Do Hard Things

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I hate new years’ resolutions. For the six days of success, there are 359 days of imminent failure. I’ve never, ever succeeded. Never. My failure rate in the past is enough to make me make a cringe-face, eat some cookies and not work out, and forgo the thought of change in general.

So screw the resolutions. Instead, I’m going to live by this:

Do hard things.

Let’s make 2016 a year marked by the difficult. I’m not sure when we strayed from the path of hard and onto the path of laziness, but our culture has made all efforts to avoid the struggle. We’re perfectly fine to coast through, have some fun, make it all look pretty on social media, and call it a year. We purposefully shy away from hard things.

But what if that’s not what this whole “life” thing is all about?

Do hard things. Avoid ease, seek discomfort, and see what happens, because I have a feeling it’ll be really good.

I’ve got a friend who is committed to making 2016 the year she forgets about the jerks who’ve hurt her in the past. That’s hard. It’ll push her past comfort and into resiliency, and oh my gosh I’m so proud of her.

There’s a family we know who is embarking on a journey they didn’t want to take. But, with grace, they’re doing the hard thing, sucking it up, and choosing joy.

We have friends who’ve recently lost loved ones, and their 2016 looks nothing like they expected. But they’re doing the hard thing by living, surviving, and making it through one more day.

I know people in new places who are meeting new people and trucking through the awkwardness of it all. I know people kicking cancer’s butt and people who aren’t, and both are doing harder things than I could ever fathom. I know people leaving work to stay home and leaving home to go to work. People are writing books, starting businesses, and deciding that work doesn’t define them. I know people committing to a healthier lifestyle—exercising more, eating healthier, quitting an addiction.

What is it for you? What’s the hard thing that you’ve been avoiding because you think it’s too hard to face?

This year, my husband and I decided (kicking and screaming, on many days) to do some hard things. We became foster parents to a near-perfect three-year-old little monster. He’s precious and thriving and safe and healthy and home.

And you want to know what? More days than not, it feels like we’re failing. Like we’re literally just surviving each and every day and praying for strength with fervency we’ve never prayed with before.

We’re doing a hard thing, and we don’t see the fruit of it quite yet. But that’s what it’s all about. I’m content with flopping around and looking like a crazed person if it means a deeper reliance on not me.

Because me? I do easy things really, really well. (Sometimes. Sometimes I fail at easy things, too.) But hard things make us step aside and leave the difficult for the one who embodied difficulty.

Christ, in His perfection, lived “hard.” Undeserving, He was crucified. Those He came to save shouted out for His death, and He did it. He died, when, in His power, He could have evaded it. Hard? That’s an understatement.

So give some more money to those in need. Fight for injustice. Seek out freedom from your own crap that’s holding you back. Quit being lazy and go do something. Forget the losers, search for the good people, and live with a heart-deep desire to look more like Christ—especially if the thought of that is terrifying. (It is for me.)

Do hard things. I think our 2016s will be better for it.