Do Hard Things: A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations. So reads the title of the book, the start of a Rebelution. It’s challenging. It’s exciting. It’s world changing. But for some of us, it’s not reality. For some of us, doing hard things doesn’t always mean rebelling against low expectations but rather merely meeting them.
Now before you stop reading in aghast, let me explain. I agree that we are all called to do hard things. However, for some of us, those hard things are not necessarily big things. In fact, they might be ordinary, mundane, supposedly “normal” things, but they’re hard for us. Now the “us” I’m referring to is not the typical, everyday teenager or young person, but the one navigating physical affliction and suffering whether it be cancer, Lyme’s disease, juvenile arthritis, autoimmune disease, or any other chronic illness. Can you relate?
Well here’s my story. My teenage years started with a bang. In 2009, right before I turned thirteen, I experienced the onset of what was originally diagnosed as JIA (juvenile idiopathic arthritis), but after a rough bout with mono and three years of worsening symptoms it has now progressed to an undiagnosed type of systemic autoimmune disease. Within this time frame, I heard Alex and Brett Harris speak at a homeschool youth conference, read their books, and was challenged by the message of Do Hard Things. However, due to the chronic and debilitating nature of my physical condition, I quickly felt like I was not living up to the message since I couldn’t do anything big, noteworthy, or expectation defying in my teen years. But after much time and immersion in the Word and many hours running to the foot of the cross, I realized that even though my “hard” things would be “normal” things for most, they still qualified as hard things because they were hard for me. Now you might be thinking, “What is she talking about?” So let me give you a few examples. Some days my “hard” might be merely getting up in the morning, getting ready for the day, not taking a nap (or maybe two) in the middle of the day, making dinner for my family, leaving the house for an errand or appointment, generating enough mental focus to do school, or going outside for some physical exercise. These things may not defy culture or be amazing and world changing, but they are still hard for me and are things that I strive under Christ’s strength to do. And this, in essence, is the true message of Do Hard Things—tackling things that are hard for us individually, not hard for someone else.
So if you’re like I was and struggle with discouragement surrounding the rebelling against low expectations concept, I have a few words of wisdom to share—from one physically challenged young person to another—about lessons I’ve learned along my Do Hard Things journey.
Read the rest of this article here on The Rebelution.com.
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