Dear Discouraged,

I have a bracelet that says “Beautiful girl you can do hard things.” The mom of one of my friends gave it to me for a Christmas present one year. I wear it often, but I especially like to wear it on days that I don’t feel like I can do anything.

I thought I wouldn’t be able to make it up the Old Man of Storr in Scotland this past May. The picture above is taken from me looking up at all I had left to climb. I really didn’t think I could do it. I have tendonitis in my left knee and left foot. But by some miracle, I made it. I did a hard thing, and that’s just one example.

It’s no secret that women have a history of being oppressed and pushed down. We are often underestimated. Now, this isn’t a soap box political post, but I can’t skip over those facts and still get my point across.

I can write all day long that “you can set anything you put your mind to,” or “the sky’s the limit!” But the truth is, girls, you CAN’T.

You can’t just graduate. You can’t just win a state championship. You can’t write the best-selling novel. You can’t perform on a Broadway stage. You can’t even fight for your country. You can’t even breathe.

Irritated yet? Good.

Because you can try all you want to do all those things. You can attempt any dream you have your heart set on. You can try with all your might, but if you think for one second you can succeed in any of those on your own, you will fall flat on your face. Completely humiliated and rejected.

Beautiful girl. The part that makes you beautiful isn’t what your face looks likes. Don’t let anyone tell you that. That crap fades over time. The part that makes you beautiful is your heart. And if you don’t have Jesus in it, you can never do those hard things. You want to do anything a boy can do? Maybe even do it better? You got to have Jesus.

Sure, you might succeed on your own for a little bit, but you will fall someday. You’ll stumble when you don’t give credit where credit is due. If it weren’t for God breathing life into your lungs, you can do absolutely nothing.

Philippians 4:13 says ” I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”

Y’all, I couldn’t even brush my teeth without God. My life would be pretty empty and meaningless without God. All those hard things in my life would be impossible to conquer without God.

People have told me “oh, you’re such a good writer,” and “I don’t know how you do all the things you do,” and “you’re such a strong leader and role model.” Now, it warms my heart when I hear these things. It truly does! If you think any of that is easy, let me tell you! You just haven’t seen the behind the scenes or bloopers, yet. If you really knew what a not together I am, or how sometimes I can’t even string two sentences together…

I am a complete and utter mess. For example, I spent a good bit of last week crying. No joke. I struggled sleeping. I even sat in my car for an entire 45 minutes just to avoid my roommates seeing the train wreck I looked like.

I have done hard things, and I know even harder tasks are on the horizon, but I owe all my success, every triumph, every word to my heavenly Father.

Okay, men. You’re turn. All the above applies to you too. Try to be successful. Try to make all that money. Try to be happy. Try to find meaning. You’ll come up short because you will never fill that hole in your life until the Holy Spirit comes knocking. Don’t believe me? Well, you can try it, but I sincerely hope you’ll realize what’s missing before it’s too late.

The point is beautiful people, you CAN do hard things. You can do all things. You can do anything you set your mind too (despite my earlier claims).

The secret is that you might not necessarily be successful in something that isn’t part of God’s plan. I’ve learned that the hard way too. Oops.

You just can’t do any of it without God on your side.

Men and women are completely different creatures. They don’t think the same. They don’t act the same. Heck, no two people act the same! However, you both can do hard things because God gives you the strength to do so.

Now, I’m not saying He won’t give you more than you can handle. If we try to reason why things happen, we’ll be here all day. We are not always to know God’s intentions or His plan. I’m not saying you won’t want to give up. It definitely won’t be easy, but you, my friend, can do those hard things. The Bible tells me so.

Still skeptical? Well, I guess you’ll just have to read it for yourself. I recommend starting with Philippians, or Psalms.




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