rebelling against low expectations

When Hard Things Come to You


Thank you all for your support of our family after the passing of our mother. We have been overwhelmed by the love, prayers, and stories of lives changed by God’s grace through our mom’s faithfulness. Please, keep them coming!

By God’s grace, we are doing well — inexplicably well, apart from hope in Christ. The weekend before last, we held a conference in Atlanta — just 20 days after mom’s death. Everyone would have understood if we had cancelled it, but we knew she would want us to carry on. As one friend reflected, we could almost hear her saying, squeezing our hands, “Don’t give up… Don’t you dare waste this time.”

By God’s grace, over 100 people came to know her Savior that day.

When Hard Things Happen

If anything, our experience this summer has helped us to more deeply sympathize with the suffering around us. Our family is not the only one feeling the sting of death — defeated as it is. We are not the only ones who have lost a parent. Cancer and disease ravages this fallen world. Things are not as they should be.

Even in America, where we have so much for which to be thankful, drug and alcohol abuse, crime, car accidents, and broken homes are just a few of the constant reminders that we live in a fallen world. The Rebelution calls teens to do hard things, but what about when “hard things” come to you?

What follows are four things that have upheld us through this trial. We hope God will use them to encourage those of you who are also experiencing a season of suffering, and to equip all of us for the trials that will inevitably come.

Photo credit: Andie Jael.

1.) Amazing Grace

In the past, we would hear stories of friends who lost loved ones — or read about Christian martyrs who endured incredible suffering for the sake of the gospel — and wonder how they endured. Was it sheer fortitude or the power of conviction? Yes and no. Fortitude, made strong by grace. Conviction, kept safe by grace.

Hebrews 4:16 says, “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” The courage, the strength, the endurance we lack, comes to us as “grace to help” in the moment of our need. This has been our experience. God has been faithful.

Our mother was perhaps the greatest source of God’s grace in our lives. But even in her earthly absence, the God of grace remains. We have no cause to fear.

2.) Reminding Ourselves of Truth

Suffering is a battle for the heart and mind. That is why we must remind ourselves of truth. God is good. God is wise. God is sovereign. These are not theological bullet points in the midst suffering — they are the Rock on which we stand.

As rebelutionaries, we must remember that just like doing hard things makes us stronger, so experiencing hard things makes us stronger (James 1:2-3), purifies our hearts (Zechariah 13:9), and is intended for our good (Romans 8:28).

As our mother herself once wrote, “[I]t seems that [Christ’s] servants who are used in special ways often experience commensurate trials. These are simultaneously burdens God gives to keep them utterly dependent; and thorns which pin back the veil that hides His face. In a fallen world, they are gifts.”

3.) Keeping an Eternal Perspective

This world is not our home. It feels like we have always known this, but nothing focuses your thoughts on eternity like the death of someone you love. We can all imagine mom, a beautiful dancer, dancing and leaping before the throne of God.

And yet we at times been struck and saddened by how foreign it felt to contemplate Heaven — by how little accustomed we were to orient our present lives towards future reality. God is using this experience to make Heaven more real to us, and to confront our sinful neglect of meditating on the true fulfillment of His kingdom.

Recently, we have been reading Randy Alcorn’s outstanding book Heaven, as well as his beautiful illustrated children’s book Tell Me About Heaven. They both do a wonderful job of unpacking biblical truth about our eternal home.

4.) Grieving with Hope

Mom has lost nothing (quite the opposite!), but we have lost much. It seems like each new week brings a fresh revelation of experiences and memories we cannot share with her — and of how much we will miss her influence in our lives.

There is reason to grieve. We have, and we do. And yet we do not grieve as those who have no hope. As believers we have a great hope and secure foundation. We can have joy amidst sorrow and, as John Piper says, “sing happy songs with tears.”

