Hello, TPILers! Welcome to a whole new batch of new subscribers! It’s wonderful to have you here. I hope you enjoy this place for encouragement, humor and common ground.
This week we had our first Facebook Live video after this essay below just wasn’t gelling. I wondered if it just needed to be spoken. Feel free to go to TPIL’s FB group to watch it but if you need it in written form (ish), here ya go!
My son is assigned to practice math facts at least ten minutes a day. He logs onto the computer, goes to the designated site and I think nothing of it. A few weeks ago though, his sister informed me that apparently he’s been doing the 0 facts EVERY DAY. As in learning and practicing NOTHING.
I asked him about it and he informed me that he WAS practicing math facts and he WAS doing it for the entire length of time. We then had a nice chat about how our brains are like a muscle and we have to use and challenge it to get stronger. Doing easy stuff doesn’t make us smarter and lifting light weights doesn’t make us stronger.
I have many friends who, with their last ounce of strength, fastened the door firmly on 2017 and immediately fell to their face, begging for a better year ahead. For many, it was filled with doubt, fear, unwanted change as well as financial, emotional and physical pain.
One such dear friend asked me recently, “Does it get any easier?” and I smiled and replied, “No, but you do get stronger.”
I remember when we lived in Iowa and we had three children in diapers. My husband worked long hours at the airport and we seemed to have blizzard after blizzard where he was working overtime plowing and deicing. My hands were raw from the deep cold and frequent washings with the constant diapering. All day. Every day. I felt isolated and slightly hopeless. I felt like this day would be on repeat for every day in the foreseeable future.
But I had a friend who told me:
This is not your forever. Your children will grow out of diapers. Spring will come. Your husband will come home. This is not your forever.
I’ve learned that in these valleys of life, HOPE is essential and broken into two parts:
To understand my personal definition, I want you to picture God (and if you’re not religious, picture a mentor) sitting in front of you, holding your hands wrapped in His capable and experienced ones. His gaze is kindly, yet firmly locked into yours and He gently asks, while wiping away a tear,
“What if I told you it gets better?”
When God asked me that question in the last year, I replied, “Well, I guess I can keep going then.”
Equally important is the tougher, grittier part of HOPE:
“What if I told you it is worth it?”
And my reply was, “Then I guess I can do anything you ask.”
So, friends, if you are struggling to row your life through dark and unchartered waters, if there seems to be no light on the horizon nor stars to guide you—indeed if you feel like hope is a foreign word with no meaning or correlation in your life—I beg you to hold on.
Brighter days always come and if they take their time coming, I promise you that it is worth the wait. I promise that you are not alone and that HOPE and PEACE are real and that they can be yours to have.
This is not your forever. It does get better and I promise you that it is worth it.
Feel free to watch the real time version of this where I get slightly emotional. We would love to have you join us on FB for another Live video this week that gets into the very first critical steps you can take in “hard times” that help you learn from pain instead of just hiding from it. Again, please share, comment and follow us on FB @thepartilove to help our community of encouragers grow!