If we are honest for a moment… life isn’t easy. It can be really hard at times. But I want to encourage you, you can do hard things. We all walk through storms in this life: sickness, financial troubles, losing a job, losing a loved one, and more. And it’s tragic and terrible. But even some of the most rewarding things in life can be hard like having a sweet baby, returning to health, running a marathon, reaching that goal, and even becoming debt free. Not to mention, even the little everyday things, like doing the dishes, having no gas in the car, running late, and spilled coffee, can be so hard and frustrating on days where everything seems to be going wrong. So how do we deal with all of this?
My mom always says “You can do hard things.” Speaking life and truth over yourself and others is one of the most valuable gifts you can give. Today I want to encourage you in this truth. It is true. The words you speak have the power to change your mindset. And in the mist of the hardship, remember you can do hard things and it too will pass.
“The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” – Proverbs 18:21
A few years ago, when I was extremely sick. I was in a season of hardship that felt never ending and for me, having no energy, the battle I was faced with felt unbearable. Naturally, I am not a fighter, but I learned quickly I had to be. Although it was a season, every day came with its own unique mini hardships. Like for instance, I dreaded shots and IV’s. But so often I found myself needing one. That is a mini hardship. It is a mental challenge more than a physical one. To be able to say, “you can do hard things” and realize this is a hard moment that will pass soon enough, I was able to wrap my mind around it. And immediately, the battle felt smaller and more manageable.
Sometimes I think, what if I told myself words like, “you cannot do this, it is too scary” “This season is too hard for me.” What if I had spoken words of death? Naturally, those are easier words to say and believe. But with that mindset, I would have never been able to be courageous enough and receive the IVs and I would not have been healed as quickly and this season of hardship would have lasted longer.
Cows and Buffalos
I heard on Nancy Ray’s podcast the other day a story of how cows and buffalos react when they see a storm coming. She paints a perfect picture that is so empowering and moving, I have shared it here for you.
“If cows are out grazing in a field and a storm comes up over the horizon, they see the storm and they start to get a little bit skittish and they’re running around and as the storm comes, they start to run away. This is a natural instinct of an animal to run away from danger and so they start to run and as they’re running, the storm is coming, the storm actually overcomes them, they keep running and the storm then is traveling with them through the field and they’re getting exhausted and tired and frustrated and they’re wearing themselves out because they’re trying to run from the storm, but the storm is actually over them and traveling with them.
So, what do buffalo do when they see the storm? Well, they look up and see the storm coming right at them in this field and they charge directly into it. They stay together, no fear. They say, “This really hard thing is coming at us. Here we go,” and they charge directly into the storm. And what happens? It’s intense. It’s crazy. But the storm passes over them much more quickly so they minimize the time of how difficult it is. They minimize their frustration and they come out the other side so much faster than the cows who were running along with the storm being completely worn out by it.”
So often it is easier for us to act like the cows, running away from the storm or the hardship. It is the same as saying this storm is too big for us. And then the storm last longer. Rather, if we changed our mindset, and said “We can do hard things” and realize this is a rough moment, the hardship, the storm, the frustrations, and the chaos will pass much quicker.
I in no way want to minimize the storm you are walking through. It is hard, frustrating, scary, uncertain, chaotic, and depressing. What you are walking through is hard. But you can do hard things, my friend. I want to challenge you to be more aware of the words you are saying over yourself and others. Are they words of life or death? I want to challenge you to embrace this messy, hard season and face it head on. And just know, whether it is a moment of hardship or a season you are in, this too shall pass.
“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away” – Revelation 21:4