What is more, we can carry on in the work Christ has entrusted to us. Despite hardship, we can continue to do hard things — sustained by grace, grounded in truth, with our eyes on the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Soli Deo gloria!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

About the author

Alex and Brett Harris

are the co-founders of and co-authors of Do Hard Things and Start Here. They have a passion for God and for their generation. Their personal interests include politics, filmmaking, music, and basketball. They are both graduates of Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, Virginia.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  • Thank you guys for sharing this – and so much of yourselves – with us. Your mom seems like she was an amazing woman whose legacy you’re carrying on in beautiful, eternally-meaningful ways.

  • Brett and Alex, we have kept your family in our thoughts and prayers and will continue to do so. Your encouragement to this generation must have made your mother so proud…and we are so thankful for her influence on both of your lives. Keep up the great work and never let go of those words your mother spoke to you. Don’t ever ever back down and rest in His promise.

    I hope to see you both in September!


  • Excellent! The loss of your mom was a great one, but look at all the beautiful fruit she left behind! 😀

  • Thank you both for your wonderful perspective. Even though I personally have not lost someone, I feel this still applies even to my family situation as we travel the long road of medical problems. Thank you so very much for reminding me of what we as Christians are striving for.

    Will continue to keep you in my prayers.
    In Christ,

  • Your family will be in my prayers.

    Thank you for addressing this. I am experiencing such hard things with my own small family (consisting of my mother, my cat, and myself) right now.

    God bless!

  • One passage that I love is 1 Peter 1:3-9. There Peter deals with suffering and the joy and hope we can have in it. We have hope because we have a Saviour who does not neccesarily pull us out of hard circumstances, but walks us through them, who walked through them Himself while on earth. Thanks for this piece guys, I lost my best friend earlier this year after the month previous my baby brother was born with a life threatening heart condition and my parents house burned down. Made for quite the month, and yet as you guys have experienced, there is joy in Christ. Jesus Christ went through more pain and suffering than we can even imagine, and through that we can have joy. His pain, His sacrifice. Eternal perspective is exactly right. Yes our life is hard, and circumstances come that are far from joyful. But we can have pain even in the darkest of times because of our wonderful Savior! Praise His name!

  • You guys have definitely been on my mind! I know there is an uphill road ahead; I cannot imagine the pain of losing your mother,,,,but I see how God is growing you, teaching you, through all of this!

  • I’m very sorry for your loss. Your mother sounds like she was a very strong believer and a Proverbs 31 woman. I’ll keep you and your family in my prayers, as well as the other posters on here who are going through hard times. I really needed to remember these truths though, because I’ve been going through an awful depression lately and I’ve been feeling like God is too far away. Thanks for reminding me that He is never too far from those who call upon His name. You are truly an inspiration to me. God bless!

  • I am thankful to hear that you two, as well as your family, are doing so well by the grace of God. I will continue to pray for you all.

    While reading this blog I though of a quote from the book The Same Kind of Different as Me by Denver Moore and Ron Hall (which is an incredible true story that I highly recommend). Denver Moore said, “When you is precious to God, you become important to Satan. Watch your back…. The thief comes in the night.” Your family is precious to God and Satan would love to destroy you. But try as he might, he still can’t ever defeat God’s purposes. Just as Joseph said to his brothers, we can also say to Satan, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” Genesis 50:20. I know your mom is rejoicing with the angels in Heaven over those 100 souls who were snatched from the devil’s grip! Keep it up guys! Many blessings to you!

  • Love you, boys. Thank you for representing your mom and her savior so well. I was struck by the photo and seeing each of you dear ones standing in honor of her. Also struck by the fact that she is very much alive with Jesus. An amazing truth.

  • Brett and Alex,
    You are amazing examples to me of Doing Hard Things. You are living your message, and it is encouraging me a great deal. Your mother sounds like a truly inspiring woman, and a wonderful mother. We can praise the Lord with gladness that your mother is alive in him, living in your hearts and always nearby, watching over you. I am sincerely grieving with you, and I thank you both for your inspiring message, your example of having strength in such difficult times. Thank you so much, and I am praying for you.

