Hardship and Perseverance

Hardship—it is a force of nature. It delights in creating problems.

Strife, Anxiety, Frustration and Fear are Hardship’s trusty fellows. They council each other and decide the best methods with which to attack the unsuspecting, the weak, the weary.

Hardship then descends onto the scene suddenly and without warning. Its sole purpose: to overwhelm to the point of certain disaster. It is most successful when the subject is completely thrown off guard. Surprise attack.

Yet there are times when the Hardship hits its own wall. When Perseverance stands guard—this is when the battle begins.

Steadfastness in doing something despite
difficulty or delay in achieving success.

Perseverance’s friends, Truth, Faith and Encouragement stand to each side…and Hardship is faced with its first difficult challenge: a sure loss, if Perseverance is allowed to prevail.

You see, Perseverance’s success is marked by the person it represents. If that person sees the battle cannot be won, and thus refuses to listen to Truth, Faith and Encouragement, then Anxiety, Frustration, Fear and Strife are able to rush in and take over. But if the person chooses to listen and take the first step toward Perseverance, then that is all the room needed for Hardship to be overthrown.

There is a Reward at stake. The Reward is worth it. It is strived for, fought for, cried for, yearned for. Whether it is a mighty dream or an unexpected mountain, the treasure that Reward represents, as a result of perseverance in the face of hardship, is beautiful. It is a place of Contentment, Peace and Joy.

Perseverance is well-equipped to fight the great fight against Hardship and is able to prevail at all costs. Because the prize is worth the battle. And the prize was promised from the beginning. It has been assured. It has been won.

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Perseverance wins neither easily nor swiftly, but with great deliberation. It is only by the person’s choice that Perseverance is allowed to win.

Note: the use of the word, “allowed.” Perseverance was always created to win. But Hardship is a devious and devout liar, trying to stifle whatever forward progress is made through the aid of Perseverance. Yet with the help of Truth, Faith and Encouragement, Hardship is guaranteed to be pushed back—step by step—until it can stand no more. This is a Reward in itself.

When affronted by Hardship’s deception, each person must choose to allow Perseverance to win the battle with Truth at their side, trusting their Maker to make all things clear one day.

This promise is for all mankind.


Photos from Pinterest.

Transition and Insecurity

Transition: the process or a period of changing from one state or condition to another.

This word defines my life right now. I’ve been in transition for the past several years, ever since I decided to go on the World Race, and it just hasn’t stopped.


With so much transition so fresh in my mind, so many experiences to process and things to think about and hopes and dreams I wish I knew how to explain or share…it has taken me a while to know what to say.

In fact, I haven’t blogged, journaled, or done anything like that in a while. I am a writer by profession, and that comes fairly easily, praise the Lord. That’s a gift straight from Him. But when it comes to writing about myself, to help myself process and think things through, I’ve been at a complete loss.

I have a torrent of thoughts flowing through my brain endlessly, but I haven’t been able to write down. I simply couldn’t write.

I think transition does this to us.

It seems that change and new things are so often looked forward to, hoped for, wished for—
yet when the change and transition becomes reality, it’s much more difficult than anticipated.

With transition comes a bit of chaos. The unknown creeps in.

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Before I knew it, my old friend Insecurity said hello again.

Insecurity: uncertainty or anxiety about oneself; lack of confidence.

When I’m insecure, I definitely pull myself back into my shell. I put up all of the old walls and think if I just “stay strong on the outside because no one else wants me to bother them anyway” (my true thoughts!), pretend even to myself that I’m okay, that it’ll make everything better.  That somehow bearing everything on my own will make me stronger.

It doesn’t. Hiding what you’re going through makes you start dying on the inside.

I hate insecurity. There is nothing true about it. God didn’t create us to be insecure. In Him we have the authority to fight insecurity in Jesus’ name. Insecurity does not define us, it’s not for us.

I could feel myself fighting the truth I know about myself. I know who I am in Christ. I am His dearly loved daughter. I know He made me a valiant warrior, not a timid sit-on-the-sidelines person. I need to ask people for prayer. I need people to stand with me.

amanda's iphoto1450

But pride often gets in the way of us asking for help, doesn’t it? I also don’t want to be a burden to anyone. That sounds absolutely foolish when I actually say that out loud, but it’s true. My desire to not be a burden to anyone actually gets in the way of me receiving help when I need it. I know I’m not the only one who struggles with this.

I’m learning. I’m re-learning to hear the Lord’s voice, to lift my head out of the chaos and the transition and the heartache that life often is, and to listen to my Lord and Savior speak truth and lead me into confidence and more of Him.

I’m realizing that transition isn’t a time to “get through.” It’s a time to listen to the Lord, sit still with Him, and ask Him how He wants to lead me, what new things He wants to do in and through me. Transition can be a very rocky time. A time when the foundations are shaken, not to crumble, but to be made stronger.

