Feed on

it’s okay to struggle

Jasper Slater Dec 2016-74

The struggle is real.

Disappointment happens. Things don’t go the way we thought they would. Friends stop being friendly. Boyfriends and girlfriends break up. We don’t get the solo in the school performance. We don’t make the team. Our team loses the game. People move away. Jobs change. Homes change. We wrestle with sickness, financial hardship, unanswered questions and broken dreams.

That earnest fight to fix what is broken, turn back the hands of time, or rewrite history are all a part of the struggle. And while we can’t fix what is broken, turn back the hands of time or rewrite history, we can allow the struggle to invade our happy place and give it free access to do its work in our lives. Our struggle, whether big or small, if given permission, will produce in us the faith that will serve us well throughout our lives and be the blessing our souls are longing for.

Powerful life lessons and skills can be developed only through hard things, and the following are a few of my thoughts on that:

1. The struggle makes you strong. You are strong when you struggle seems a little contradictory, but it is true. Some people are born with a natural inner fortitude. For the rest of us, this inner fortitude is developed through struggle, pain and challenges that God allows to fall in our path. The strongest people I know are the ones who have walked through hard things. If you want to be strong, don’t resist the struggle.

2. The struggle cultivates empathy. People who have struggled tend to look at others’ struggles with much more empathy and grace. If we allow our hurt to heal and not turn us bitter, then we have the opportunity to love hurting people with greater insight, sincerity and compassion. Empathy creates openness. The world is starving for it. ¬†Allow God to cultivate the gift of empathy in you so that you become the conduit of grace that this world so desperately needs.

3. The struggle leads to triumph. You will never know what true victory feels like until you’ve had to struggle. It’s like the story of the butterfly. In order to become the beautiful specimen of nature that God created it to be it first has to struggle to break out of its cocoon. There is no other way to experience this freedom than through pain. We love to see the beauty, but we hate to feel the struggle. Once we break through, and allow the struggle to run its course, we can then experience the joy and reward of the triumph.

4. The struggle writes a better story. We all love stories. The best ones keep us on our toes. Our heroes and heroines fight through battles, overcome obstacles and all kinds of set backs, and we love it. A story without struggle is a story no one wants to read. Don’t let your current moment of hard steal your opportunity to grow, learn and write a better story.

5. The struggle leads you to Jesus. Some struggles come and they go. They bear down on our lives for a season of time, but eventually we come out on the other side. Yet some struggles leave us a little bit broken. The night before Jacob met his brother Esau he wrestled with an angel (Genesis 32). During this struggle the angel touched the socket of Jacob’s hip leaving him with a limp. This limp that he carried with him until his grave was not to be resented or disdained, but to be a reminder to him that his struggle resulted in God’s blessing upon his life. We often see the scars of our struggles as a sort of handicap, that thorn in our flesh that keeps us from success and goodness. But every wound that God allows to pierce our flesh or touch our souls is meant to remind us that he has seen us through. His blessing is his presence and his Spirit holding us and keeping us together. The struggles that leave us a little bit broken are the struggles that lead us into deeper intimacy with Jesus.

We all will walk through struggles as we walk through this life. And I want you to know that it’s okay. It’s okay to struggle. It’s okay to not have it all together. If we just hang in there, keep wrestling, keep holding on, God’s blessing will fall upon our lives and our stories will be records of victory and not defeat.

Yes, the struggle is real. But God is real too. And it’s okay to struggle.

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4

If you're new here, you may want to subscribe to my RSS feed. Thanks for visiting!

2 Responses to “it’s okay to struggle”

  1. Jonette says:

    Not only is this beautifully written – it’s truth we all need to hear! Powerful! So good! Thanks girl

  2. Jeanie Gergen says:

    Love your insights, Amy.

Leave a Reply