This is the Hard Part

Gideon was born with a bucketful of quirks, more in touch with his thought processes and emotions than anyone I’ve ever met.

For instance, he often talks about the “pictures” behind his eyes…

“Do you have pictures behind your eyes, too, Mom?” he asked me one day. “What do you mean?” I replied. “Well,” he said, in his teacher voice, “You just think about something, and then a picture of it will go behind your eyes and you will see it.”

I then realized he was trying to identify imagination, yet another thing that I always took for granted and never thought about analyzing or defining.

But none of his quirks can compare with the monster-sized temper that entered this world alongside him. I am amazed at the work God has already done in his little heart, and if you had told me 5 years ago that in half a decade, Gideon would be a pretty easy-going and reasonable kid, I would have laughed. Like super loud. And I would have thought you were a little on the crazy side of optimistic.

Still yet, his temper flares up randomly, and once he dives into the depths of despair, he has a difficult time coming back to the surface.

A couple of years ago, he began to identify that fine line between normal crying and a total loss of self-control as “the hard part.” Thus, sometimes when he is on the escalating side of a fit, he will cling to me desperately and proclaim “this is the hard part!” as if he is literally wrestling an inner demon and trying to come out the victor. Which might be the case? I dunno…

This makes me laugh a little, as it is so utterly dramatic and kind of unreal, and so absolutely “Gideon”…

but then again, I think my thinking boy might be on to something, identifying a process that many of us fail to define.

The hard part.

In the last couple of years, I have seen a rhythm to the conflicts and trials that I have faced. When bad news or an uncomfortable conflict comes my way, there are always personal heart choices to be made: I can run away (either literally or mentally), leaving behind the situation that is plaguing me. I can stay put, but find distractions to keep me from dealing with the pain, keeping my mind occupied until I go to sleep at night…

Or I can, like Gideon, dig in and meet my struggle head-on and wrestle the living daylights out of it.

Of course, Gideon’s pain usually revolves around not getting to do something he wants to do, like eating a 4th cupcake, or watching a movie before bed, while his Mama’s consist of those deep heart issues concerning friendship and sickness and death and sin and discontentment and bitterness, and chiefly, my never-ending struggle to believe God’s Word and that He has brought hand-crafted suffering to me for a purpose and for my good…

But, regardless of what makes us upset, Gideon is right. The hard part is really, really hard.

Here’s why.

You say you trust God and believe in His sovereignty, but your heart hasn’t caught up to the truth. You have the right and idealistic (and Biblical, even!) answers to every problem, but life won’t line up with them…yet. You can recite Romans 8:28, but hindsight has not yet revealed what is “good” about your situation. You want heaven on earth, but the curses of the Fall, including your deceptive heart, interfere and steal your joy and your peace.

And so the hard part is not about the situation, really. Its about what your heart really believes about God and the specific trial He has allowed or placed in your life.

It provides a visual picture to sanctification, a metamorphosis of sorts as you lie in your bed at night, waiting for peace. Waiting for joy. Waiting for “all things to work together for good” or for your heart to at least believe that it will happen someday.

You cry rivers of tears. You pray. You fast. You cry some more. You might even writhe a little in the process.

But when you force yourself to go through the hard part, praying for grace while combating your struggles with the truth of the Word of God, something beautiful happens.

God helps.

He answers.

And even if He doesn’t change your situation, He changes what was the most messed-up piece of the puzzle in the first place: your heart.

You realize once more that, yes, that was another really difficult situation, but the true hurdle was in overcoming the pride that thought you were better than that, the entitlement that thought you deserved more than that, the discontentment that thought life was supposed to be different than that…

And the depth of peace and hope that God plants in your soul after you’ve gone through the hard part is like a never-ending feast that you wouldn’t trade for the greenest pasture on earth. Through your unspeakable pain, He brings you a step closer to Him, unraveling another strand of the mystery of His Word…

If you’ve been there, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

Dear friends. If any of you are going through the hard part today, I want to encourage you. I’ve been there. Perhaps not in the same capacity, but the thing about trials and conflict is that, regardless of our situational differences, the sadness and pain we experience as a result is the same. No man or woman is exempt from human suffering, and I’m sure that when Gideon is going through the hard part, even if it is concerning a cupcake or a movie, he can’t imagine anything hurting worse or being more difficult.

