It’s been a while since I’ve written a post, since life has been all kinds of crazy. The latest bit of crazy has been my husband’s hunt for a new job, which has finally ended in our family accepting an offer in Lubbock, Texas.
Our families both live here in Colorado, my husband has lived in Colorado his whole life, and we are close with the people in our church family here. Moving away will mean starting with no friends, not knowing our way around, finding a different church, getting used to Connor’s new job and work schedule, starting a new phase with my Young Living business, and adjusting to life over 500 miles away from the people we know and love.
I’ve been in a bit of a hard season for a while now due to lots of different things going on in my life, and a big thing like moving states, however good and blessed by the Lord it may be, will always be hard.
Here are some of the things I’ve learned are so very important to do when we’re facing hard things.
1. Pause and reflect.
There is a reason God tells us to “be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). Stopping to process and think through things can be so helpful for us! Oftentimes in the whirlwind and chaos caused by our hard things, we tend to lose focus and sometimes our rationality. Hard things become giant hard things, that will probably never get better, and there may even become a zombie apocalypse involved. Pausing, being still, and reflecting on what is actually going on helps up to regain our focus.
When we spend time before the Lord in prayer, we gain so many things. So talk to God about what’s going on in your world. Your worries, your excitement, the things you’re unsure of, your desire for guidance and direction and wisdom as you encounter your hard things. Even when you’re angry about your hard things, hash it out with God. He wants your heart, even in those messy times! “Cast all your anxieties on Him because He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7)
3. Read your Bible.
This sounds super cliche. Don’t let me lose you here, friends. The safest place to go when our lives are changing, hard things are coming, or we’re in the midst of painful trials that seem never-ending, is to the Lord. We learn so much about His character, His plans for us, and how trustworthy He is from His Word. We find stories of people like us going through hard things, and we see over and over the character of God shine through their lives. During the times in our lives we’re encountering things that make us question if God is good, it is most important to be in the Bible and to remind ourselves of Who God promises us He is.
4. Lean into your people.
Friends. We are made for community. Sometimes as our hard things come, our tendency can be to withdraw or isolate ourselves. But we need people. We were made to walk with people through their hard things, and allow others to walk with us through our hard things as well. Whether that looks like having someone bring you a meal, come clean your house, talk to you on the phone, or cry with you, let people be with you in your hard things. “A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” (Ecclesiastes 4:12)
5. Gain perspective.
Not to sound too “think of that person who has it worse than you” but…kind of. We always want to take a step back and evaluate where our hard things fall in the realm of the world and eternity. This includes being in nature, serving other people, going on a trip, visiting someone in a hospital, or being part of anything that is bigger than yourself. This does not mean that you are discounting your pain. It means simply recognizing the rest of the world outside of your own pain.
God made us to go full-cycle. Grieving is part of being human. Grieving can be about little, seemingly-silly things like that shoe you wanted being sold out, you getting a lower grade than you had worked for, or finding the leftover pizza that was in the fridge is now gone. And grieving can also be big things, like the loss of a loved one, bad news from the doctor, or having your car broken into and your wallet stolen for the third time. We need to give our hearts permission to grieve our hard things, admit they are hard, allow ourselves to be hurting, and then begin the process to help resolve that feeling of grief.
7. Trust that God is good.
This ties in with reading our Bibles. Even when we cannot feel it, we must believe it. We live in a broken world, with no promise of continual happiness. Hard things will come. But God is still sovereign, and God is still good. This is what gives us hope and what gives us the ability to endure trials. He said “I am He Who will sustain you” (Isaiah 46:4), and He will be faithful to what He has promised. So trust Him. He knows what He’s doing. And there will be more beauty from our pain than we can ever imagine.