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21 Hardships in Less Than 3 Weeks

Twenty-one hardships in less than three weeks. That’s more than one per day. These aren't mild hardships, like I stubbed my toe or my boys got in a fight or I lost my keys. These are of a more serious nature.

Leading up to the book release date, I knew to expect hardship. That was one of the reasons I was fasting for the three weeks before the launch day, so God would strengthen me to endure and I could hold on to His presence.

Now, three weeks beyond the launch day, I never could have imagined the hardships that would come… and I also don’t know if they are over yet.

My friends had been reaching out to me to see how I was doing and how things were going with the book. It was hard for me to know where to start or how to explain everything, so I sent them a list of what had happened in my life in the two and a half weeks since the book was released.

There were 21 hardships listed, from the simple (Josiah had a stomach bug and an ear infection) to the medium-sized (our washing machine broke) to the incredibly difficult (our tenants moved out and completely destroyed our rental property; I was admitted to the hospital with immense pain from a complicated kidney infection, collapsed lung, and pneumonia). These hardships included marriage issues, kid issues, extended family issues, vehicle issues, and health issues.

IV cart in front of window at the hospital

The past two and a half weeks have been so, so difficult.

And you know what these trials and suffering are teaching me? That God is so good and so near in all of it.

These are the top three things I am learning:

  1. This world is not my home! I have a secure future with God when everything will be restored and made perfect in Him.

  2. God is working through all of this. Often, we have to go through the hard to get to the good. I’m already seeing some good come out of this hard season.

  3. Satan and the evil forces of this world are not happy about a book that glorifies God and spreads hope in Christ, which makes me ever-more-determined to keep sharing about it. Does it spark that in you, too? The message of this book is powerful and worth it!

Obedience is worth any suffering that may come.

I don't know what tomorrow will bring. I don't know what else will go wrong. I did pray on the way to the ER, "I'm not sure how much more I can take, God, but I'm going to praise you through it." And that will be my steadfast claim... whatever the next week brings, I am going to praise God through it.

(So much more pain and a lot more tears came after that prayer. God is faithful. He helped me endure. I continue to praise Him.)

Though the fig tree does not bud

and there are no grapes on the vines,

though the olive crop fails

and the fields produce no food,

though there are no sheep in the pen

and no cattle in the stalls,

Yet I will rejoice in the Lord,

I will be joyful in God my Savior.

Habakkuk 3:17-18

I know God sees me. He loves me. He is here with me. He will provide. I am not defeated because I am a more than a conqueror in Christ.

When explaining the past two and a half weeks to my friends, I also shared the good moments. This list had thirty-three joy-filled occurrences, from the simple (a lady buying me flowers for letting her go in front of me at the grocery store) to the medium (a friend treating me to a donut and a coffee at just the right time when I needed emotional support) to the big (a friend allowing my hubby and I to go to her cabin for a weekend getaway and other friends taking care of our sons and dog while we were away). God provides for me. God encourages me. God surrounds me with people who care for me.

Erin and her husband on a hike in the woods

I praise God in what seems hard and in what seems good, because I know it is all beautiful. It is all in His control. He is working in all of it to bring glory to His great name and to bring ultimate good in my life.

  • What are the hardships you are experiencing right now?

  • What joys are you experiencing? (These may be harder to list. Discover joy in the simple things.)

  • How do you endure hardships?

  • What does God teach you through your hardships?

Consider my words a big hug for you. I know in whatever you are going through today, you need a hug. You need prayer so I am also praying for you right now. You need a friend by your side, cheering you on. Hear my encouragement through these words today!

Keep praying. Keep surrendering, Keep trusting. God is holding onto you in whatever you are going through today.

You, Lord, hear the desire of the afflicted;

You encourage them, and You listen to their cry,

Psalm 10:17

Erin's knee, relaxing at a firepit in the woods
Praising God in the good...

Erin's feet, "relaxing" in a hospital bed
...and three days later, praising God in the hard.

Therefore we do not lose heart.

Though outwardly we are wasting away,

yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.

For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us

an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen,

since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18

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