  • Dear Brett and Alex,
    I know you aren’t Catholic, but I have offered Masses for the soul of your mother and for the comfort of your family. I shall continue to pray for you, and for her, that she may be with Christ in the splendor of Heaven. God bless you, and thank you for your inspiring witness to the world.
    Gratia Dei Vobiscum,

  • I’m still amazed by you guys. Your mother did an excellent job raising you! Thank you for sharing this moment with us.

  • Kaya mo yan, guys! Meaning; You can do it. You and your family. Things change, circumstances change, people change but God and His promises has never changed. Cast yourself at His feet and rest there forever. Here’s a beautiful link when you have time to read it

  • Thank you for your encouragement and living out your faith through this time of sorrow. These truths are so important yet things we often forget as we go about our lives. Thank you for continuing to live out the faith we have in Christ and doing the work He has called you to. Such an encouragement.

  • I’ve been praying so much for your whole family right now. My grandfather passed away about a week before your mother was called home, so I sort of feel what you’ve been going through. Thank you for continuing to be such an encouragement and for remaining so faithful.

  • I still cry when I see the beautiful pictures of your family or read about her memorial service. Can I just thank you for living out the message of Do Hard Things in all things and not wasting the opportunity to encourage us to do the same? Some of us needed these words at this very point in time.

  • Alex and Brett,
    I’ve just finished reading your book and was amazed at how much it spoke to me. I often feel like Paul before his conversion in that I know the law in my head but I don’t always follow it with my heart. God spoke to me through your words. Thank you. I have a passion again.
    Always remember that because your mother (and father) encouraged and taught you, you are better equipped to encourage and teach others.
    My parents have taught me well the ways of God, and I always come to see that they are right. When God gives me revelation, I often realize that that is what Mom and Dad were saying all along.
    Semper reformanda! and God bless you and strengthen you through this hard time.

  • Alex and Brett Harris,

    I hope that you guys will keep on even in rough times. I will keep you guys in my prayers. Thanks alot for the books they have got me thinking about how this is our world it’s all about slacking off in our teen years.

  • Thank you so much for this post! I was with my grandmother when she died a peaceful death yesterday. I was very close to her and it is extremely painful. Tomorrow is her 80th birthday. I needed to hear (or read) everything in this post. Thank you so much again!!!!

  • Thank you so much for this post. My dad is in hospital at the moment on life support and this just gave me the extra confidence and courage to really leave it all in God’s hands.

    I thank you for living the life of Christ and sharing and pouring out yourselve to help others, more than you would ever know.

    I pray that the Holy Spirit the beautiful comforter resides within and amongst you all at this time. I pray that God even in this as with all stituaions and circumstances, will show Himself strong as He always does.

    God bless you both…

    Much Love – Remi

  • The timing of this blog post is impeccable. I’m 22 and picked up your book, Do Hard Things, last yesterday evening and I’m already half way through it. While, I’m not a “teenager,” I still struggle with the fact that I can and want to be something greater for the glory of God in my youth.

    Your blog about the loss of your mother is so comforting, I too was homeschooled, and loosing my mother is something I can’t even begin to imagine, but through Christ, you both have been a powerful witness. Suddenly my struggles no longer seem insurmountable, you lives are living testimonies of the power of Christ, when we turn over everything to Him to solve, rather than trying to fix it ourselves, things don’t seem so grim.

    Keep up the good work and never forget to give God the glory for your success!

  • this brought tears to my eyes you guys are really inspirational. thank you for your encouraging words and such an amazing blog.
    i play God gives you strength.
    Thanks again
    kaylyn 🙂

  • Thank you for posting this guys. I know it’s been hard for you, and I’ll keep praying for you. But this has been encouraging to me while my Mom is facing ongoing health problems. God bless you guys! He has amazing things that he’s done in you and will continue to do through you!

  • Alex and Brett,
    I’m so sorry about the passing of your mother. I’ve never lost anyone that close to me, but I couldn’t imagine losing one of my parents. I’m praying for you, and I hope that you’ll be encouraged because your two books (Do Hard Things and Start Here) have encouraged me so, so much! Right now I am in the process of discovering what hard thing (whether big or small) God would like me to tackle, and your books have challenged me to do so. I truly appreciate your faithfulness to Christ, because you’ve made such a difference in this world. Again, thank you. God bless.


