who are struggling through Hard Things. We’re so glad you’re a part of the (in)courage community.
My hard thing is battling the deep sense of unworthiness that I feel and the loss of my dreams due to divorce. My ex-husband was emotionally and mentally abusive and he deliberately made our divorce as financially destroying as possible to me. After 8 years of this toxic, dark valley, the process is over. I have emerged crushed and alone. My family live a 24 hour drive away from me. God has blessed my ex-husband in every way through this and I see no restoration in my life. I struggle with feeling like God hates me, like I am unlovable and that life will only be a struggle with no relief. How do I heal? How do I know what to do when God has been mute for the past 8 years.
Thanks for your prayers. I appreciate in(courage) more than you know and thank God for you all!
Thank you for sharing your heart with us. I wish I could reach through the screen, hold your hands in mine, and reassure you that you are utterly loved and cherished. My heart’s cry in my ministry, and in my book, is for women to know they have nothing to prove. That you are preapproved! Before God created the world, He decided IN ADVANCE to love you. I pray that His truth will fall afresh on your heart today, Lyn.
Like many of you on here, I battle depression and anxiety. I’ve been on medication for it for 16 years, but recently worked with a doctor to come off of it to get pregnant. It’s been quite the battle as it didn’t work well and I’ve fought the rollercoaster of utter, hopeless depression and paralyzing anxiety. It seems that no matter what “right things” I do- pray, stay in the word, talk to Christian friends, see a doctor- it keeps coming back and dragging me down. Although I have a wonderful husband and church family, I feel so alone and scared. I know that the spirit of God is not of fear, but feeling that way is so much different. I know that God is good and He is faithful- but its so hard when you don’t feel it. Every minute that goes by is agonizing.
Thank you Jeanne, for sharing. A prayer for you:
Dear Lord, Help me to remember this week that no matter what we’re facing, You’re bigger. No matter where we’re weak, You’re stronger. No matter where we’re falling, You can pick us up. Your provision is not lacking. Your love is not too weak. And Your arm is not too short to save. You said it, and we believe it: “Nothing is too hard for me.” (Jeremiah 32:27)
Cathy E. says
I get Migraines. I need a shot to stop it in its track and when the insurance stops paying for this..I need to pay for it. I can’t take anything else. Yes, I have prayed and prayed, and continue to pray..yet the pain is still there…so I take medicine for it. I also take medications for anxiety/depression. This started about 21 yrs ago. I hot married in 1995. Boy, was it a roller coaster marriage..now that we are older..it is still hard for me..Life is hard! Yet, I know I have an advocate, and that is Jesus Christ. I’m a believer!..I just need prayer for everything in my life!
Praying for you this morning, Cathy, that your migraines ease up!
I kind of laughed when you mentioned that maybe the hard thing one is going through, is getting out of bed in the morning. I am not depressed, but physically, I do find it so difficult getting out of bed in the morning. I have struggled with being able to fall asleep, for months, and my doctor recently prescribed a med that helps me fall asleep. I am so grateful to now be able to fall asleep in a fairly short time. But the getting out of bed is such a struggle-maybe I have chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia? I don’t know. But I felt like even my need that really isn’t that big a deal compared to some life changing events, of just getting out of bed, can be considered hard. It is not unusual to not get out of bed until 1 or 2 P.M., if I do not have a commitment earlier in the day.
Michelle, You’re definitely not alone in that struggle! I hope and pray that you get the answers you need, dear one.
Loved this devotional. Really spoke to me. Things are so difficult at work right now and I truly do not know what to do. I’ve been praying for direction from the Lord but not hearing anything yet. Being a single Mom of 2 girls and their sole support, I’m not in a position to quit. I simply do not know what to do!
I am so sorry to hear about your struggle, Rosemarie, but glad you reached out in the comments. I’m praying for you now, and am glad that the words in this devo spoke to you.
Thank you for what you do!! There are hard things that sometimes can’t be shared or at least we are afraid to share and be open to others knowing. So, I pray for all those that have read this, but are unable for various reason to share their hard thing. I carry you in my heart and prayers.
My hard thing has been learning how to work with my son who we just finally found out is border line autistic. The spectrum is so big and so different for each child. It has been hard figuring out what works, what doesn’t and trying new things while keeping calm as much as possible. My hard thing is not knowing what to answer him when he asks why so many appt’s. My hard thing has been wanting to do so much, but feeling like I do so little. I have many hard things, but that one right now over powers the rest. I want to cry, but I can’t and when tears are coming out, it doesn’t seem to be right place, so I hold them back.
Thank you again for writing this and answering every comment, yes, I noticed!!!
Marilyn … Our (in)courage sister Ann Voskamp wrote these words last night on her Facebook page. When I read what you said about your tears, I thought of Ann’s words. I hope her word are a comfort to you today! I know they were to me …
:for folks like us, there’s no rough day, rough season or rough road that can beat us up so bad that it steals our wallet full of thank-yous. We’re the folks who can still say at the end of hard days,
thank God that there’s not a tear that falls on earth
that isn’t caught in heaven.
We’re the brave who keep in the game because You keep us in Christ & we can stand in the midst of our impossible & thank You for a faith that passes the test of discouragement —
because You part our Red Seas & have us pass through an ocean of overwhelm & keep going, on the *strength of You.*
We’re the people at the end of the day who can say:
Thank You for being the pillowed
rest into which we can sink real deep & find a Peace that passes all understanding — because no matter what’s overwhelming us, underneath us are Your everlasting arms.
And no way, no how, You won’t let go — *You won’t let go of us.*
In the name of the only One who
loved us to death, to life…
In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
Isn’t that so beautiful?
