Are You Missing the Grace Because It Is Masked by the Hard?

Gold Brush Stroke

I struggle with certain people, but those relationships are actually good for me. 

I would rather certain circumstances not happen, but in the end, they are exactly what I need. 

It’s what I call “hard grace.” Those things we’d rather not do or walk through, but must. Those people we have trouble being around, but need to.

Hard, oh so hard! But yet grace in the purest sense.

hard grace

Always What We Need

Not what we want, yet what we need.

Grace is never earned.

Grace is often unexpected.

Grace is sometimes masked as unwanted.

But grace is always what we need!

Grace is never earned, often unexpected, sometimes masked as unwanted, but always what we need! Share on X

That difficult person teaches us understanding.

That endless day produces patience. 

That special needs child grows love. 

That impossible circumstance drives us to our knees and draws us nearer the Creator. 

That impossible circumstance drives us to our knees and draws us nearer the Creator. Share on X

Hard Grace

Much of grace appears hard on the surface, yet underneath, drips sweetness. Do we miss it by defining it one way?

Is it only grace when we get out of a difficult situation?

Is it only grace when we are surrounded by like-minded Christians; all who have easy-to-get-along-with personalities?

Is it only grace when life plays out the way we expect? 

I don’t think so. I think the most meaningful and powerful grace happens deep in the trenches.

The most meaningful and powerful grace happens deep in the trenches. Share on X

A hand to hold.

A glimmer of light in the middle of a dark tunnel.

A community who mobilizes during devastation. 

A smile breaking through the thickest haze.

A sliver of sky in the fiercest storm. 

Don’t underestimate this hard grace. It’s necessary to shape hearts, minds and souls. It’s the salt that cures the meat and the heat that refines the silver. 

This hard grace: it’s often what the Father uses to transform us into a clearer image of the Son. And that’s just where each of us should want to be.

Hard grace: it's often what the Father uses to transform us into a clearer image of the Son. Share on X

Struggling with something? Don’t discount the hard as something to discard; it’s serving to usher in the grace. 

Don't discount the hard as something to discard; it's serving to usher in the grace. Share on X

“And not only that, but we also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope.” Romans 5:3-4

Reflections: Have you recognized the graces in the hard places of your life? How might you better prepare yourself to notice them in the future? 

Linking with Kelly Balarie for the #RaRaLinkup. Click on the image to enjoy more inspiration.

More than 4 years of counting and I’ve surpassed 4,500 gifts in Ann Voskamp’s Joy Dare! What a blessing! Here are numbers #4,537–4,557. Read my entire list by clicking here.

  • Lots and lots of leftovers to eat; Many little tasks taken care of; Warm barn to work in
  • Good roads despite a wintry mix; More treat making with the ladies; Hand-crafted gifts prepared
  • A new “one-that-works” mobile hotspot (and the nice gals that helped me get it activated); Relationships that remind me how incredibly blessed I am; The blessings reaped when I heed God’s whispered guidance instead of rushing ahead with my agenda
  • Good test report for hubby; Chauffeuring time to reflect and pray; Trying a new look with my sugar cookies
  • My man as we celebrate his birthday; Sweetness as I spent hours loving on my 2-month old nephew and visiting with his mama: joy!; Watching Zach sing in the Wheaton College Christmas Festival via livestream
  • Helping at our church’s cookie/candy walk; Lots of firewood split and stacked; Another amazing performance of the Christmas Festival at Wheaton College watched via live stream: incredible music!
  • Teaching Sunday School to an awesome group of girls; Cutting down our two Christmas trees and decorating one of them; Rare movie outing
By His Grace,



  1. Holly on December 8, 2015 at 8:18 am

    Hey Julie! Stopping by from RaRa link up. Great post! Loved this line:

    Grace is never earned.
    Grace is often unexpected.
    Grace is sometimes masked as unwanted.
    But grace is always what we need!

    If this isn’t the truth! I always say we hate the hard things but that’s what God uses the most to refine us. Let us lean into His grace. Blessings friend!


    • Julie Sunne on December 8, 2015 at 9:15 am

      Leaning in with you, Holly! Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  2. Kathy/ on December 8, 2015 at 11:59 am

    Julie, this post is filled with wisdom! How skate around the hard places in my life,and yet it was the hard places that brought me to Christ 8 years ago! How easy it is to forget during trials and darker seasons that God is a light behind the storm clouds, pulling us closer, bringing us to our knees! Beautiful! Visiting today from #raralinkup!

    • Julie Sunne on December 8, 2015 at 12:38 pm

      Praise God that we are now sisters in Christ, Kathy! No one likes hard, but oh how beautiful they can be! So grateful you stopped in.

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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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