I’m assuming that you’re reading this because you’re discouraged. Maybe you lost a job, have been diagnosed with a troubling disease, or maybe you’ve lost a loved one. Maybe you’re overwhelmed with work, school, family, or maybe you’ve just gone through a horrible heartbreak. Maybe you’re in a thick darkness and feel as though, try as you might, you cannot see an end to the gloom around you. Maybe you wake up each day, going through the motions like a robot, hoping that if you do everything that you’re suppose to do you’ll somehow feel the way you’re suppose to feel.
Maybe you’re like me, and you push yourself so incredibly hard, knowing you’re on the cusp of a breakdown, spiral, of chaos. But you keep pushing because everything has to be okay. You keep going because you need everyone to know that you’re fine. Even when you aren’t.
I have been there. I am there. I get it. I’ve been the person to give everyone around her advice on how to combat the many battles that they’re facing, all the while ignoring my own. I take a punch to the face like no big deal. Because I want everyone to think that it’s no big deal. Because maybe if they believe that, than I will too. Maybe if I help all my friends, all my siblings, my parents, everyone with their problems and with their discouragement, then maybe I’ll be okay.
Discouragement is different for everyone. For some it comes for short periods of time, for others longer. Sometimes it’s something you can control, sometimes it’s not. But we all face it.
Isn’t it funny how discouragement always comes at the worst time? Not that there is a good time for discouragement. But what I mean is that it always seemed to me that hard times, heartbreak, and generally bad things happened when everything was so good. It always came when I was reading my bible and praying consistently, or when I was feeling so good about my faith, or when church seemed like it was on fire to me. It always came when I was growing deeper relationships, and growing as a person. Chaos often comes when there is peace. I suppose it never occurred to me that those were spiritual attacks. I suppose it hadn’t occurred to me that the chaos was happening because of the peace. The storm was coming because of the calm. The discouragement was coming because I was so sure of my own strength.
Discouragement is hard. You either break, abandoning hope and losing faith, or you come to the realization that discouragement is bringing you closer to God, that being if you allow it to.
We know that discouraging times are meant to strengthen us, to draw us closer to Christ, to test our faith. But it’s one thing to say that, and another to live it.
Because you don’t feel strong when you feel as though you can’t get out of bed. You don’t feel closer to God when you’re crying on the bathroom floor, begging for the pain to stop. You don’t feel like your faith holds up to the test when you feel as though you are hopelessly stuck in this cycle of anguish. You don’t understand how this is good for you when you always feel 2 seconds away from losing your mind. You don’t feel joy when you can’t find meaning in your life. You don’t feel peace when your mind is ravaged by panic attacks, anxiety, fear, terrors…
Two of the most beautiful words ever put together.
Yes, discouragement is hard. But God.
Yes, the fear is real and the pain hurts so, so bad. But God.
Yes, your life feels out of control. But God.
Yes, your heart is broken. But God.
Yes, you’re in a trial. But God.
Yes, the world is crashing around you, and you feel so much fear. But God.
No, this isn’t what you pictured your life looking like. But God.
We are promised trials. We are promised pain.
We are promised eternal life. We are promised forgiveness.
It’s such a simple answer. The solution is right in front of us. God. He’s the answer to everything. Because when we’re in the storm, He is our peace. When we can’t breathe, He is our air. When we tremble from fear, He is the one holding us. When the world is falling apart, He is there holding it all together.
Take heart, find joy, find peace. Because God. Because salvation. Because heaven.
Discouragements will come.
Hearts will break.
Tears will fall.
Fears will overwhelm.
Sadness will overtake.