I run. I'm not a quitter, but I don't like conflict. I tend to avoid it if possible. I do my best to skirt around it. When life gets tough, I don't quit, but I tend to retreat. Withdrawing from difficult, dangerous or disagreeable situations. I retreat into myself. My comfort zone. I hole up like a turtle in his shell.
Comparatively, my life isn't that rough. I get it. I know that. But I was talking to a friend last week who said, "Life is hard." And even if comparatively I'm pretty lucky, some days are still just plain hard to get through. But I still feel pretty silly talking about my hard days when I know other people have lost their jobs, are facing homelessness, are struggling with health issues.
I've been doing devotionals with the ladies over at #SheReadsTruth for a few months now. Two verses have really stood out to me recently: Ephesians 2:10 (we were created to do good works) and Galatians 6:9-10 (don't grow weary of doing good, let us do good to all people). And you know what I'm learning? This retreating, this hiding, it's not what I was created to do. Hiding out helps no one. Not even myself.
It's OK to have a bad day. It's OK to struggle. It's OK to recognize life is just hard. But then what? Do I give up? Continue to hide until something changes? Do I grow tired of doing good? Usually I do. Usually I'm ready to give up. To hide until circumstances change.
But a friend unexpectedly brought me coffee the other day. And it set me to thinking. How often do I do the unexpected for my friends? This week--today--I'm looking for ways I can do good for someone else, even in the midst of this hard life.
Has someone changed the course of your day with an unexpected surprise? What have you done for others?
***Grandma Shelby Update: Thank you for your prayers. She is through radiation and has started chemo. It's been two months since her diagnosis. But life is hard this week. And we appreciate continued prayer.