Hurt, Hope and Making it through Life’s Hard Times

Your story might be different than what you imagined, but it can still be good.

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The other day someone asked me about our infertility. It felt a bit like being asked about an old scar, one that has faded and become so familiar it feels more like a freckle.

This question was part of a radio interview; the host wanted to know what I would say to a woman in a similar situation. I paused for a very long time, reaching back into those memories like one might a trunk in the attic.

I pulled out a single memory like a brightly colored scarf. I held it up to the light and watched the dust drift down. The scene on it was a particular Christmas morning. We were visiting my in-laws and I felt certain I was pregnant. I jumped out of bed and practically skipped to the bathroom only to be devastated again. My husband found me and put his arms around me, my tears soaking his t-shirt.

I could sense the silence on the radio line. I cleared my throat. “Feel the hurt,” I said to the interviewer, “It is real. Cry the tears. Yell into the pillow. Be sad and mad and confused.”

Then I thought of another memory in my life, a morning curled up under the covers, Bible in my hand, coffee next to me. God took me to the third chapter of Genesis where Eve is called the mother of all living. I began to understand in that moment all women are mothers because all women bring life into the world in some way. I started to believe my story might be different than what I imagined—but it could still be good (and it is).

“Feel the hope,” I said to the interviewer, “It is real. Embrace the unexpected. Trust the story is still being written. Be curious and strong and brave.”

You may not have walked through infertility but if you are alive on this spinning earth then you know what it is to have trouble and heartbreak. You know what it is to be disappointed or discouraged or tired. I think in those moments we tend to choose one of the options above.

We ignore everything but the hurt.

Or we ignore everything but the hope.

We do this because we’re afraid. We think if we don’t hope then we can’t be disappointed. Or if we don’t hurt the pain can’t overcome us. We might have some mixed up spiritual ideas—that God doesn’t like certain emotions (even though He created them all) or that pure suffering somehow brings Him more glory.

But the reality is hurt and hope are part of every hard experience. “Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God!” (Psalm 42:5).

Hurt reveals our emotions to us so we can heal. Hope gives us the strength to persevere through that process. The wound slowly transforms. Then one day someone asks us about it and we’re a bit startled because we suddenly realize what once felt like it might kill us has, in fact, taught us something about being fully alive.

We don’t have to be afraid of hurt.

We don’t have to be afraid to hope.

They are both part of what makes us who we are, part of our beauty and strength and scars.

Holley Gerth

P.S. Sometimes when I’m battling lies or going through a hard time, I find myself reaching for Do You Know You’re Already Amazing?: 30 Truths to Set Your Heart Free. I hope that it will be a kind companion for you, no matter what page of the story you’re on today.


Right now, we’re doing a special link-up series to celebrate Fiercehearted: Live Fully, Love Bravely. You’re a fiercehearted woman so I’m asking you to pour out a little love and courage with your words every Wednesday {the link-up goes live at 5:30am CST}. Simply write an encouraging blog post, especially if it’s about living fully and loving bravely, and then share it here. Don’t have a blog? You can still write an encouraging comment. If you’re reading this by email, go to to see all the fun and join in too.

When you link up your post, take a moment to leave an encouraging comment on the one that’s linked up just before yours. Thanks, friends!

I’m having Coffee For Your Heart with my friend Holley Gerth!

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About Holley

About Holley

Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author and Life Coach

I like humans, words, and good coffee. And I’d love to help you beat what’s holding you back, become all you’re created to be, and kick butt for the greater good.

Cheering you on,


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