  • Alex & Brett,

    My name is Grace Finkbeiner and just this past summer I have been introduced to you AWESOME blog/wedsite.:) I am twelve years old and I really admire you guys, thank you so much for using your talent of writing to glorify the Lord:).
    My mom was really supprised this mornig when I was on the computer and she said that I wasn’t supposed to be doing email and so when she came down to chaeck on me she was really impressed that I was reading your blog.
    Soli Deo gloria!!:)


    ps. Thanks again!!

  • Jesus,

    Please help Alex and Brett, Remi, and my friend who just lost her dad. And everyone in a similar situation.
    Words can’t help such pain – only You can.
    Please walk next to them, hold their hands, remind them constantly they’re not alone.

  • Alex & Brett,

    I was very sorry to read of the passing of your mother. I pray that the Lord would comfort you all during this time of pain.

    I read your book “Do Hard Things” about a year ago, and it was very helpful to me. Keep on doing hard things for the Lord, and encouraging others to do the same.

    In Christ,

  • Alex & Brett,

    I recently lot a family member myself, and I know how difficult it can be.
    Thank you for shairing this incredadible story with us all, and you’re family will be in my prayers.

    You guys have been a great example in my life. I read your book “Do Hard Things” about a year ago and it really impacted me. Even though I’m only 14, I’ve been trying to “do hard things” already, and it has really been a blessing. I’ve never seen God work so much before. 🙂 I can’t wait to get my hands on your new one 🙂
    I hope someday I’ll get to see you two in Indy! 🙂

    God Bless,

  • I mourn with you in the loss of your mother, but I rejoice in the fact that many people came to know Christ!I will continue praying for your family to receive comfort.

    Thank you guys so much for writing the book, Do Hard Things. I haven’t finished the book yet, but I am already blessed by it.

    Your Sister in Christ,

    ” I would rather walk with God in the dark than go alone in the light.”

  • This is such a good post and a good reminder for me to read right now. I’m Peter Helms’ sister-in-law (I write the updates for the prayer group you linked to in “car accidents”). This year has brought many hard things for our family, including a family member’s death to cancer just like you all. It is comforting to know that God does not give us more than we can bear. He uses Hard Things in our lives to refine us like gold so we can be made into the beautiful likeness of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

    Keep the faith,


  • I’m very sorry for your loss–I can empathize with feeling such a great loss having expirienced a very similar one myself a little over a year ago. Though I cannot say I had such a rock of faith to stand on as you seem to going through this trial. I wish I had known those 4 things to keep in mind when I was going through my own trials–but I know now [though I couldn’t then] that God had a reason for my lack of knowledge; He used it to bring me home to Him–a far better ending then I could ever have imagined! It has only been a little over a year since I began my own walk with Him and I have learned SO much and become such RADICALY different person I wouldn’t believe it if hadn’t beem me going through it! I just want to encourage you in this time of healing; even though sometimes it hurts like heck and feels like you might not want to get back up, He tells us to call on His name and He is faithful and WILL answer. He will not leave us alone or in the dark to deal with our pain on our own; He tells us He is by our side through every trial and joy and will never leave us no matter what–we just have to hold on to Him with all we’ve got and trust in His promise. You will be in my prayers forever.

    His love is extravagent–the cross is our proof


  • Wow… what amazing truths God has taught you through this… thank you for taking the time to share. Your mom was a beautiful, poetic writer. Still praying.

  • Thank you for posting this, I really needed that. I’m praying for you guys and your family. I envy how strong you guys are, keep it up!! I’m sure your mother is smiling down at you guys from her new home with Jesus.

  • I wish that I had thought that when my aunt died of colon cancer. Well, in her case we had no hope of her salvation but I still could have used that.

  • I have been reading the entries about your mom and I am sooooo touched by your story. I am sorry for your lost but just remember God is in control. I just want you to know that you guys are my heroes. Stay strong and keep your faith in the Lord.

