It doesn't matter what stage you're in your life, whether you're a twenty-something college student, a middle-aged mom or father, or a young professional, we can all agree on this one thing. Life is hard. I could give you a list of every trial, every struggle, every temptation, every situation my heart could think of to try and explain to you exactly why life is hard or why we have to suffer but that's not the message I want to get across in this post. Instead, I want to remind myself and the readers of this one precious thing. In the midst of my heartaches, sorrows, and troubles, God is still good.

The powerful statement above isn't and hasn't always been an easy one for me to say or write. Whether you're spending 6 hours studying for a test only to receive a lower grade, putting in the extra hard work in at your job only to be criticized, investing in a friendship or relationship only to be left hurt, or constantly searching for the approval of others only to be left feeling rejected, it's easy to look at those circumstances or whatever else it is that you're facing and wonderful why. I'll be the first to admit, whenever I've pulled an all-nighter for an exam only to receive a less than hopeful grade, i can assure that my first thought is not "God is good." Whenever I experienced my first heartbreak at the hands of another person, I didn't look up and say, "God, you are still good." And when I experienced the hurt and rejection from a group of peers leaving me feeling like I wasn't enough, I didn't lift my hands with praise and say "Lord, you are still good." But here's the thing, in the midst of my teary eyes and shaky prayers, He is and always will be so good.

I've never been the best at praying. In my journey as a Christian, it's never been my strong suit. But I'm learning. I'm learning how to let the words fall out onto a piece of paper when they are stomping on my heart but I can't form them with my lips. I'm learning how to call on Him when the anxiety in my heart becomes too much for my soul to carry. Truth? I'm pushing myself. I'm pushing myself to believe that He hears me. That He understands my shaky prayers. I'm pushing myself to believe that even when life isn't, He is still good.

When I spend six hours studying and receive a lower grade, He is good.

When I give my all for a job and it's still not enough, He is good.

When my heart is broken and my spirit is crushed, He is good.

When I'm covered in sin and drowning in shame, He is good.

When my world feels messy and my faith feels shaken, He is good.

And even when life isn't, He is still good.

"But take heart; I have overcome the world," says John 16:33. Though this promise does not lessen the longing, it does deepen the hope.