With new beginnings come new ideas, new goals and new feelings of insecurity and doubt. (Cue sound of needle scratching against a record.)

Feelings of insecurity and doubt, you ask.

Yes, I retort. Because with change and challenge comes feelings of overwhelm and doubt.

Can I do this?

Is it even the right thing to do?

Why do I want to do it at all?

Feelings that all of us have deep down when we tackle anything new. Probably one of the most self-defeating is, “Can I really do this?  Me, with my history and weaknesses?”

We look back to the hurts and failures in our past, wanting to run as far away from them as we can.

I’m asking you to stop and look them in the face. Look at your past, name those things you wish weren’t there and instead of banishing them, hug them… bring them close to you and thank them. (getting a little weird I know, but stick with me.)

Most people wish away the hard things of life. They seek a life of comfort and ease. They strive to put distance between anything and anyone that may have done damage to their ego, bodies, and minds.

This is natural. Completely so.

I had a thought this summer while I was sitting for a month in the hospital with my son . A small itty bitty thought that has grown into a mindset.

What if I had a life of comfort? Or more specifically, because I am a mom, and this is really where my mind goes – – what if my children had a life of comfort and ease? What if I could protect them and myself from having to face difficulty ever again?

For a minute it sounds amazing. Like paradise. But just like a picture of sitting on a beach doesn’t convey the gritty sand grinding against your soft feet and the sand fleas biting your ankles, the ideal we hold in our minds of a life of comfort forgets that a life of comfort leads to a shallow soul without depth and compassion.

A life of ease leads to entitlement and an aversion to press on.

Do me a favor. Name three times in your life where you had complete ease at either accomplishing something or receiving something. For example, you win a championship because someone threw the game? You win a board game only to find out your opposition let you win “to make you feel good.” Someone handed you a car or an easy out.  I’ll give you a minute….

How does it feel?

While some of these things aren’t wrong in and of themselves, did they make you feel accomplished? Good about yourself? Boost your self-confidence or self-esteem? Did they make you better in any way?

Now, list some things you accomplished through great difficulty or that happened to you, your fault or not, but were pretty crappy.

Can you name something you learned from that process? A way in which you grew into a stronger person? A way that your spiritual life flourished?

Yeah. It sucks, I know. Learning and growth happen during the hard parts of life.

So I’m here today challenging you to join me in embracing hard.

Reach out and kiss hardship in the face because it’s here to teach you, to stretch you, to make you a better person. {tweet that}

In his book All the Places You Go John Ortberg said, “Almost never does God interrupt someone and ask them to remain in comfort, safety, and familiarity. He opens a door and calls them to come through it…. God’s primary will for your life is not the achievements you accrue; it’s the person you become.”

Thank you John, because truth…. that is truth.

If you know even a fraction of our story, you know we’ve endured our own amount of hard. I speak from experience.

I’m also asking you to help me speak to your experience. I’ve compiled a short survey to help me better serve you. It will tell me what you like to hear about me and tell me what you’re struggling to understand in the midst of your hardship. So like Jerry McGuire said, “Help me, help you.” It will only take a few minutes, but means a lot to me. Much thanks in advance.

Click Here to take survey 


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(c) 2016 Leighann Marquiss