I can’t. I can’t. I can’t, she cried, tears streaming down her face.
Honey, you can do this, I tried to reassure her, lifting her chin so she’d look into my eyes. You can do this, baby.
I have to admit that though my voice was calm, my patience was beginning to wane. The I can’t excuse is one that gets tossed around far too often in our home, even (especially?) in my own life and thinking. But she went on and something in me broke:
But Mommy, it’s just too hard. It’s so hard.
I don’t know what changed in me – I can only think that it was the Holy Spirit guiding me, answering my desperate plea for wisdom from earlier in the day – but in an instant, my heart softened.
By God’s grace, He spoke through me — and to me. I know, because It wasn’t anything I would’ve thought on my own. All too often I lament this same notion — it’s too hard. It’s too hard. I can’t. It’s too hard.
But suddenly I was on my knees, eye to eye with my little girl and speaking softly, urgently, compassionately right to her heart: You’re right, Baby. This is hard. This is hard, but you can do hard things! You can do hard things. You have the Holy Spirit living inside of you, and God’s Word remind us that because the Holy Spirit lives in us, we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength.
Learning to read is hard. But guess what? You learned to read.
Learning to swim is hard, and guess who learned how to swim? You did!
Riding your bike without training wheels was scary and hard? But you did that too!
Honey, you can do hard things. Let’s take it one step at a time, and let’s do it together.
When her mind wanted to default to that old habit of thinking — I can’t, I can’t, I can’t; together, we captured that thought and replaced it. I didn’t just say stop thinking that! That’s not true. We replaced that lie with Truth. I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.
As her big, wet tears soaked my hair, I repeated over and over again, praying it, claiming it, believing it for her: I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.
And soon she started murmuring those words too, claiming them as truth in her own little 5 year old life.
This is a lesson that she needs. She needs it now, and she needs it tomorrow, and she will need it fifty years from now because this is a lesson I need. I need it now and I need it tomorrow, and I need it for every day that is to come.
I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.
As we walk by faith and do the things He has called us to do, His strength flows through us – through our weakness and dependency and faith. Sister, we can do hard things.
Life can be hard. Your circumstances may be excruciating or irritating or overwhelming – your life, right now, may be hard. But friend, you can do hard things. You can do hard things.
I can do all things through Christ who is my strength — memorize it, repeat it, pray it, believe it, live it.
You can do hard things.
Question for You:
What hard things are you facing today? How can we pray for you?
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