  • I am terribly sorry about your loss. I cannot imagine the pain that it would cause. Yet I thrilled that you all are carrying on. Our world needs people like you, and choosing to go on and trust God’s grace is a real step of faith. Thank you for your example.

  • Dear Alex and Brett i am so sorry for your loss i know it must be hard for u guys but just known that she is in a better place now and that she is home with her heavenly father just like we all will be 1 day some time so just remember that u will see her again

  • Eu não conheci a mãe de vocês, nem conheço a vocês pessoalmente.
    Mas fiquei triste, por vocês, e como é bonito ver que ela tinha consciência de que encontraria seu salvador .
    Estarei orando por vocês e por toda sua familia.

    I never knew your mother, not to you personally know.
    But I was sad, for you and see how beautiful she was aware that he would find his savior.
    I will be praying for you and your entire family.

  • Guys im so sorry, wish there was something i could do to help. I just finished reading do hard things and i half to say yall are really great writers. Im sorry that the timing sucks but i was wondering if yall have ever heard of Fuge camps? its a really cool church camp done by lifeway. My life was changed completely by it. Again i am so completely sorry about your loss. I know that God will take care of you. Just remember to live for God no matter what hard thing comes to you.
    Praying for you,
    Nick S.

  • you two are truly amazing!God has such a hand in your lives! I’ll keep your family in my thoughts and prayers as you all are going through this hard time. your mom seemed like a truly wonderful God fearing person. i cant even begin to imagine how hard it is to lose someone so close…but just keep remembering that you’ve only lost her for a little while, and that she’s with her Savior Lord Jesus now smiling, laughing, and dancing at his feet. and keep looking forward to the day when you will also see the Glory Majesty of our Father in all its splendor, and when once more you will see your mother smiling and saying “welcome home.”
    praying for you!
    your sister in Christ

  • Praise God for your Mum!! She was obviously a great blessing the life of her family, and to those she reached out to around her. Take her example of reflecting Christ and continue strong in sharing God’s word and the Rebelution message. I am humbled and encouraged that you guys have not been totally downcast by this event, but are clinging to Christ and the Hope of seeing your Mum one day in heaven 🙂 God bless you!

  • Thank you for this post. Over the last two years, while dealing with my own (relatively minor) trials, I’ve often wondered how Do Hard Things applies to the hard things I didn’t volunteer for. This post was helpful and encouraging. I’ll continue to pray for you and your family during this very hard time.

  • I don’t know what to say and what you are going through a little. But my prayer goes to you.
    I pray that God of comfort will comfort your hearts. I pray that God of Hope will give your great hope.

    Your faith encourages me.
    Thank you for your witness.

    Love in Christ

  • Alex and Brett,
    Thank you so much for all you guys do! I was at the Atlanta conferece (the first of many I hope!) and had an amazing time. Honestly, it was on of the most eye opening experience for me. You guys didn’t have to be there, but you were so selfless and came anyway. I pray God blesses your family in so many ways. I know your mom was so proud of you and that she knew and so do I, that you will truly leave an awesome legacy. Keep up the good work! 2 Tim 4:12!

  • I am sorry to hear about your mom. I have never lost a parent, but i have lost a grandparent who was like my dad. I can only imagine what it must be like. I will keep you and your family in my prayers. God bless.

  • Thank you so much for sharing this. I needed to hear it. Though I have never physically lost someone like a parent, your words inspired me right when I needed it so much.

    Your mother was a great inspiration to me and I can only imagine how hard it has been for you and your family.
    Thank you for keeping the faith during this hard time and being a true example of the Do Hard Things message. I’m praying for you.

    In Christ,
    Rom 8:28

  • Alex and Brett,

    I was there in the conference in Atlanta…It was LIFE-CHANGING!!!! God’s grace and mercy are amazing! I am motivated to do hard things! Your brother’s book “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” helped me to realize that I needed to revaluate my own relationship that I was in at that time…God has used you guys in my life in such a mighty way! I’m praying for you guys! DO HARD THINGS! I am so passionate about Christ and his plan for my life! This summer has been hard, but I have also grown more than I ever expected…Thank you guys for your dedication to the Rebelution and your devotion to the Lord Jesus Christ!

