Struggle

I apologize that my writing has been less than present recently.

Truth time: I have struggled. You know the struggle when getting up out of bed is a chore. When breathing becomes a thing of contemplation rather than instinct. To continue to be Jesus to the world when the world has done nothing but spit in your face and tell you that you are crazy. You begin to wonder why is it worth it? This Christian life. To follow Jesus into the dark, into the mess, into the hopelessness. Why would we go there when we are beginning to think we carry it with us on the inside? We don’t know when it happened – just all of a sudden, there it is. A nasty mold on your heart and you’re not sure if you truly want to get rid of it or not.

No-one talks about these times. Well at least I don’t hear about them very often. You may, but I do not and I felt like something was wrong with me. As if these questions and feelings were my fault.

They aren’t. They aren’t my fault. And they aren’t your fault.

Please do not misinterpret me – I LOVE JESUS. I cannot go one day without Him or Holy Spirit in my life. But neither can I ignore the fact that while I deeply love Jesus and am deeply loved by Him, I still struggle. Cry until it is a snot facial (not pretty) and can’t breathe because the heart pain is so intense. Doubts creep in, doubts of if God actually loves me, hears my prayers, sees me in my situations which appear to be so hopeless (in the natural that is), and does He even care?

It is heavy. ALMOST to the point of crushing.

But thank you JESUS, my savior and LORD, that He gives grace to the humble (Proverbs 3:34/James 4:6/1 Peter 5:5), he binds up the brokenhearted (Psalm 147:3/Isaiah 61:1), and we are NOT crushed (2 Corinthians 4:8).

This truth is helpful to bring us out of the deepest part of that pit of self-pity, self-despair, and self-hatred.

It is still a looooooong journey. Repeating the truths God says about you, repeating His promises, and reminding yourself that He is faithful to finish the good work that He began is a daily process.

It takes saying yes everyday to God and what His Word says instead of saying yes to the pity party that no-one wants to attend, including you.

I will not give you cliches. I want to share with you honest and real confessions. Everyone of us has the thing that we are holding up to God asking Him why didn’t He intervene or why hasn’t He intervened yet. And it affects us each in a different way and in different degrees of intensity. Does that mean my struggle is worse or less than yours? No.

And that is why it is imperative we treat one another with grace and mercy – just as Jesus did with us. Forgiving just as Jesus forgave us.

We are each of us going through some sort of storm that looks totally different. Some of us are in a tornado, some are in a dust storm, some a drought, some a flood, a hurricane, lightening storm, rain so intense you cannot see, mudslides, earthquakes, tsunamis, monsoons, blizzard, ice storm, hail the size of your fists, violent volcanic eruptions, etc. (I ran out of my knowledge of natural disasters). My point is – each of those is a storm. Each looks different. Each has it is own consequences or effects. Each has its own safety protocols. Each has it is own defense mechanisms.

But the damage is still the same. And just as Hurricane Katrina victims can sympathize and empathize with tsunami victims and earthquakes victims because they have lost everything, so are we to sympathize and empathize with our neighbors – Christian or not – in their struggles, in their storms. Their world may be upside down, just like yours.

We all need the saving power and sustaining grace of Jesus in order to 1) survive our storm and 2) help those going through their struggle and storm.

God saved us – thank you God. But He didn’t save us for just the purpose of saving us alone, He saved us so that we might tell those around us that “HEY! JESUS CAN SAVE YOU! ASK HIM TO!” He died for you personally. But He also died for them personally too. They need to know.

You may be struggling right now. The promise may look completely dead. Jesus can raise the dead.

In your struggle, find His truth. Share His truth. As you find it and share it, you will begin to see that their struggle becomes less and so does yours.

 

Dear one, self-pity and self-hatred will never fill you or be nice to you. Jesus will fill you til you are overflowing and He is always kind. Even in your doubt, He is there comforting you. Holding you. Listening to you. And wiping away your tears.

Trust me. I have walked this snot facial mess out – God cleans it off. I promise you, He does.

Be blessed child of God. You are loved. You are chosen. You are wonderfully made. You are designed. You are purposed. You are full of Holy Spirit. You are powerful.

 

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