The Struggle Is Real

The Struggle Is Real: God Is Present


Written by: Shani Ratliff

Many hardships and perplexing circumstances confront the righteous, but the Lord rescues him from them all. (Psalm 34:19)

When the struggle is real and God is right there in middle with us. Some days we need to remind ourselves of this truth, perhaps even a few times throughout the very same day!

For the past 11 weeks, I and all the members of my household have been going through baby boot camp following the birth of my daughter. Things are beginning to settle down and the new “normal” is emerging (Praise the Lord!!!), but during some intense weeks over the course of our transition, I encountered God’s faithfulness and truth in a different way.

I was feeling overwhelmed by many things and guilty that I had not been connecting with God the way I had been in the past. One day while nursing my daughter and feeling pretty low I was scrolling through my phone. It had become a bit of a habit during feedings for me.

As I became aware of what I was doing I sensed the Holy Spirit leading me to the realization that I could use this specific time to pray and connect with God. It was so simple! Several times throughout the day I would surely be sitting in my glider chair feeding her, so why not use that designated time to connect with God.

For so long I felt like the life was being sucked out of me! My lack of connection with God was starting to take its toll. So when His presence was felt again, through this life-giving truth, it renewed my strength and energy to move forward.

I know that this example may not compare to many of the serious situations we often face, however, the realization of God’s deliverance and presence still applies.

Life is hard. Unexpected things happen. The need to make difficult decisions falls in our laps. We feel helpless, fearful and alone sometimes, but God is there all the time. In the big things and the small things. His promise to sustain us is what gives us life.

Psalm 34:19 reminds us that hard times will come, but God can rescue us from them all. Not just some.

Even though my challenges did not change immediately, my perspective of them did. The quiet reminder from the Holy Spirit helped me remember that I can always connect with God in the midst of any circumstance and He will provide the strength and perspective that I need to encounter the things that I face.

One thought on “The Struggle Is Real: God Is Present

  1. My dear Shani, I can’t begin to tell you how very proud of you I am and truly great full to God that your journey has led you to connect with God in this very powerful yet very simple way!
    You raise your children as best you can, try to give them a CHRISTIAN CONSCIENCE to help them to learn early on how to connect with God, apart from you, the church or other Christian modalities and that HE actually lives within them, He’s ever present when they are making decisions when they are with their friends , coworkers and the like. You dare to pray that integrity emerges( what you do when no one else I looking) and they make good Godly decisions…..
    You are, from what I see when I’m with you and or your children, the best mother EVER! Your Godly spirit is so reflected in your children!

    When your youngest was three or four at my home for a long awaited visit, you were busy and I aske d him if GRANDMA could tuck him in. He very quickly replied NO, NO it has to be mommy. I asked him why and he replied, she does three things; “she hugs us, she kisses us and she prays over us”. I was quite taken aback, a little dissapointed that I couldn’t substitute for mom , even one night!!!but oh sooo happy and proud of you and the job you were doing , even as a then, working mom.
    May God continue to bless you my dear daughter and I can’t wait to see how He continues to use you!


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