  • What an amazing post. You guys are such an encouragement even during this difficult time for your family.

    May God bless and keep you!

  • This was fantastic!!! I will definitely be keeping your family in my prayers. I was at the conference in Atlanta and I am amazed at how positive you can be through such a hard time. May God’s storehouses of blessings break upon your heads!


  • Praying for your family in your time of loss and sorrow. Praise to the Lord for the strength and peace He has given you at this time to continue to give Him praise and glory. Praise Him also for the mighty work He is doing in the lives of others through your testimony.

  • I don’t get around to posting on here very often. Just wanted to let you know that the Harris family is in my prayers. I know that sounds rather cliche but, at least for me, prayer is the best gift anyone could ever give me.

    By His grace,

  • I am so sorry to hear that she sounded like a great person I will definately pray for you.
    I am reading your book Do Hard Things and i am attached for it we have to read it for our school and i seem like i am the only one in my class that loves the book.

  • Hey Alex and Brett sorry about your mom. She looks really preety in the pitures of her. I will pray that God will give you the comfort that you need. But I have a prayer request of my own. My firend’s Aunt Karren has been in ICU for 14 weeks living off of life support. And that same friend has a cousin that was in a horrible car accident. I don’t know the details but she is also in ICU. Her name is Madison and she is 14. My friend’s name is Kayla Ruttgers. Please pray that this family will get through satan’s attacks alive.

  • I am so sorry about your loss. I know what it feels like to lose someone you love and will pray for peace for your family. May this challenge help you to grow and continue to reach people like you have reached me.

  • I am a homeschooling mom who wept when I first read of your mother’s passing on fb. It sent waves of sorrow through the homeschooling community. Amazingly at the time I did not know of your book. Since then our youth pastor recommended Do Hard Things to the teens and I have seen the most wondrous transformation in my daughter’s life. She has been inspired to do the little hard things daily and to seek to serve the Lord with her life. Your momma did such a wonderful job raising you and instilling these values into you.. and now you are sharing them with this momma’s children. Thank you. May the God of comfort, our Abba Father, pour out His love and greatest blessings upon you.

  • You, your brothers and sister are are such a wonderful legacy of your mama’s love for the Lord and her family. You all are always in my prayers.

  • I feel for your whole family. I lost my mom when I was 15, three and a half years ago.
    Your mom was a wonderful woman and she has her kids to show for it.
    Stay strong and rest easy knowing she is in a wonderful place now.
    You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  • I am so sorry to hear about your mom! And i’m praying for you and your family..
    I honestly don’t really know what to say—but I do know that God is using you greatly in my own life and your testimony of faith is amazing and gives me the faith to continue to seek out God and to have faith! Thank you SO much for what you two do!! God bless!

  • Stick in there, never lose faith nor hope. I lost my mom too this year, it’s hard, but realized that God uses this in so many ways of something that tis no stranger to this world. Stay with God and He’ll see you through, the fog will break. Life will always be different, but it gets easier with more time. I’m so sorry…

  • It is so wonderful to see the outpouring of support from your friends! God bless your family as you navigate through this difficult time. Your mom was beautiful and her legacy and strength carry on through your work. Praise God that she is with her maker!!
    My 13 yo daughter is a rebelutionary!! She has had a dog care business since age 9 and plans to pursue this as an adult. She also started a new business too from interests of hers. She’s doing remarkably well and I pray that she will be a blessing to her husband one day for being so fruitful and resourceful. Thanks for providing the encouragement to be productive in your youth. Being a homeschooler has afforded her opportunities to dream big and live the dreams. THANKS and God bless you and your family!!

  • I’m so sorry to hear about your loss, but I’m proud of how your are carrying on and I’m sure your mom would be proud too. Keep having faith!

