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I picked up a new phrase after my son Eddie died almost 8 years ago.  The difficulties surrounding his death, the ongoing drama involving people and situations that I cannot control, the darkness that descended upon our lives, the chaos of deep grief, along with the daily issues of life led me to look for a way to describe it all. I settled on beginning to describe things as “harder than hard”. I’m sure I didn’t make it up or create it, but it was new for me and still is.

There you are in a new situation that has compounded on the last situation that has added to the situation that hasn’t gone away for the last 8 years.  You’re facing a day that is ‘harder than hard’ and I’m sorry. It’s hard. It’s challenging. It feels like you can’t make it.  No one seems to understand you.  Their advice, as meaningful as it is, just doesn’t quite connect beyond the surface level.  You feel alone. You feel hurt. You feel disheartened.

As you step back a little though, it’s true.  How could they possibly grasp the depth of pain you are in because of the decisions your daughter is making that are ripping out your heart? How could they understand the feelings of rejection you fight after your husband left you? How could they grip the depth of fear you feel because of the hype surrounding COVID, oh not just hype, but because of the friend that died due to its complications. How could they grasp the loneliness you face day after day? All of this plus the day to day hardships you live with. It’s harder than hard.

This morning on my Twitter feed was a link to an article written by a dad to his son on his 21st birthday. It caught my eye and I clicked through to read the letter. It’s been a few years since my kids were 21 and I was curious how this dad celebrated such a momentous day.  It turned out to be a letter written by a grieving dad to his son who died in this past year, not making it to 21 years of life on earth. Wow, I wasn’t expecting that.

My day actually started off on a stronger note today.  I didn’t have one thought (yet) about the hard painful parts of my life until I read this letter!  Life can be like that, throwing curves balls our way that stir up all sorts of emotions, pains, and unrelenting hurt. Yet, it was a beautiful note filled with such love.  I’m glad I read it even if it did flood my mind with memories that were hard to process.  I chose to pause, pray, and press on with the day which is always a wise choice.

Friend, today I don’t have “3 ways to handle this”, or “4 things to do when”, although I can think of a few truths in the Bible that would easily apply to your daily dilemma. Instead I want to give you a simple encouragement in this life of pain you’re living.  Jesus Christ is faithful to you. He loves you. He Himself knows pain personally. He knows your pain. He will get you through this day and enable you to endure the ‘harder than hard’ situations that bear down on your very soul.

Jesus invites us into His rest.  We are wise and would do well to accept that beautiful invitation.

Matthew 11:28–30 (NLT) “Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”



One Comment

  • Yolanda Hall says:

    Oh how the Lord knew I needed this today. I’m in a harder than hard season and feel so weary right now. But God is faithful and will see me through.

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