Thanks for sharing, Marilyn.
Beth Williams says
I had a rough year last year dealing with my aging dad’s illness. I felt worn out, stressed and a little depressed. Adding to that my hubby almost lost his job and I didn’t like mine.
The hard thing I need to do is wait. Wait patiently on God to work on my behalf and change my work circumstances one way or another. Waiting is not something I can do readily easy. I need to grow as a Christian, pray for and encourage others along our journey!
Praying for you this morning, Beth. That you would feel it deep within — how strength rises when we wait upon the Lord.
Kathy Parker says
My hard thing today is going with husband for his bone marrow test for chronic anemia that has gotten worse. I am so frightened by this, I am shaking all over. Daily we try to leave this with the Lord but it comes back in waves and I do not want to go through this. Pray that each step will be in the palm of God’s hand.
I’m reading this late, and just wanted you to know I’ve got you on my mind tonight, Kathy. I hope everything went ok!
Catherine Ellis says
My daughter (22) signed a lease on her first apartment last night. I am scared and excited for her at the same time. I shall miss her! Life will be different. She is my best friend and now it was easy to be that when she lived at home. Will it be so easy when she is “out there”? I am selfish and yet so excited for her as she takes this next step. I have raised her for this moment. I know she is God’s and that He will protect her and guide her. Pray for us (my husband and I as we watch our little bird fly) and pray that our daughter always chooses to rest in the Lord!
Jennifer the hard thing in my life right now is knowing that I can’t do anything for my daughter who has aml she is in a critical up in Connecticut. I live in Pennsylvania. It is hard to know that I can’t do anything for her. I also know that this is all in God’s hands. Please keep this family in prayer.
I struggle with bipolar and anxiety disorder. I recently had to quit my job. I struggle to get thru each day
TY HINES says
First, thank God for his good and loving servants, Thank Roy for this post and making it so others can share their stories and pray for each other ! Sometimes I find that simply being able to share your story with other caring Christians is in itself a great blessing from God! Feeling alone during our times of great difficulty can be a burden itself ! I would love to be able to talk to someone who understands this journey of humanity to help me to better understand it, I have so many questions. I know we are the cause of many problems but then – we also know that evil is hard at work on this Earth and has been for a long time. God is indeed our only hope . I have worked in the housing industry for over 40 yrs , our industry was devastated when the economy collapsed some eight years ago and there was nothing I could do about it – so I also ask for your prayers . The economic difficulties my family and I have had to face were beyond my imagination before the crash came. Never the less I pray to God for everyone on earth , especially the kids and those who are his faithful servants and who cry out and pray to God for help , that God will help each and everyone with what ever their needs may be. In Jesus name I pray – Amen !
I WOULD LIKE PRAYER FOR BEING HEALED FROM COPD AND ALSO HAVING SOME BAD THOUGHTS AT TIME ABOUT LIFE ALLOT OF DEPRESSION AND ANIEXTY. COULD USE PRAYERS
I have Lyme disease. Have for 2 1/2 years. :/ it can get discouraging and painful and I get down because I feel 70 sometimes, but I’m only 29. I try to live my life to the fullest, but sometimes its hard!
The Lord led me to the (in)courage site for the first time today, and reading thru’ the trials & answers which were written was such an encouragement to me. I will be 80 the end of February, and although I don’t consider this a Hard Thing because I have walked, trudged and dragged my feet during these years with my Saviour. Tthere are times when I long for Home and knowing the Hope that is ours makes even the Hard Things, as I look back over the landscape of years, appear to have been ways He has drawn me to His side or carried me when I was so alone. Sisters in Christ, you are never alone!
He lives in your heart and has known from eternity past all theses rough places over which we had/ have to walk. Praise be to our great God!
Lorilee Mundfrom says
My sons and I are still grieving my husband’s sudden passing last March. It has been a year of confusion, trying to adjust to life without him, and still seeking to do what God would have us do! We are moving back to our home out West this spring. I am praying for God’s guidance in all things. I pray that I won’t go ahead of His leading or lag behind but follow closely. Please pray for peace and comfort in our HARD THING.
My daughter sent me this article this morning. Read it with a little anxiety.
My sister is about to leave her house (she has been married for 8 years), because her husband
has been cheating for several years now. He refuses to leave the other woman, in fact he defends her by saying: she helped set up my business, so I cannot leave her”. They are having a sexual relationship, whereas he has not been intimate with my sister for quite some time now. He also does not support her financially.
Yesterday, my sister told me “there’s no longer ‘us’. Not anymore.
Now she is looking for a house to rent; she wants to leave as soon as possible.
When I read the article today I asked myself: “is this the answer to our prayer”.
My sister accepted to Lord a few years ago; she loves the Lord, but these difficulties with her husband hinder her from serving the Lord in a proper way. She says she seeks to hear Gods voice clearly, telling her what she should do. She’s at her witt’s end!
I’ve prayed, we’ve prayed, but to tell you the truth, at a certain point, I think I might have given up.
This article helped me to see clear ………..again. I send her this article with the subject: to encourage you. I pray and hope for a solution.
What advise can I give her?
Thank you for this article and God bless you.
My hard thing is dealing with my panic attacks that have been surfacing last month and not letting up. But God is with me and I know that it’s not too hard for Him. Please keep me in your prayers as I am having trouble remembering this in my time of anxiety/panic.
Jackie Cunningham says
Thank you, dear one, for communicating God’s heart so beautifully! You are a special gift to the Body of Christ. You have ministered to the needs of my life over and over again! And even now as I have just lost my husband of 61 years! May the Lord continue to bless us through you!