Waiting…transition…doesn’t mean forgotten. It means set apart for something greater.


“Walk confidently with Me,” He says. “I’m right here by your side. I haven’t gone anywhere – you know that. You already know how to hear My voice. Be still, and know that I am God. Walk forward in faith knowing that I go before you. I know the way. Though you can’t see it yet, you will soon see, and it is beautiful. Don’t give up. Feelings are fleeting, don’t focus on them, focus on Me. Speak truth, pray truth, keep seeking Me. I’m all around you and will never leave you. I never have and I never will.”

 Psalm 16:5-8
“Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup;
you make my lot secure.
The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
surely I have a delightful inheritance.
I will praise the Lord, who counsels me;
even at night my heart instructs me.
I keep my eyes always on the Lord.
With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.”


These are Transitional Years


noun: the process or a period of changing from one state or condition to another.

The beginning of a yearning…
…a yearning that burns, leaps at the thought of the World Race.
Oh to be there again.

Memories of ages past. No, not ages, just years…but it feels like ages.
Ages gone; ages home.
Time flies, yet inches along.

When I returned from the World Race, I thought I’d never want to go again.

I was tired. No, exhausted. Longing for the embrace of family and all familiar things.

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Family is beautiful, and I’m so grateful.
Memory tricks us, lures us back to comfort.

But little did I know I would jump right back home into the familiar, but soon into transition. Changes came quickly, and I was swept along in the current. A beautiful, fast-moving, white-water rapids current, splashing me rudely in the face one minute and rushing over me and calming my fears in another.

I was left with little time to process. Or maybe I am a terrible processor. It takes me forever to figure out what I learned from something. Maybe this is a good thing. Maybe this is normal.

I’m still processing the World Race and feel like I will continue to do so for a very long time. I think, that this is ok.

Change comes for all of us. Transition is inevitable.

>>Fast forward to a year after I returned home, and I’m longing for it all over again. The World Race.

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This must be what mothers experience after giving birth to their child…they say they will never do it again, then time forgets the pain and you remember only the joy and long for it again.

Pain is what grows us, challenges us, changes us.

P1100017 - Version 3(the day my Thai pants were eaten by termites…)

Pressure cooker, that was the World Race. We hate it and we love it.
Oh…to be that close to the Lord again. Oh to feel His presence with every breath, every step.

He is still here. Oh so close. Right here.
Just, He feels different.
Grown closer, yet feels farther.
As if that is possible.

I have thought and thought about how these past 2 years have gone since I left for the World Race.

I began a life of transition that has never stopped. Oh how my life has sped through many twists and turns since September 2012.

I should be used to transition by now, but the thing about transition is that each new one brings new challenges. You can get used to moving but constant change brings uncertainty. It requires great trust in the Lord.

 These are transitional years, but these are defining years.
I am learning who I am–who He has made me to be. This is EXCITING, AMAZING, THRILLING, TERRIFYING, WONDERFUL.

Life as I know it now, is not how I thought it would be.
This is okay.
I trust the Lord. He is faithful.
He provided an amazing job and a place to live.
He is making a way for my family.
He will lead us and guide us.
He hears the longing of my heart. He knows it better than I even do.

cropped-cropped-copy-Cambodia2.jpgAnd so I trust Him with my future and the future transitions.

All of the growth and challenge and pain, that will bring more growth and challenges and delights and failures and laughter and hugs and tears and struggles and LIFE, which causes me to go back onto my knees in prayer, giving thanks to my Father for His GOOD gifts, He has given me life and breath and these struggles are momentary.

Our lives are meant to be lived for our King.

I will keep lifting my eyes to Him. Transition means stepping closer to Him.
Focusing my eyes on the Giver of Life.

I trust in the most Trustworthy One. He is my Faithful Guide.

I see these transitions continuing, and though I know it won’t be easy, I’m not worried or afraid.
Instead I am confident in what my Savior will do, in the plans He has for my life.
Transitions require us to move, to take a step, to ACT, to obey.

Transitions move us closer to Him, because they shake us from comfort.

He didn’t say it would be easy, but He said He’d be right here with us. That’s a promise I’m holding onto.

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So do not fear, for I am with you;
    do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
-Isaiah 41:10


The Lord makes firm the steps
    of the one who delights in him;
though he may stumble, he will not fall,

    for the Lord upholds him with his hand.
I was young and now I am old,

    yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken
    or their children begging bread.
They are always generous and lend freely;
    their children will be a blessing.
Turn from evil and do good;

    then you will dwell in the land forever.
For the Lord loves the just
    and will not forsake his faithful ones.
-Psalm 37:22-28