7th December 2023

Kia Stephens candidly shares



how she is presently learning to abide at the place where her faith intersects with the hard things in life.

The time on the dashboard read 8 o'clock as my car reached the driveway.
I was tired.
The kids were hungry and I still had to have a much needed phone conversation.

It was one that couldn't be avoided any longer.
I imagined I would be taking the wheel for my parent's medical well-being at some point, I just didn't think it would be at 39.

Life, however, had other plans.
So I made the call and began a journey I was not, nor am I presently, prepared for.

When it was done I wept, not knowing it was the first of many more tears.

This is especially true when you find yourself, not at the starting point or finish line of life's unexpected twists, but somewhere in the middle.

I have watched many people arrive here.
My colleague did when her husband died suddenly.
My neighbour did when she lost not one, but two children at birth.
My friend did when she was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer at age 35.

Hard things dawn everyone's doorstep at some point.
Sometimes coming in our childhood when we are most vulnerable. Other times making a grand entrance in adulthood, shattering every ideal we had about how life should be.

Sometimes they stay indefinitely.
No one is immune. Everyone, at some point will encounter adversity.

Have you ever been there?
Are you there now?

I'm assuming the answer to one or both of these questions might be yes.
These realities are enough to superglue us to a pit of pessimism and hopelessness.
Something inside me is discontent with despair: telling me, sometimes screaming - if need be - "We cannot stay here!"

I am convinced it's hope; she is relentless: often pursuing us when we don't pursue her.

Her pursuit gently nudges us to pry ourselves from the makeshift shelter we've erected and venture a little further to the place where hard things intersect with our faith.
Here, amid the confusion and emotional wreckage, we wrestle with reality and the God who defies it.

I am learning this, as a grapple with finding myself dealing with hard things.
Maybe you do too. God's peace, however, offers us comfort in the unresolved circumstances of our lives.
It is not a comfort that dismisses pain, rather it is one that says, "Come. Rest. Weep. Abide".

Paul reminds us that hope originates with God.
This hope is not rooted in perfect circumstances or our ideals.
On the contrary, this hope is rooted in Jesus, His sacrifice for us, and the promise of being united with Him one day when all hard things cease.

As much as I want a life void of difficulties, Christianity is not challenge-free.
Jesus Himself endured incredible trials while depending on His heavenly Father for the strength to finish His assignment here on earth.
He demonstrated what faith should look like.

As we trust God, He fills us with joy and peace until we overflow with hope.
The trusting proceeds the filling.
When hard things strike, although our natural response is to fix it or flee, God gives us the choice to trust Him with the outcome.

In doing so, we learn how to abide and rest at the place where hard things intersect with our faith.

Unexplainable peace is found here.

This is an edited version. The full article and Bible references are avaiable on request

Kia Stephens
is a wife and homeschooling mother of two who is passionate about helping women know God as Father.
For this reason, she created 'The Father Swap Blog' to be a source of encouragement, healing, and practical wisdom for women dealing with the effects of a physically or emotionally absent father
Each week through practical and biblically sound teaching she encourages women to exchange father wounds for the love of God the Father.


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