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Hard Is Still Hard

I don't do scary.

The smallest noise or movement and I'm texting the group chat for help.

Sadly, I wish I was exaggerating, but ask friends and they will tell you it's the honest truth.

So imagine my delight when my job announced we were invited to preview a Haunted House attraction.

I had committed to not walking through any of the attractions for the reasons mentioned above.

However, I got caught in a group of students, along with my boss and coworkers who insisted I could do this.

I'm not sure why I fell for their false sense of confidence in me, but I did.

I cautiously walked through 5 of the longest minutes of my life.

Where I've never screamed louder and more continuously in my entire life.

Pure horror, but also hilarity for my coworkers and the people behind me.

I will admit that hours later I'm laying on the floor in my guest room talking to my best friend who is visiting because I'm terrified to this moment still.

But, while I was driving home the phrase "Do Thing Hard Things" popped into my mind.

I've held tension with this phrase for some time because to me it often sounds like a statement made to pressure someone into doing something they may not want to do.

But, after tonight, my tension and view point has shifted.

I did not have fun, based off how I typically describe fun.

It will take some time for my voice to recover and it serves as a funny reminder of how badly I lost my mind.

But no matter what mantra we put behind ourselves, hard things are still hard.

They are still messy, and uncomfortable.

They cause a growth experience that often times is unwanted but later appreciated.

They cause us to learn how grace is received and to know the true meaning of mercy.

Those moments create an environment so stifling that we are left with no option but to move forward.

They teach us a tenderness for others that is needed in the most surprising ways.

Saying someone needs to do hard things does not make something less hard.

It does not make it more enjoyable and suddenly lovely.

It does not create harmony where it may be lacking.

It does not create a strength that mirrors that of Superman.

Hard never stops being hard.

But, we are made resilient to do the good hard thing.

The good hard of forgiving someone who has wronged us.

The good hard of ending a relationship that no longer serves us.

The good hard of being a voice of reason when it goes against the grain.

The good hard of standing firm to our beliefs and values when it would easier to follow the crowd.

The good hard of knowing that God holds our future even when everything around us feels uncertain.

I pray that you have the peace to do the good hard thing.

That your community celebrates your steps of bravery.

That you don't catalog your fears and doubts but put one foot in front of the other.

But ultimately, I pray that they remind you of your strength and give room for your courage to grow.

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