Are you hurting today? Are you struggling with something in your circumstances, your emotions or your faith? I've been there. It is something we all go through at some point in our lives, sometimes over and over again.
Rejection and neglect are painful to experience, but each time we go through it, Jesus is there. He experienced it while he was here too. To this day, we are even all guilty of rejecting or neglecting our relationship with Him in some way or another.
If you are relying on family, friends or others in any way for your happiness or self-worth, you are bound to be disappointed. People and circumstances will always fall short and let you down. Our Savior never will. He is always there. Granted, maybe not in the way we wish.
I can see His hand in my life over the years...
Since that time, my perspective has changed.
Several things have prompted that change.
Some of these things have been very difficult experiences.
As the LORD often does though, He has turned difficult situations into blessings. I've become a much more confident woman and my children have gained confidence watching God work in my life.
I felt that way in the 2010's. I thought maybe I had hit bottom, learned what I needed to learn from that particular episode of my life and was ready to climb out of my little pit & tackle the next mountain in my life. Then… Kah-Boom! I would get hit again.
I felt like Paul in the Bible in Romans 7:15 (ESV):
"For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate."
I've realized how others see me doesn't really matter. That doesn't mean it doesn't hurt.
More times than not, conviction and cognitive dissonance come out of people through anger and mockery. Some people, I have found, never let go of the bitterness and are perfectly happy to lash that out on an innocent bystander.
These people see efforts toward reconciliation as attempts to justify or manipulate.
I've learned some valuable lessons:
- I do not owe an explanation for my personal thoughts or actions. God knows my motives.
- I don't want anyone's trust, outside of those I'm responsible for. Our trust should be in God.
- Apologies are seldom taken at face value or truly accepted. Forgiveness from people is rare.
- Repentance is an essential, important step to victory seldom seen by anyone but the Savior.
- I can change by growing in character, not by changing who I am in my heart or personality.
Sometimes, it's okay to have a pity-party. It's okay to mourn the injustices of life. It's okay to take time to hurt. We have so many examples in the Bible of great people of Faith pouring out their hearts in grief and despair. God didn't just say get over it. He had those very personal, hard moments preserved through centuries in His Book for us to take comfort from, so we would know we are not alone.
It is probably recorded best in James 1:2-5:
"Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him."
So, I give you permission today. If you need to take some time and have a pity-party, do so. Have some comfort food, color a pretty page, scribble in a journal, cry on an understanding shoulder if you have one.
Once you've given yourself that time to grieve, then pick yourself up and get back into the fight. Clean yourself up, put on your armour, pick up your sword and get back out onto the battle field. The rest of us are counting on you. Tell us your story, share you message, give comfort to the next person who is struggling.