Wednesday, August 20, 2014

When you are dreading what's around the corner ...

Photo Credit: Olivia Brant

We're going on a bear hunt! We're gonna catch a big one!
I'm not afraid!
Are you? Not me!
Oh, no!  It's a big puddle of mud
Can't go around it; Gotta go right thru it
Yuk! Well, let's go.
Sqwish, Sqwish, Blaaahh.
This song was a favorite when I taught preschool, a hundred years ago.  It's cute seeing three and four year old's eyes light up as they go over pretend mountains and through imaginary tall grass.  The girls squeal and giggle, covering their mouths with little hands.  The boys sing loudly, sloppily bumping into classmates as they stomp and conquer each obstacle.

But what if the obstacle ahead of you is not imaginary and fun or even remotely cute?  It's dark and murky and scary.  It's going to take a lot of messy, hard work.  You know you can't go around it.  You have to go through it.  And you dread it.

I have faced situations that made me want to curl up in bed and pull the covers over my face.  I don't want to be a growned-up.  I don't want to think.  I don't want to make the difficult decisions.  I don't want to be responsible.  I am afraid.

What to do then?

Those are the times when we see our desperate need for Jesus.  We never not need Him, but those difficult times are the times we realize that we are not in control.  Do I have the faith to trust the God I claim to trust when times are good?  It's easy to trust on the clear, sunny days.  But when the waters are murky do I remember Who holds the whole universe in balance?  Do I remember that He's not as surprised as I am about what is happening?
When you don't know what to say
Just say Jesus
There's still power in the name
The name of Jesus
If the words wont come
Cause you're too afraid to pray
If the words wont come
And you don't know what to say
Just say Jesus
-7eventh Time Down
I have found that allowing myself to be wrapped up in His presence settles my heart so that I can go on and take the next step.  Because even if things are not going well, God is always good.  Let your favorite worship music saturate your day.

Am I suggesting we place our heads in the sand and pretend that life is grand?  NO!  I am suggesting that we remind ourselves of the truth.  Because it's hard to see clearly when you are in a boat and all you see are the dark, scary waves crashing in on you.  Remember Who is in the boat with you. 

Let's not be so hard on ourselves and so afraid of not handling the circumstances perfectly.  YOU WON'T.  Let's just get that out of the way right off the bat.  We are all just trying to figure things out and there is no one perfect way to handle it.  But you have One perfect God.  Remember?  He takes broken things and makes them whole.  He makes up for our lack.

Now that that's established,
Give yourself permission to:

Cry.  Cry hard and loud.  Then dry your eyes, but on some lip gloss and carry on.  And when you feel the need, cry again. 

Tell somebody.
Reach out to someone.  Just don't carry it all alone in silence.  In the blogging community, we believe in telling our stories for a reason.  There is a weight lifted in the telling; in saying it out loud.  That doesn't mean your life is an open book for everybody.  It means you have sought out someone who will listen to you and cry with you and pray for you and with you. Ask for help! 

Set up boundaries.
This is your story and you get to tell it to who you want to.  But you don't owe everybody a detailed explanation.  You don't have to tell people who you don't want to tell.

Give yourself a cut-off at the end of the day, like, no more thinking after say, 9 pm.

Set up a lunch date where the rule is to talk about anything but that.  You need a break from it, if even for an hour, and especially when you should be sleeping (easier said than done, but it's a goal and goals help you be more intentional).

Let yourself smile.
There is no law saying, 'thou shalt not laugh or smile when life is hard'.  It's okay.  Find something to smile about.   

You are strong.
 I can do all things through  Christ who gives me strength. 
- Philippians 4:13

We are going to get through this.  Just do the next thing.  And the next. And the next.  Moment by moment.  Day by day.  Just fall forward and when you feel tired, stop, take a breath and then move again.  We will reach the other side.

You are never alone.  You are always loved.  And God is always good.

1 comment:

  1. My heart is nodding along with my head- exactly! Precious post!


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