The Difference Between Failure and Hard

What's the difference between something being hard and being a failure?  Have you ever wondered?  I've been pondering this idea a lot lately. 

Everywhere I go - people want to know.  How is your business going?  What's happening?  Give us the update. 

Until last month, I was able to stay positive.  Things were going well.  The business was growing.  I was starting a second business helping small business owners write and strategize their online marketing and content.  And while my business are not yet self supporting, things are growing.

That begs the question - what happened this month?  Tough decisions need to happen this month.  While I have some income from my businesses, it's not enough to pay my bills and live.  I am running out of funds to pour back into my businesses.  And questions like should I get a real job and should I downsize my house have been looming.  

The bigger question for me is whether I'm failing or is this just part of the ride?  

I know you feel it too.  When parenting gets hard and you wonder if your "doing" it right.  When you can't seem to do anything right at work and your boss comes to talk to you again.  When you feel misunderstood by those you consider your closest friends.  You wonder deep down if this is just hard or are you failing. 

I've felt this most in the last month when people want to know.  I know their questions have good intentions.  They care about me.  They want to know how I'm doing.  But, when faced with answering these questions in the last month - I've discovered that more than anything I'm fighting a battle on the inside.  Do I believe I'm failing?  The more I talk, the harder it is for me to process. 

But I've learned a few things about this failing vs hard journey that I'd like to share with you. 

Hard Does Not Equal Failing

This has been a hard one for me to process.  You see, it's hard right now.  Anyone who has ever started a business knows this.  There are ups and downs.  And for you, in your situation - parenting, marriage, job loss - you too know that there are ups and downs.  I've realized along the way that God never promised me easy.  He promised He would be with me.  So, yes right now it's hard.  I don't know how I'm going to make it work.  But I'm not failing.  And if you're anything like me - you need to keep reminding yourself of that everyday. 

Hard Is Okay

Our human tendency is to flee from hard.  We don't want life to be hard.  We want to live in comfort and ease.  It's why so many of us want to quit when it gets hard.  And yet, the lesson for me and I hope for you is that hard is OK.  It may not always be fun.  Yet, God is with us and walks with us through the hard.  We won't usually die from the hard - we'll get a little ragged - but we'll make it in the end.  

Hard Reminds Us Why We Started

For me, building a business has been bittersweet.  I get to do what I love every day.  I use by gifts and my passions to help others.  People have been touched.  And sometimes, I get trapped in the expectation that when I love it - it will all work.  But lately, because it's been hard, it's reminded me why I started in the first place.  It's reminded me that people are more important than things.  And while I still need to pay my bills, God's been reminding me that He called so I could help others become who He meant them to be.  That's why I do what I do.  Not matter how hard it is - I get up and keep going because hard reminds me of my calling. 

The truth is, that no matter who we are or what we do, we will experience hard.  Having some hard segments of our journey is what life is all about.  It teaches us to trust God and perservere and deepen our faith.  Hard helps us see that maybe what is hard to us is nothing to a brother or sister in a third world country.  Hard help us become who God wanted us to be all along - a believer who trusts Him no matter what.  

Hard helps us develop one foot faith - and for me that is what life is all about!