Have you ever felt discouraged? I know you have. I’ve felt discouraged so many times in my life, I’ve lost count and I’m almost certain so have you. We try over and over to do the right thing, to stay on track, to keep moving. And it seems like things finally might be getting easier or back to normal, but then you read something, somebody says something or you hear something and you’re back to square one. Sometimes it feels like you’re running and running, but you never get anywhere. Like you might break any moment from just running in place.
I suppose we do feel like this sometimes because we want something right away. But then we tell ourselves that we don’t want it right away, if we could at least see progress. At least see that we were getting somewhere, that something was changing, that one day it would happen, but as hard as we look, we can’t see anything. All we see is a cloud of dreams beyond reach. Even if you can reach them, it feels impossible to make them a reality. There’s so, so many things standing in your way. You could probably right two pages full of why it’ll never happen. Why you should just give up. I know I could.
The other day I felt hopeless and every possible reason there was on why I should give up popped in my head. I know this happens to each and everyone of us. And then we think how much easier life would be if we could just stay snuggled up in our own world and not worry about anything going on twelve miles outside of your house. I thought how easy it would be to just do laundry, clean the house, take care of our little yard, maybe have a few animals and just read. At that moment that’s what I wanted. But you know what? As easy as that sounds, I don’t want easy. I love taking care of our little yard and dreaming about having animals to take care of, I love cooking for my husband, but there’re bigger fish to fry. When I was discouraged and I wanted some comfort, all I got was, “Life is hard.” And that’s it. That’s all they said. No word of comfort, just the plain honest truth. Life is hard.
We all know how hard life is, no one has to tell us. The eight-year-old knows it when he gets laughed at school, the twelve-year-old knows when his friends leave him, the twenty-one-year-old knows it when everything starts falling apart in his awesome new apartment, the forty-three-year-old knows it when his children move out and he has to let go, everyone at some point has learned that life isn’t easy. But what would we get if it was? Honestly, I don’t even know how to sum up life if it wasn’t hard. But I do know that we wouldn’t appreciate the peaceful moments when everything’s just right and you wish you could stay in that moment forever. I do know that we wouldn’t even stop to appreciate all the hard work we put in to it, I do know that life wouldn’t be so precious.
Sometimes we just need to be reminded that, even though life is hard for us, it’s hard for everyone. And that everyone doesn’t have to carry it alone—no one does. We will all feel completely hopeless at times, but we all have the Lord by our side to help us. I want the hard times, just like I want the easy times, because without the hard times, I wouldn’t get the easy times. I wouldn’t know how special they really are. And I wouldn’t know the helping hand of God. Whatever you’re feeling discouraged about, remember that, life is hard, but the easy times come after the hard times. And most of all, remember that no matter what, you always have someone holding you. He (Jesus) will never leave you.
Wishing you all the best wherever you’re at and wherever you’re headed,
Maria Loewen Friesen