Life can be hard! Hard is ok… it means that we are alive. Easy is a dream… it’s a way that is not real. Easy means we don’t have to be present. Easy means we are safe and held… the question is “what holds us?” I have felt the pain of loss, the reality that things are difficult. So often in my faith I’ve looked at hardship as Gods punishment, or displeasure… if I had more faith, more Jesus, better behavior, things would work… things don’t always work! People get sick, jobs go away, marriages fail… kids struggle, life hurts… I’m learning that life is about pain and joy! It’s a dichotomy! If you don’t know pain, you won’t understand joy. They inform one another. They work together. Pain is human! Joy is Gods blessing to human nature. My pain has made me kind, good and strong. Life has made me a student of struggle and reward. Because I know loss, pain and regret, I can love others. I can sit with others in their pain. I can rejoice with the victory, as I suffer the reality of pain and loss. I want to love and live well.