The struggle

The struggle is part of the story


For my senior son, it’s Statistics.

For me, it’s ministry.

For both of us, it’s wanting to quit when it gets difficult.

I hate when I’m trying to do the Mom thing and teach my children a life lesson…  and then I feel God looking straight at me with a half smile on His face and one eyebrow raised.

“Ok God.  It’s different.  Really, it is.”

“Is it?”  He gently asks, nodding His head.


The struggle.  It’s so real sometimes.  And it truly doesn’t matter if it’s a difficult high school math class, a ministry, parenting, a big project, sickness or a broken relationship.  This life is full of struggles.  FULL.

And the answer is not….dropping the class before you even try.

Or deciding ahead of time what you are -or are not- capable of.  Or convincing yourself that it’s too difficult.  Or focusing on the probability of failure.  Or wanting to give up and run away.

I found myself telling my son all of these things about his last semester of high school.  I desperately want him to learn this difficult lesson before we send him away to college in 6 months.  He had in his mind that he wanted his last months of high school to be a breeze.  NOT a struggle.

But I find myself doing the exact same thing.  Wanting to bypass the struggle.

If I had $1 for every time I thought or verbalized my desire to move to a very remote cabin away from the general population to sip coffee and read…alone, I would be wealthy!

(Well ok, I may let my husband come.  Possibly, my children.)

But anyway, you get the point.

I often tell my husband that it would be sooo much easier to just be a woman in a pew.

But deep down in the bravest crevices of my soul, there is a flicker that just won’t let me.  I have realized that the closer I am to the Lord, the more fearless I seem to become.  And the struggle doesn’t scare me– as much.

But as soon as I look away and open the door to my fear and feelings of inadequacy, the struggle gets REAL.  And I want to quit.

If you find yourself there today, may I tell you that you’re in good company?  Luke and I are with you.  We feel the struggle, too.  We, also, are scared of failing.  High School Statistics and our calling.

But in my heart of hearts, I know that God’s strength is most perfectly displayed in our weakness.  It is precisely in our frailties, that He gets to show off.  And I want you, and Luke, and me to know that the struggles serve a great purpose.  It builds character and teaches us to boldly call on the ONE who is able.  To bravely walk through it instead of dodging it.

Quite honestly, some of our most meaningful moments with our Creator are right smack, dab in the middle of the struggle.






  1. Suzanne M. "Nana" says

    Oh, sweet Katie! I wish I could tell you that the struggle gets easier. It just continues. But each struggle you meet with God’s strength prepares you for the next. And I believe you get braver. It’s sort of like a kid who looks over his shoulder to see if his big brother is backing him up. (Oh, yeah, God! I see you! I knew you would be there!) My ministry has changed through the years…..several times.. Each time there were new struggles. (You there, God?) Each stage in life has its new struggles. And each struggle God sees me through. The important lesson is we are in it for the long haul. When we trust Jesus and start our heavenward journey, God spends each of our days grooming us and changing us to make our flawed little human selves ready to step into Heaven and never miss a step. These struggles within themselves were never the point. Depending on God and following His divine leadership are truly the point. God bless you Katie and keep on “keeping on!” Love you!

    • Katie Graves says

      Thank you for sharing, sweet Suzanne! Love your perspective and your wisdom….just wish you were closer so I could hear it more often! 🙂 Love you, too!

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