A decade ago, I was in dire straits. I had a book deal with four (yes, four) chapter books to be written by year’s end (and didn’t have a clue how to write a novel, let alone four), my husband was having a major physical challenge, and we were in financial trouble. There were serious family issues, extreme weather that affected our household and ability to even run errands and caused constant anxiety…you get the picture, I felt like I was being constantly and systematically crushed.
As a Christian Scientist, I prayed daily, which I would do no matter what; but I was on my knees many days in desperation, hoping for some spiritual light to point the way out and up. Friends and family who knew of our plight rallied and carried us through the dark times, bringing groceries when our fridge was empty, praying with us, even giving us cash. That’s actually the thing that I remember most about those trying times: the unconditional love that was expressed.
But there was one thing that I was able to do, right when I felt so powerless, that made all the difference in moving in the right direction toward healing (spoiler alert: there was healing! My husband found his freedom, the books were published and two were bestsellers, our financial woes reversed, and a tornado missed our house and dispersed!). I realized how often when confronted with an ongoing challenge—or the dark thoughts and depression that accompanied the challenge—I said to myself, “This is hard.”
I simply committed to not saying this one thing
One day it struck me how often I mentally declared, “This is hard.” It was constant! I thought that more than I thought anything else! Yikes! When I recognized that fact, I made a commitment: I would never again tell myself “This is hard.” That’s it. I didn’t commit to even knowing something positive, wonderful, or spiritual (I did keep praying). I simply committed to not saying that.
Thanks to the spoiler alert above, you know how it turned out. There was a way out of the darkness, and yes, I was able to know positive, wonderful, spiritual things and see them manifest in the most practical ways. To this day when confronted with something daunting, I keep my commitment. I never say, “This is hard/difficult/too much to take” and now I can take it a step further and declare with confidence, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." (Phil. 4:13)