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An Ugly 4-Letter Word

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).

This word is one of those unfriendly truths about life - it can be hard. Not that we should expect "hard" or have to like "hard" or look for things to be "hard" or want things to be “hard”, it is just that sometimes they are. Life can be hard. It sounds negative, but I think there is much to learn about hard. There is a space to explore to find good things in our own personal hard. It may sound defeating, but it can produce freedom and greater depth of character when we learn to reframe “hard” and expect it to offer something good.

"I can do hard things" became a private affirmation I would say to myself after the birth of our third baby. At that time we had a 3-year old, an 18-month old and a newborn. We were outnumbered and unprepared for the intensity of the constant care of these three babies. Yes, there was joy and fun and happiness. And it was also H - A - R - D. I thrive on a good checklist to tackle because it creates a sense of accomplishment. Well, in this season of life, all the 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.

(This is my 3-year old & 18-month old meeting their new brother in the hospital. I wasn't the only one who felt like things were hard. LOL)

When you read books about peoples' 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 the outcome, usually the more "hard" came with the journey. It is almost a proving ground for growth. It is like God is saying,

"Can you be trusted with more?”

“Are you going to see this through just when it is 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 continue to try to do it yourself?”

“Just wait and see the person I will develop inside of you as you walk with me through this season of hard.”

"Hard" is the where the better version of you lives. You have to fight through some bad days to earn the best days of your life.

I stumbled upon this quote a few years ago: “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 hardships. Adversity can be the tool God often uses to form us into a more beautiful version of the person He has created us to be. Therefore, may we always have a willingness to take hard when it comes and learn to rely on Him for our strength and transformation in the process.

Beautiful girl, you can do hard things.

Keep taking your next best step is allll.the.things.

You’ve got this,


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