When it’s harder than you thought it would be

The polished picture of the five of us at Brian’s graduation.
(Stryder is hiding behind Brian.)

Both my babies are napping, Hudson is at preschool, the dishes are done, kitchen is clean and it is POURing rain outside. But I’m warm in cozy boots and I’m warm inside and today I just have to celebrate something special with you:

Today my husband Brian started his new job as an ICU Nurse!


It’s been an almost-five-year journey to this place and suddenly I find myself sitting pretty in the position I’ve longed for so desperately over the past two years while Brian was in Nursing School. Man oh man, I can’t tell you how happy and thankful I am to be here.

On a day when I have so very much to look forward to, I can’t help but look back over the past few years and consider the journey we’ve been on. And consider how faithfully the Lord carried us through it.

This picture pretty much encapsulates the past two years of nursing school.
NOTE: We are still smiling! 

I have a few thoughts for you today as I look back. Nothing polished, nothing perfect. Just a little bit of the wisdom I gained as I learned what it means to persevere.

  1. Sometimes there is no shortcut. In my recent experience, the shortest distance between where we were as a family and where we wanted to be was straight through the most difficult times. And when I said in my heart, “I cannot bear it,” I heard the response, “You must.” You must bear it because there is nobody else to do this job. And so I found it easier to bear. I thought often of the lines from a children’s story: “We can’t go over it, we can’t go under it. I guess we’ll have to go through it!” 
  2. Perseverance leads to character. I’ve thought a lot about those verses from Romans 5, “endurance produces character and character produces hope.” Here on the other side (not the other side of everything, just the other side of this particular trial) I think I’m a bit wiser and a bit stronger. And I’ve learned what it means to hope. Not just to hope that things will work out okay, or hope that Brian’s test goes well. I’ve learned to put the truest hopes of my heart in the Father’s hands and wait with expectancy on the outcome. 
  3. It might be harder than you expect. I’m a fan of thinking the best. I like to jokingly describe myself as a “glass-is-all-the-way-full” person. I don’t expect the worst; I expect the best. But when we started this journey I certainly did not have the depth of experience to understand what we were undertaking. God bless my naivety! I expected God to come through for us in every trial–and He did! But I was occasionally rocked by the horror of this realization: life can actually be very hard sometimes. Laugh at me if you will, but I did not expect that! 🙂 I wish I could say that we Murphys never felt the hardship, but alas, we did. But that leads me to my final point…
  4. We have each other. Whatever comes our way, whatever we have to deal with in life we have each other. And it’s not just Brian and I, it’s the five of us: Brian, Caila, Hudson, Abigail, Stryder. We are like a five-legged tripod (wait, I’m not sure that actually makes sense?). We can stand up stronger, handle more, because we are doing it for each other. So you’re telling me I have to bear it for my children’s sake? Ok, I’ll bear it. I need to keep my chin up for Brian’s sake? Ok, I’ll do it! I have something to live and work for and by golly I’m going to keep living and working for it with a smile on my face because I have them and they have me and together we’re really something else. 

Whew. So my encouraging words for today are this: When the going gets harder than you ever thought it was going to be just keep going.

This, too, shall pass.

Yay for Brian the RN!

Okay. I’ve got a living room to pick up and dinner to prep and commissioned items to sew and a baby to feed and tea to drink and a boy to fetch (soon) from preschool. It’s time for me to get back to life.

Thank you for being here to celebrate with me today. Are you facing something difficult? Are you in the middle of a trial that doesn’t seem like it will ever end? I would love to pray for you. We’re all in this together! As always, thanks so much for reading, dear friends.


  1. says

    Oh, JoAnne, I will be praying for you! And you have a baby due, soon, too! Let’s try to catch up on the phone, SOON. Love you!