Someone commented to me recently, “You’re such a positive person”. My reaction to that compliment was, I am?? After some thinking, I came to the conclusion that I do try to be positive. Chalk it up to my love of simple things and the dry humor that God gave me, but I tend to focus on the bright side a lot. Honestly, there are a lot of dark sides that I could cry over, but it’s much better (and sometimes easier) to laugh.
But I’ve come to realize that being positive isn’t always a good thing.
In a way, my choosing to be positive and laugh is a way I cope—with disappointment, frustration, and all the stuff that life throws my way that I don’t want to deal with. In my mind, if I laugh, things aren’t as bad as they seem. I laugh because I don’t want to acknowledge that things are hard or that I’m having a hard time. But you know what? Denial is just a river in Egypt. 😉
I’m starting to see that there is a purpose in acknowledging the hard. For example, I’ve been struggling with writing my current book and not feeling like I have enough time or energy to get the words out. I was wondering why—why is it so hard for me to write?! Well, then it hit me. Because writing is hard. Writing is SO hard. Trying to make a career out of writing is DOUBLY, TRIPLY hard. But somewhere along the way, I’d forgotten this truth. Maybe because I’m Asian, I’ve gotten used to being ke-chi (that’s Chinese for “super polite and humble”), and I’ll say, “Anyone can write a book,” which is completely true. If I can do it, you can, too. But the thing is, it’s still hard. And it’s okay to acknowledge all the hard work that goes into writing.
Acknowledging the hard is not the same as admitting defeat. Being truthful about our struggles is not a sign of weakness. I believe it’s the opposite. When we acknowledge how hard something is for us, we’re being real. We’re inviting support and encouragement from others. We’re stating the obvious—that we are human and a work in progress. God is not through with us yet. He’s constantly using circumstances—hard ones—to mold and shape us to be more like Him.
One of my “favorite” Biblical truths comes from Romans 5:3-5.
Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
I put the word favorite in quotes because I honestly don’t enjoy suffering or having to persevere. I like having character and hope, but I don’t want to do the work of getting them. (I’m a weakling, I know! LOL) But the older I get, the more value I see in these verses, especially in the truth that hard times are not in vain. Because when it comes down to it, acknowledging the hard gives credit to how strong we are and how much we are able to grow and change through hard things. And that is what gives us hope to keep moving forward.
I hope that whatever hard thing you are struggling through right now that you will acknowledge how tough it is and give yourself some credit and grace to persevere through it.
Thanks so much for reading (and being patient for new posts since I took an unexpected hiatus in 2020. By the way, for those of you who used to follow me at 2square2behip.com, welcome to my new and improved website)! What are your thoughts on acknowledging the hard? I’d love to hear them.