Jo’s Journal: When Life Is Hard


Jos Journal at Mustard Seed Sentinel
Credit: Ben White on Unsplash.com

When Life Is Hard

Continue to Trust in the Lord

by Joanne Troppello


“Life is hard. Life is difficult. Life is going to punch you in the gut. But when you change your attitude, you change your behavior. When your behavior changes, so do your results.” – Will Hurd

When life is hard, where do you turn? As a Christian, I turn to the Lord—in both the good and the bad times. However, how do you respond when life keeps kicking you when you’re down? Lately, I’ve been feeling like that. However, I know that a big portion of living victoriously through the difficult times is to change my mindset and renew it through God’s Word.


Renewing Your Mind with God’s Word


One of my favorite passages of scripture is found in Romans chapter 12. I love how verse 2 says that we shouldn’t be conformed to this world, but we should be transformed by “the renewing” of our minds.


I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. – Romans 12:1-2 (NKJV)

We can renew our mind by meditating on the Bible. Joshua 1:8-9 urges us to “mediate on it [Book of the Law] day and night, so that we may be careful to do according to all that is written in it.” In Colossians, we are urged to “Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching…”


But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. – Colossians 3:14-17 (NKJV)

When we read the Bible and meditate on it daily, God can speak to us through His Holy Spirit. I have always loved memorizing verses so that I can recite them to myself or the Holy Spirit would bring them to my mind when I needed that reminder.


Embracing the Simplicity in Life


I wrote the following poem about a photograph of my mom and two uncles when they were young children. This photograph brought to mind, the idea that even when adulting gets hard, I can return to the simplicity of my childhood days by continuing to place my trust in the Lord.


Three Captured in Black and White

Waiting for the camera to flash


Huddled together they wait in anticipation

for the camera to flash.


Johannes, Catharina, and Wilhelmina,

the three Vander Lindens.

Young and alive, smiles

showing their delight.


The black and white does not

hide their color.

I see them in color.

I see their childish

love of life, like a spirited

filly roaming the meadows.


I see their innocence,

their delight in dolls, toy

trucks, and little bugs.


If only I could jump back

to my childhood, a time

when playing with Barbie

and having lost Ken, was my

biggest worry.


Huddled together they tell me I can

have my childhood again.

The choice, they say, is up to me.


© Joanne Troppello


What do you do when life gets hard?

About the Author


Joanne Troppello at Mustard Seed Sentinel

Joanne Troppello is an author, writer, and poet. She is the publisher of the online Christian lifestyle magazine, Mustard Seed Sentinel.


Connect with Joanne on Twitter. You can find Joanne on these social media channels—Twitter, Facebook, Parler, Spreely, and Clouthub—with the same username, @JoanneTroppello—and @joannetroppello.mseedsentinel on Instagram. Visit the Mustard Seed Sentinel YouTube Channel.