Hardship Q&A

LISTEN TO EPISODE 30 HERE.

Today's episode is a Q&A! Some of our consistent listeners have sent in questions based off of our hardship series. We are so excited to dive into a couple of those questions today to wrap up our hardship series. Let's dive in.

Q1: Hey, Claudia and Hannah, I've listened to so many of your podcasts and I'm so thankful for insights that you've shared. As you talk about journeying through difficult seasons, I was wondering if you have any advice on how to comfort friends when they lose loved ones? 

Walking alongside a loved one who has experienced loss can often make us feel nervous. We know it's a painful situation, and we don't know what to say. Sometimes, we can give pat answers. We can say things like "Just trust in Jesus," or  "It's okay, because they're with Jesus now." It's often best to avoid these pat responses. Sometimes, you can simply say, "There are no words. There's nothing I can offer. I'm so sorry."

Simply be present. Don't be afraid to acknowledge the loss, consistently ask how they are doing, and continually affirm that you want to care for them through it.

Q2: Hey Climbing Fierce team! Thank you for bringing light and hope to difficult topics. I know this is a age old question, but I'm just wondering why a good God would allow really deep or prolonged suffering?

On this side of heaven, we won't fully know why God allows suffering, but we can know that Jesus is with us in it. Suffering can often be compared to the metamorphosis of a caterpillar turning into a butterfly. This is an entering into a dark, unknown place where the life you had terminates. You feel lost as you prepare to step into something new. And then, there is a vibrance that comes in the next season.

While not to make light of our pain, God can use hardship in incredible ways. Charles Stanley once said that "God cannot use someone greatly until he hurts someone deeply." God allows suffering because we live in a fallen world and we have free will. But he also uses suffering and is present with us through it. 

Q3: In talking about unmasking authenticity, I wonder what you think about how believers balance excellence at work without letting that work or their title or performance become their identity? Thanks.

Our very natural inclination is going to to define our identity by what we do and the context in which we work. It's almost as if we have to prepare accordingly. One way to to find this balance is to continually reflect on the following questions: (1) How can I be very intentional that my work does not become what's defining me or determining my worth? and (2) how can I bring kingdom perspective to my job (seeing what my job is in the bigger picture)?

We can't do this alone. We can't underestimate the value of letting people that we trust greatly, who have demonstrated notable maturity, to be able to speak into our lives. We need to give them permission to ask, "How's it going? How is work? What's happening? What's your experience?"

A good distinction to make is between your job (what you do/your position/your role) and who you are (your identity as child of God). Who we are is not what what we do, and who we are is definite. 

Q4: Hey, Climbing Fierce Crew! I really appreciate your willingness to talk about navigating hardship on the podcast. Personally I was wondering, do you have any advice on how to walk through the process of reconciling long-term relationships that have been broken or wounded

There may have to be a season where you take a step back, address some of your hurt, and almost return to that relationship with some maturity or a different lens/some different perspective. Obviously, communication is going to be key and instrumental if you want to begin to build some bridges that have been broken. But it's important to emphasize that  there are times that not everything this side of heaven is going to be restored.

In situations like this, we can go to God with open hands and ask, "What am I supposed to do and be in the middle of this situation so I can be in service to this person? Maybe they need light and truth. Maybe they need to see what the gospel looks like embodied in the life of another individual. Perhaps we can bring some of this. Again, that all depends on the degree of hurt that has been caused. But if there is a stirring in your heart for reconciliation, you can approach it almost like a ministry.

With this episode, we are closing out this series on hardship. We had some very deep conversations, but we also heard from some incredible folks who were brave and bold and courageous enough to invite us in and share not just their journey, but how they found God's truth in the midst of it and shared that truth with us! 

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