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It seems the more I walk through life and observe others with their daily toil, the more I realize that Struggle is more of a faithful companion than Comfort. Struggle doesn’t bat an eyelash at a fat pocketbook, or a slim one. It doesn’t care if it haunts a beautiful person or an average Joe, and it certainly doesn’t leave a person alone if they’re considered good. The only hope for a person battling Struggle is what you allow it to do to you.

Like everyone, I get so dang tired of the hard seasons. They become blisters on my already battle weary feet. Those days start with a headache, and get met with temper tantrums, or the gas gauge on empty and bad news from some front–a failed project. I think maybe I’m not made for this. Maybe my efforts are no more beneficial than the smoke at the end of someone’s cigarette.

That’s what Struggle would have us believe. That’s how Struggle is able to invite Despair over to party on your heart.

And this can go on for months. Years.

But when I’m in a season of rest, I look around me with a writer’s point of view. I see some of the young moms I know with vans full of babies—there’s nothing more precious than having a child, but that blessing paints itself in both joy and 20160307_094258deep, dark circles underneath the eyes of moms that go without sleep for days. You’d think they’d been slapped with war paint. Add illness or financial hardship in with this and a parent’s feet can drag so hard they might welcome the earth swallowing them up if only to get some relief.

I know the reality of having not much more than a few pennies in my pocket to get through a week of groceries and pain relief for the stress headache that comes with it. If that’s you right now, know that God will never let you starve if you belong to Him. Keep stepping forward, arms working steady, hearts pointed toward hope—you won’t sink if you keep your eyes focused firmly on Him.

Just like a writer has no hero for their book unless they take them through an agonizing amount of conflict, we can’t finish our hero walk unless we go through our own fire. We’re nothing but smoke in the wind without it. So keep going forward.

Keep going forward.
Your story will be remembered as one of the greats—not despite your rough seasons—but because of your perseverance through them. This is an inheritance you can pass on that’s worth more than a trust fund, or a prestigious family name. It’s a story of hope for your children.