It Is So Difficult (and Why Difficulties Must Exist)

Gold Brush Stroke

It’s that time of year when our high school students are registering for next year’s classes. In the past years, it’s been uneventful for me. My boys knew what they needed and wanted to take.

Now, I am deciding Rachel’s sophomore schedule, and it is eventful. You see, my daughter doesn’t have the understanding to do it herself. And it’s so difficult. 


Rach is also at the threshold of a milestone in our church. And I’m wrestling with what to do. And it’s so difficult.

In addition, it is time to start looking toward transitioning my lovely daughter to adulthood. Where will she live? What vocation will she have? Should I have her attend activities when all she wants is to be home? And it’s so difficult.

You see, I’ve never traveled this road before. I have no prior experience to base my decisions on. 

Do I let her stay in choir even though she can’t sing? Do I keep her in Sunday School class with her same age peers or move her where she can better understand the material? Should she be confirmed in the church? Should she stay at home or find a home to call her own? Should we take her on vacation or go without her? Which of the boys’ events will she be able to handle? 

Answers are hard to find, but the questions keep rolling in. 

But really isn’t that the way life should be in this fallen world?

Difficult, not easy?

Fraught with times of uncertainty, not having every moment planned?

Impossible under our power, possible only under our Creator’s?

We don’t like it, for sure. No one wants to be told they are supposed to have troubles. Or are too weak to handle a situation.


Why Difficulties Must Exist

But think for a minute. What would happen if there were no difficulties? If we knew the best decision in every situation? If our plan always turned out and was always the best plan? If we never faced hardship or confusion or weakness or uncertainty?

If everything went just as we hoped, we would see no need for the Lord in our lives. And we would be lost in our self-centeredness and pride.

If everything went just as we hoped, we would see no need for the Lord in our lives. Share on X

I live a blessed life, but I have experienced some very difficult times. And although I wouldn’t want to walk through those valleys again, I’m grateful for the harvest I received in the sowing of my tears.

Because it was in those valleys where I first saw Jesus in amazing detail. 

It was in my emptiness where I became filled with the Holy Spirit. 

It was in my exhaustion where I felt the Father’s arms support me.

It was in the storms where I discovered the true value of grace.

As I peer into my future, I know I have some very tough decisions to make on Rachel’s behalf.

And it is difficult.

But as King David repeated in Psalm 42, “I will still praise Him, my Savior and my God” (5, 11).

Because adversity lays us empty for God to fill.

And that’s a beautiful thing.

In the Lord lies our hope. Always.

Adversity lays us empty for God to fill. And that's a beautiful thing. In the Lord lies our hope. Always. Share on X

“The Lord will send His faithful love by day;
His song will be with me in the night—
a prayer to the God of my life.” (Psalm 42:8)

Reflection: Have you experienced the same thing I have: where adversity laid you empty, but God filled you up? Are you now at a place in your life where you can do as King David did in Psalm 42, “still praise Him” in the midst?

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By His Grace,



  1. Kent Smith on February 26, 2014 at 2:28 pm

    Hello Julie, we all should be reminded daily of the grace given us. No where does it say that God would make life easy just that He is sufficient in all circumstances. I have written of the grace I have received at A Dad’s Story”.

    I hope it is as helpful as this has been. Stay blessed.

    • Julie Sunne on February 26, 2014 at 7:15 pm

      “No where does it say that God would make life easy just that He is sufficient in all circumstances.” So true, Kent. Grateful you let God’s grace transform your life, and grateful for your comment. I appreciate your post of honesty in A Dad’s Story. From the heart definitely ministers.

  2. Julie on February 26, 2014 at 9:03 pm

    Oh, Julie, these are hard things. Thank you for your candor and honesty. Praying that you will smile at the future, even with its uncertainties, as you trust in the One who “keeps” you, and keeps Rachel too. (Jude 1:1)

    • Julie Sunne on February 26, 2014 at 9:29 pm

      Thank you, Friend. You are a blessing.

  3. Brent Peterson on February 28, 2014 at 9:00 am

    Thank you Julie for sharing from the heart as you always and gracefully do. To answer your question, it’s a definite yes for me. I was at a men’s breakfast discussion early this morning at our new church home and I was quickly reminded we’ve all been broken with adversity. And I thought I was the only one! I hope Colossians 3:15 brings you comfort today too.

    • Julie Sunne on February 28, 2014 at 4:21 pm

      Thank you for sharing the verse in Colossians, Brent. It is truly comforting. Glad you found encouragement at your new church.

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Julie Sunne

Hello, I'm Julie, an imperfect wife and mother of four. Life in this broken world is not always easy. Yet, joy can be found in each day through the grace and mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ.

I find it's easy for our day's blessings to get lost in its happenings. But God's "mercies never end" (Lamentations 3:22) and His "grace is sufficient" (2 Corinthians 12:9).

May the posts and pages on this site offer you a measure of peace and encouragement.

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