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The year 2017 was particularly difficult for me. I had gone through some difficult moments where I had found myself curled up in a ball sobbing, why me and why this again. I’ve had moments of feeling that my life is completely out of my control and I had literally no idea what to expect from one moment to the next.

And it is absolutely 100% true, life is that crazy, none of us know with certainty what to honestly expect from one year to the next, from one month to the next, from one day to the next from one minute to the next yet the reality of that fact does not cross our mind, we take everything for granted, every single day.  But the reality is anything can happen to anyone at anytime. Most of us if we’re lucky our life is basic and routine for many many years, nothing major happens and then we die. For some people that is their life or at least it would seem that way from the outside looking in.

But, any one of us can be one phone call away, one car ride away, one doctor visit away, one email away, one conversation away, one outing away from a life changing event and that is a very scary thought. It’s also a thought that can make one feel absolutely helpless in the middle of circumstances and absolutely hopeless about their future when something totally unexpected and tragic hits you out of seemingly nowhere.

The kind of tragic thing that knocks you off your feet and leaves you weak and gasping for air, you know, hard places. And if you’ve already been knocked off your feet gasping for air and then they kick you when you’re down, then welcome to my 2017.

dazed and confused

Was I the only one who had a rough 2017? Probably not, so this post is for all of us. When I came to grips with the fact that everything is completely beyond my control and I am literally at the mercy of this world here’s what I discovered; God is in hard places even and especially places you didn’t expect to find him.

Genesis 28:16  New American Standard Bible (NASB)
16 “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it.”

A very good friend of mine gave birth to a beautiful baby boy recently only to find out he will be a special needs child. I was shocked at the news and immediately saddened, but you know what I told her, “God don’t make no mistakes.”  That child was created just for her to fit into her life to fill a space and provide beauty and lessons and light that only that baby boy can. We may not like a lot of the things that happen in our lives but if we pay attention, listen and most importantly embrace it, its been given to us for a unique and higher purpose.

child is a gift

The same it is with my 2017. We (meaning me) spend a lot of time running from our circumstances trying to fix  them immediately when instead we should embrace them and spend time to look around to see the purpose behind what we are experiencing. Life is not rainbows, and butterflies and sunshine for all of us besides there’s a lot of things rainbows, and butterflies and sunshine cannot teach us. Life is tough sometimes and the skills of determination, perseverance and resourcefulness that we need to be successful in life are most often forged in the fires of these totally unexpected and tragic situations.

What I’ve experienced in 2017 has changed me.  Its changed the way I do things, the way I think, its changed me! Sometimes hard places can bring us to good places of change if we let them. 2017 is over, we are now well into 2018 and my saga continues.

gods protection

So if you are in a hard place, you are not alone, i’m with you but more importantly God the creator of the universe who loves you with an everlasting love is with you and keeping that knowledge in the forefront of your mind while you are in your hard place will make all the difference.

On this Resurrection Day, just as Christ has risen, let us rise too, let’s overcome even and especially in these hard places.

Relatable Song: Hills and Valleys by Tauren Wells