Dig in. Face your struggles. Hang in there. Beg for God to help. And repeat the truth of Scripture over and over and over and over again.

When the hard part is over, you’ll believe it with more of your heart than you ever have before.

Joy really and truly does come in the morning. Cling to that  hope while you wait, and know that Mrs. Gore is rooting for you.

Gideon most definitely is, too.

16 thoughts on “This is the Hard Part

  1. 2 years ago I gave birth to a child who did not live long in this world. Every July since then I have had to face “The hard part.” Thank you for this timely post: I can hardly type through my tears.
    Please don’t post this on your blog, I just wanted you to know how much it meant to me. Thank you.

  2. I have randomly stumbled across your blog three times in the past couple of days. Either you are very popular or God is is using your words to speak to me. Maybe both! 🙂 God bless!!

  3. Thank you Mrs. Gore for another wonderfully worded post and thank you for sharing your precious family with us. I am struck right to the core as I have been struggling with getting my heart andmind to line up and feeling like an epic failure as a Christian when people (well-meaningly I am sure) tell me, “Well you know what the Bible says, just walk it out.” This ties right in with an email devo I recieved yesteday about “When You Don’t Know What to Say.” Sometimes is is just a wrestling match that has to be wrestled.

  4. Bless you, Mrs. Gore! Your blog is a true blessing to me. I have a 14 year old who is making some terrible choices right now and its everything in me not to break down screaming. I want nothing more then to have the perfect Christian child who makes all the right choices, seeks the Lord daily and does nothing un-Bibical. I see other Christian parents who have this and my heart aches. This is not the path I’m on right now and there are days when I’m reduced to only constant prayer. I struggle with my own faith and find some days I’m just in a pit versus a holy light. However… words like yours and a deep belief that the Lord IS real gets me through. Never think you don’t make a difference.. you really, really do.

  5. I was sent over here by a dear friend, who said she knew I would find it like home. She was right. 🙂

    My family has been going through the hard part for a while now. Your message was a much needed reminder. Thank you.

  6. I’m going through “the hard part” right now with a specific sin. I’m going to remember this in those worst moments. Thank you for your blog =)

  7. My daughter is much the same way, although now that she’s 13, I hear less of her struggles. Still, the words “This too, shall pass” keep us from falling into despair when we can’t see past our own fears. I have dealt all my life with anxiety, and truly prayer is the only thing that relieves me!

  8. My thoughts mirror those of others who have “stumbled on” your posts – God bless you and keep you and thank you for showing how we Christians – and everyone else – can get through the hard part – depend on God and His perfect word and truly believe that God is and He is the rewarder of those who earnestly seek Him. Thank you. d

    • Your “Magic Mike” blog was posted on Facebook last week and I thoroughly enjoyed your words so I subscribed to emails, I did know that I would love your next blog just as much! I really needed this reminder yesterday, and again today I read it to start my day out right! My family and I are being faced with a horrible situation right now and yesterday just before I read your blog I had hit bottom, and your reminder helped me to pick myself up through my faith. Our God is always bigger than our problem or situation, whatever that may be, He just wants us to learn to trust Him and depend on Him! Thank you for your words!

  9. Beautiful. I would add as an encouragement in those hard parts: JESUS DID IT ALL. Don’t be discouraged when you struggle in suffering. Keep trying. Why? Because Jesus had the same temptations and the worst kind of suffering (the Father forsaking him!) BUT unlike us, He loved the Father and perfectly trusted Him and His will. And that is now attributed to us and the Father loves us perfectly!! And what’s more, He’s sent HIS Spirit to help us to turn to Him so that we could be more like Him!! The gospel is AMAZING.

  10. I am going through the hard part right now… I’m trying to surrender and stop trying to take control of everything and let God do his work. This is my first time reading your blog, but boy does your son sound like a wise little man. Thank you for this post.

  11. Thank you do much for sharing this.I am on a”hard part” right now.Thank you and your son and the Lord God almighty for encouraging this wounded woman today!

  12. Thank you so much for this post!! You write really well and you have touched my heart many times. I found your post by the ‘Magic Mike’ post BUT I have read several of the past ones and I am now getting your new ones in my inbox. Keep writing Mrs. Gore. You are doing a wonderful work for God and I know that He is pleased with you!!

    Bless you and your family!
    Kristy

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