Hard is Good for the Soul

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“Bad days are good for the soul” said Amber over FaceTime the other day.

On Sunday I went on a jog and ended up at Target, I got a hot chocolate at their  little Starbucks and sat down by the window. I sat there for a while, looking out at the people walking by, and the kids who were doing homework with their mom at the table next to mine, and heard the coffee orders being called out. For some reason, I just wanted to sit there and watch the world move. For some reason I just felt content sitting there even after I finished my hot chocolate, and even after everyone who originally sat there with me had left.

And then it dawned on me. That we need to experience the mundane. The uneventful, like going to target and sitting down by the window. We need the smallness in moments, like when we go to the bank, or we do the dishes, or when we fold and put away our laundry. I think we need those moments that are small and very, very human. I think we need the hard days, the days we feel tired and worn…I think it reminds us of our humanness.

Every semester my freshman year professor and I meet up to catch up and talk about life.We talked about last semester. I told him how last season in Ecuador was sweet, and gentle, and I learned about God’s constant nature, and community, and all the little things I had no idea God wanted to teach me. He asked me how I was bringing those back this semester. I said I had no idea, that the transition back has been hard, and challenging, and most days I’m scared.

He said, “Alma, you can rest in this truth. It is supposed to be hard” “You can stop fighting it, and just rest in Him.” He told me that his daughter loves butterflies. She talks about them all the time. He said, “Did you know that when butterflies are ready to come out of their cocoon they don’t just fly out?”  He said they have to be still, they need to rest. They have to wait for their wings to dry up. They also have to exercise their wings’ muscles, before they can fly away as butterflies.

He said, “Alma, this is a time of rest.” “It is a good thing that it’s hard, its a good thing that you’re struggling. But it is okay to rest, to wait, to spend time by yourself, to read the Word.” And he said, “Rest, don’t try to fly out.” I kept on meditating on these words. Later that day, I went to Starbucks to do homework. As I sat there, a sweet old man came up to me and he gave me a paper. It was shaped like a cross. We talked for a little bit about how the best and only thing we can hang on to in life is Jesus. As he said goodbye, he said, “You can open it, it’s for you.” I opened up the cut out of a cross, and a picture of a butterfly was inside of it.

And that just made me think that yes, we need the difficult seasons, and the season we are broken, and confused, and torn, and tired. But I think we were created for the moments of breaking. I think we were made to experience the amazing. The awestruck, the God adventure.

Like meeting a new born baby.

And the feeling of loving someone.

And the conversations that are good for our souls. The ones that make you feel like you’re never alone. And that our stories are intertwined and braided together.

And friendships that are good and rich.

The moments when we feel fully alive and fully present.

I’m learning that more often than not, the best moments in life involve people.

Broken, bended, sinful, loving, kind, redeemed people.

And while seasons change, and times are hard, or really, really good, whether it is a time to give fruit, or to rest, I think the Lord will never leave us hanging.

I think He has grace to give us. I think He wants good, good things for us. I think He isn’t done with us. He will gives us a new song every season, and He’s right alongside us to dance it out.


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