Have you ever experienced those times when you feel completely alone? Maybe you are surrounded by people all day long but you feel trapped by your thoughts, worry, anxiety or lack of belonging that you feel all alone? And to make matters worse you feel as though you have alienated God from your life by not doing your part to maintain the relationship? Gosh, I know I have. Through those times, I’ve learned a few things I would like to share with you today. Now before you read any further, know that I am not a theologian, Bible scholar or some wisdom filled woman who has mastered the art of withstanding trial after trial. I am simply a young woman who has been knocked down a few times as well as just tripped over my own two feet plenty along the way. But I am also a young woman who got up and kept going. That counts for something, right? Regardless of where you are in life, these truths are valid. Specifically though, if you are going through a hard time right now I hope these 4 points seem to make things a little clearer for you.
- Just get up and keep walking.
When we are in the middle of a hard time, sometimes it is near impossible to see where we are going. Things are fuzzy, our emotions are high and our mind is cluttered. That’s the bad news. The good news? We don’t actually have to know where we are going. We just have to get up and walk. “Your Word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path” Psalm 119:105 My advice is to get up, put one foot in front of the other, do what you know to do and let God take care of the rest. For example, go to work and strive for excellence, take care of the kids under your feet and love big, surround yourself with those that love you, dream big, set goals and go for it. One thing we know for sure, if you stay down nothing will change. But if you get up and start moving you are at least moving forward and that’s at least somewhere different than where you are. You with me? Most of the time it is easy to recognize if you are going backward. Why? Because you’ve been there, you know what it looks like.
- God is present.
This truth is not always something we feel but something we know. The feeling part may come a little later which is hard but I think it might be where our strength is developed. One of my favorite passages in scripture is Psalm 91. “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust. Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence. He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge.” I encourage you to read the remainder of Psalm 91 but I wanted to stop and paint a picture that is often in my mind. I can remember a time when I was really struggling. I remember specifically sitting in the floor of my bedroom. I was trying to clear my mind, talking to God, trying to push through. Ever been there? At the time I felt completely alone and that God was so distant but as I look back at that particular moment I envision wings surrounding me just as in this verse. It is a comforting thought to me, hiding in the safety of His wings. That although I couldn’t see or feel Him, I know He was and is there. Picture yourself in your dark moments hiding under His wings. Safe from the outside trouble, struggle or fear. You may not see Him or feel Him at this moment but hold on to what you know. This takes me to the next point.
- Decide what you know for sure and hold on to it.
What do you know? Sometimes in the midst of a trial it can be hard to separate fact from fiction. Agree? Sometimes it can be hard to separate what is really important vs. what can be tossed. Well, let me help just a little. You know that He is present. That He is there loving you, protecting you, keeping you, securing you. You can read promise after promise and you know that He keeps his promises. You may come through this trial battered and bruised but you will come through it. There is so much we don’t know so in times of confusion focus on what you know to help guide you.
- His love is unfailing.
I had a thought as I was pondering on this truth. Unfailing? If it is unfailing that means it is successful. Right? Successful at what? Well…the Bible does tell us a lot about love.
1 Peter 4:8 “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 – “Love is Patient”. “Love never ends”. Isn’t it awesome that we don’t have to figure it out immediately but that He is gracious and patient with us?
Colossians 3:14 – “Put on love which binds everything together in perfect harmony”. Another translation says “which is the bond of perfection”
1 John 4:18 – “There is no fear in love but perfect love casts out fear”.
There are multitudes of verses about Gods’ love and I find it encouraging to know what His love is doing in us and for us. It is an active, working love.
I can’t remember which Facebook group it was but the question was asked, “What is it about parenting that surprised you the most?” My answer was that the highs were so much greater than I expected and the hard times a lot tougher. The emotions are much more extreme than what I envisioned them being. I think that is true of life too. Life can be a lot messier and tougher than what we expect but it can also be much more joyful and beautiful than anything we could have created.
If you are going through a hard time right now, I hope that maybe you will find encouragement in this post today. My prayer is that your strength is renewed and your joy soon is overflowing.