rebelling against low expectations

An Open Letter to Anyone Who is Hurting


Dear Reader,

As followers and believers in Christ, we know that we’re called to do hard things, especially those of us who read this blog.

We know that doing hard things means stepping out in faith and stepping up for faith. We know that doing hard things means having faith and enduring when things get hard.

Sometimes, though, enduring is easier said than done. Most of the time, really. This world we live in can be heartbreaking and soul-crushing.

We’re all ready to do hard things when we’re comfortable, but when a trial is upon us, doing hard things becomes very, very hard.

When we can’t sleep, can’t think, and don’t have time or energy to eat, our eager and bold demeanor starts to take a backseat to stress.

We don’t know how to endure, and we usually don’t want to. All we want is to get it over with as quickly as possible. Our faith hasn’t faded, changed, or been shaken, but we’re too tired with the business of life to wait for the Lord to come through and help us get through this trial.

We need to learn to appreciate trials.

It’s something that’s been addressed dozens of times by dozens of wiser and more experienced Christ-followers, but I think it’s something we still need to be reminded of, day after day, because it gets pushed to the back of our busy minds.

So I am writing this letter to say my piece on the matter.

Simply put, trials are how we grow. They test our patience and build up our endurance, allowing us to run the race set before us and succeed, beating the devil and all of his plans for us.

We are always growing, from the moment we first fill our lungs, to the moment we last empty them. There is always something new to see and learn, no matter what we are doing or where we are going, which is why we are always going to be facing new trials.

That sounds discouraging, as it means we’re always going to be feeling that same pressure of trying to stay ahead of the chaos storming around us and just keep up with life, but it shouldn’t be. Not just because trials help us grow, but because they do more than that.

Trials purify us, like fire purifies gold. It’s a comparison made in the Bible several times, such as Proverbs 17:3, which states that “The crucible is for refining silver and the furnace is for gold, likewise the Lord tests hearts.”

We’re standing in the furnace, my friends, but don’t be afraid. Although it may burn for the moment, once we come through that trial we are purer and more beautiful than ever before. We’re stronger, too.

And if your trial is feeling less like fire and more like the weight of the world is on your shoulders, that’s okay, too. Not all trials are by fire. Sometimes you’ll feel like you’ve been crushed into dust, and there’s no way you could be purified in any way.

But do you know what? God’s favorite ingredient is dust.

He’s been using it from the beginning, and He will use it to the very end.

So when you feel like you’ve been crushed beyond what you could ever hope to bear, take heart, because God will come around and make a masterpiece out of that dust.

With this in mind, the next time you find yourself standing in the middle of a trial, be it storm or fire or the heaviest burden, take heart. God will come, maybe not to take away the burden, but to bring you through it and pull you out on the other side, leaving you pure, strong, and ready to charge into the next battle against the kingdom of darkness.

Doing hard things can be the hardest thing to do, but with God on our side to strengthen us and put us back together when we fall apart, we are ready to take them with our heads held high.

Take heart, my friends, for we will overcome.

With Love,
Your Sister in Christ

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About the author

Arella Noreen

is a sixteen-year-old writer who is proudly God-made, Jesus-saved, and Texan-raised. She writes whenever and wherever she can, and you can find some of that at Writers of Elysian, a much-loved group writing blog, and Ineffable Sights, where she shares experiences from her own life.


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  • “So when you feel like you’ve been crushed beyond what you could ever hope to bear, take heart, because God will come around and make a masterpiece out of that dust.”
    Wow, that is just what I needed to hear today. Thank you so much for writing this piece, Arella.

    • Honestly, sometimes it’s what I need to hear, too. We all have those days. You’re very welcome, my friend. I’m glad I could be a source of encouragement.

  • This was wonderful Arella! I especially love the insight about God using dust. I pray more wisdom and grace upon you.

    • Thank you! That analogy has always been one of my favorites. Thank you for the prayer, and the same to you.

  • Arella, thank you so much for posting this! It was extremely encouraging, and it felt like Jesus giving a comforting hug to my hurting heart. God bless you abundantly, sister, and may you continue to use your beautiful writing for His glory!

    • Thank you so much for making me smile this morning, reading your words. This subject has been on my heart for a while, and I’m glad to share my thoughts on it. God bless you, too!

  • Thank you, Arella! It’s so very timely for me, as I’m sure it is for many others, because we are all, as you stated, “facing many new trials”. Your wisdom and insight from Him has really impacted me today! God bless, and may he use your writing to reach many more hearts!

    • Thank you, Anna! I’m sorry I’m so late to this; the past few days have been insane. I’m glad that I could share some insight, because I know that I’m always grateful to receive some myself.

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 →