  • I am praying for you!! I have never lost anyone close to me before, but distant family members. I can’t fathom what you are going through.

    I was at the St. Louis conference. It was great!! Thanks so much for coming, I had a great time!
    I have read your book Do Hard Things and am partly through Start Here. I find they are both very helpful.

    Praying for you!

  • I am so sorry for the loss of your Mother. I can’t imagine living without my Mom! But “All things work together for good to them that love the Lord”. You are an inspiration to me!
    ~Miss aMandalin

  • Thank you for all you have done, for not giving up.
    I am 20 and the youth director at my church.
    Sometime I get so discouraged with my teenagers seeming to lead double lives and not taking Jesus and his teaching seriously. Reading your blog and knowing that there are others out there that are true to Christ and living their teen years for God has given me a reassurance. It helps me to go on teaching and maybe what I am teaching will sink in. So thank you for this blog.

  • i attend northstar christian academy. we were assigned to read your book Do Hard Things over the summer. the book really captured my attention and gave me inspiration. this school year our theme is “do hard things”. and one of the hardest things i have ever had to do is to learn to accept the fact that my mom has CLL. a rare form of leukemia. she is doing fine right ow, but only time will tell how this will end. i am glad she know Jesus as her Lord though. because now i know i will see her again. so really, it’s not a good bye. it’s a see ya soon.
    so this brings me to what i really wish to say to you brothers and your family. the Lord has brought you to many obstacles and different types of challenges in your life. some are portrayed in your book, and i am sure many are not. but in the pages of your book, there was one thing that stood out. God brought you through everything.
    This is a sad time for your entire family. i am praying for you all. but just try to remember what i said earlier. this is not “goodbye.” its “see ya soon”.

  • Thank you for sharing how God has enabled you to grow through the experience of hard things. I was grateful that you did not cancel your Atlanta conference. My husband and I brought our two daughters to hear you speak and your message was instrumental in their lives. I know my high school age daughter initiated the trip (it was her birthday gift), but the message clearly impacted my college age daughter the most — because even as young women seek to find their way after being homeschooled for many years — it is a hard thing to now be doing school/college outside the home, and having to seek God’s will for her life. I know Brett that the loss of your mother is especially hard for you; I sense that in your poem. Thank you for sharing your heart in your poem, and for your transparency. Thank you for taking time at the conference to talk with Jessi. We will continue to pray that God will bless you, keep you, and comfort you.

  • Alex & Brett,

    You both and your entire family have been in my prayers. Your mother glowed, even radiated, with the grace of God. I gained so much being under her influence as a young woman and as a believer.

    It was she who wrote me an email while I was struggling the most with my health that truly turned the tide in helping “pin back the veil that hides His face.” She changed how I suffer.

    God bless you both and uphold each one of you with His ceaseless mercies and boundless comfort.


  • Alex and Brett,

    I am so so sorry for the loss of your mother.May God’s strength and peace beyond all understanding be with you through this tough time.

    Will be praying for you.


  • I love my Mom,and would hate for anything to happen to happen to her.I feel bad about your Mom. I hope you are glad you got to be with her while she was living.I will be blogging again soon.BYE

  • I had been thinking of that very thing, “When hard things come to you”, after the recent death of my cousin. Though it was one of the toughest things I’ve gone through, by God’s grace i am continuing to accept it and remembering that “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are My ways your ways…”. I lost my mom nearly 5 years ago and sometimes i still wonder why God took her home, but i find peace in the fact that we don’t have to figure it out, in heaven God will make it plain. And truly if we respond rightly to our losses it will bring MUCH glory to God. God bless!

