When Life is Heavy and Hard to Take

Because sometimes life is-heavy and hard to take.

It can be rock heavy like a diagnosis or feather heavy like a willful child displaying their, um, will in public (okay, VBS this week. Ahem).

But heavy is heavy and it’s hard to take.

I have good news: Lamentations Chapter 3. Yes, the book of the Bible I usually don’t seek out for devotional reading, unless I’m lamenting. For the win.

When life is heavy and hard to take,

go off by yourself. Enter the silence.

Bow in prayers. Don’t ask questions.

Wait for hope to appear.

Don’t run from trouble. Take it full-face.

The “worst” is never the worst.

Why? Because the Master won’t ever walk out and fail to return.

If he works severely, he also works tenderly. He takes no pleasure in making life hard.

It’s like a 5-step program. Sign me up!

  1. Go off by yourself-find solitude
  2. Enter the silence-stop talking
  3. Bow in prayer-only say what matters
  4. Wait for hope-oh, so hard
  5. Don’t run away-even when that’s the easy choice

So I’ve been practicing this 5-step program this week and I got very encouraging news from test results that my kidney function has returned to normal and even better, stayed at normal the last week. (Yes, we are hoping to reschedule our trip soon!)

Meanwhile some beautiful, truly amazing things are happening at Mercy House Kenya. Basically, I’m learning that by NOT being there, nothing has really changed: God is still building a house of mercy and girls lives are being changed. Please, take a minute to Meet Our Girls (we have 3 residents now!). And read about their amazing first week in the Sustainable Skills Program! Would you take a minute to pray for them?

Because our worst doesn’t touch their worst.

And sometimes that perspective is all we need.


  1. 2


    “Dear Lord,

    Thank-you that Kristen’s test results have been getting better. Please continue to help her body heal and give the doctors the wisdom to know how best to proceed.

    Thank-you for the work being done at Mercy House. Help the girls there. Watch over them and their children. Thank-you for Your mercy to all of us.


    You’re right Kristen, even the “feather heavy” of a willful child is hard to take. I find myself in the middle of that particular battle with one of my children right now. I shall have to join the five-step program. :-)

  2. 4


    amazing God. Thanking Him for your health…. continuing to pray….

    yes… so very true. You touch deep.

    Praying …

    much much much love. xxxooo

    • 4.1

      marky says

      God’s word never disapoints! Thank you for sharing those words today.. I needed them as well!
      Praising the Lord for the newest residents at the Mercy House, and praying for them and their unborn children. Also Praising for your healthy kidney results!

  3. 5


    i just read you last couple of posts, OMGoodness I;m so sorry about your trip, but my goodness good thing you went to the ER!
    And better test results, very good,

    i think your work is just amazing and God will soooo continue to bless your efforts.
    thanks for the 5 step program, I’m signing up!
    Continue to feel better! And do the amazing work God has called you to do!

  4. 6


    YES – sometimes He distances us so we can See His Handiwork happens without us…He doesn’t NEED us to be there, and sometimes He just wants us to See, or be praying, or…only His plans are the best for us. He wants us to trust this.

  5. 8

    AmberK says

    Oh.my.goodness. I did not know we’d get to see their sweet faces and to ‘know’ about them. I will definitely be in prayer for these girls with you and many others, Kristen. So amazing what God is doing through Mercy!!! Yay!!!!!

    Hugs and Prayers

  6. 9


    I am been so blessed by your site. I really started reading it just before everything went down in the medical stuff for you! I prayed for you, I prayed for your family, I prayed for your trip and the women at Mercy. I find such courage, and energy in this blog. I just love it! Thank you for sharing. I would love to figure out how I could help Mercy House! Thank you for sharing! God is so very very good!

  7. 10

    Crystal says

    Lamentations 3 is one of my favorite chapters in the Message! I read it often and have been wanting to memorize it. Good things will come of your wait, I just know it!

  8. 11


    I needed this reading today as I am going through health issues with my son and dealing with harsh “diagnoses”. It reminds me of the song where the lyrics so “I will praise you in this storm, and I will lift my hands, for you are who you are no matter where I am”. Blessings!

  9. 12


    Its good to know that He’s still God, even when we’re unable to live up to our end of a bargain. Praying for your swift recovery! I love the 5 steps! I’m going to visit some hard family this weekend, I might have to dial into Lamentations 3.

  10. 13


    hooray for wonderful test results and a wonderful testimony!! what a wonderful answer to so many prayers! love what you have to say from lamentations. will be using that myself as i understand all too well the willful child. now, off to read about these fabulous girls. =)

  11. 14

    Nancy says

    SO glad you’re doing better!! And that the trip is in sight again. I have a feeling you’ll have a testimony later about how God’s timing on this was perfect. Blessings will come from it. You’ll be there exactly when God wants you there. Oh, and the willful child….you will live through it and actually forget about most of it. Hang in there! You’re doing a great job! And as those willful children grow up, they turn into strong adults. It’s all good.

  12. 15



    You do NOT EVEN KNOW how much I needed that TODAY…I am going to go and re-read that…we have a rebellious child who ran away and is being harbored by a “friend” against our wishes…and it is HARD…and so heavy that is feels like it would crush…and if I didn’t know my Savior has it all under control it might crush me…but He knows…somehow, I NEED this in my life…and I want whatever is on the other side of THIS HARD THING…I want a more intimate walk with my Savior. Could I link this post to my blog or re-post it there?

  13. 16

    Sarah says

    I just read Lamentations last week. It’s not a book I’ve read through before and certainly not one that it studied often, yet as I was reading it I was struck by Jeremiah’s pain as he is crying out to God, in despair over the destruction of Judah. Such an open, honest portrait of pain and God’s ultimate power to forgive and restore. Thanks for this!

  14. 18

    Jana says

    Thank you, Kristen, for being courageous enough to ask “what is the lesson in this?” and bold enough to share. I love your heart….


  15. 19

    christel says

    Your posts during your difficult and frustrating time have been so encouraging as my husband and I have begun to go through a (totally different) difficult and frustrating time. Thanks for writing.

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