  • My mum lost her mum to cancer at your age. Everyone in her church had been praying for healing, but on one thought to tell her that the ultimate healing comes in eternity, with our saviour. The tree of life- ‘for the healing of the nations’- has restored your mother to her old self. But much, much more than that. It has restored your mother to her PERFECT self. I pray that the God of all comfort would be with you. As C.S. Lewis writes, ‘weep, for not all tears are evil’- but I pray that the knowledge of your mother’s eternal joy will bring you hope for the future.
    God bless you both. Hannah

  • When my little sister was born we learned that she had down-syndrome and that she would have leukemia at some point. She went through Chemo-therapy last year and at one point while she was going through it the doctor said that it wasn’t going to work and that she was going to die. He said that we could try a bone marrow transplant but that it wasn’t going to work. I remember crying myself to sleep that night. 🙂 Then the next morning she had another appointment with the same doctor and he completely took back everything he had said the day before. It has now been a year since her last round of chemo and she is completely healed. The Lord works in mysterious ways. Some days he might give us what we wanted most and other days he might take away what we already have that we love most. All we can do is trust in him. We will always know that whatever happens it will always turn out for the good of others.

  • Brett and Alex,
    Thanks so much for this uplifting blog post. Having recently lost two close relatives suddenly in the past four months, one due to a farming accident and another due to a major heart attack, this put my feelings in perspective again. So often I find myself thinking of my loss, and not their gain. They never experienced a moment of sorrow – they are all, along with your mom, and all other believers, praising God in perfection and happiness. Looking forward to seeing them all someday in heaven…
    God bless you more amazingly than he already has!
    “I lift my eyes unto the hills: where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the maker of Heaven and Earth. He will not let your foot be moved, or let his chosen ones see corruption…” (Psalm 121.1ff)

  • Thank you so much for posting this. I recently found out that my friend is extremely ill and we are not sure how much longer he can last. I know that one day soon he will meet your mother in heaven and he can not wait for it, but believe me, i can. But thanks to your post i know that no matter what happens, God will be with me and HIM trough the end, i guesse kind of like you haha. Thanks so much guys

  • Prayers for you and your family for sure…i know it hurts to lose a family member. but to lose a mother is unimaginable. i’d be SO lost and SO depressed if my mother went to dance with the angels. but you always know that you’ll see her again and you be with her dancing with the angels. God bless you guys both.

  • Hey! I haven’t been on this website for months, and finding this literally brought me to tears. I am so, so sorry. My grandfather passed away in September, and he was a believer also. The hope and joy that comes from that is unexplainable, and i’m thankful that you can experience that too. Praying for you still, i know that even as time goes on it can still be really hard. God bless you guys.

  • oh my gosh! I’m going to cry! 🙁 I’m soo sorry Harris family! i SO wish there was something I could do!!! if there is plz E-mail me! I’d to help in ANY way I can.
    May you find strength in Lord to carry on. God Bless.

  • Btw when did your mother pass away? And how? (If it’s not too much to ask I don’t mean to pry but I was wondering)

  • I’ve never commented on anything from the internet before, but you guys are such an inspiration to me I read you book Do Hard Things all the time. I know you mom must have been a magnificent, beautiful, woman of God! I just know she is smiling down on you two all the time for the hope you bring to this world, so Thank You sincerely for your example and I am dearly sorry for your loss.

  • What does Soli Deo gloria!

    I am most sorry to hear about your mother indeed. She sounds like a really neat woman, and will be missed. You know what its like to loose a loved one like I di. Not a parent but a grandparent. He was my grandfather.

  • I know this is late but I am so sorry to hear about your mother. I know what it feels like to loose a loved one so close to your heart. It is something to morn, but it is also something to rejoice knowing that she is with her heavenly father. I have experienced many loses of loved ones, not my parents but grandparents, and know what you are going through… even though I am younger than you. Your family will always be in my thoughts and prayers! Thank you so much for all you are doing in peoples lives. 🙂

  • I was very pleased to find this web-site. I wanted to thanks for ones time for this fantastic read!! I definitely enjoying every little it and I have you bookmarked to view new stuff you writing.

  • Hello there! I could have sworn I’ve been to this website before but after checking through some of the post I realized it’s new to me. Anyways, I’m definitely glad I found it and I’ll be bookmarking and checking back often!

rebelling against low expectations

The Rebelution is a teenage rebellion against low expectations—a worldwide campaign to reject apathy, embrace responsibility, and do hard things. Learn More →