Hey friend. I know that not all of our lives are sunshine and roses, and I want this content to be authentic and vulnerable. Because life is really, really hard- and it doesn’t get any better when we act like nothing bad is happening. Whether you’re struggling with faith, or just life in general, it’s worth talking about.
So you clicked on this because things are not particularly working out the way you thought they would. You may be feeling that God has not quite shown up yet like you thought he would. Or it may be that you are questioning your purpose in life. Either way, you are questioning God, wondering where the heck he is. How he could let you feel this way, how he could let that certain thing happen to you.
Struggling with your faith and struggling to believe that God is working can come in many different forms. Maybe you lost yourself, and you don’t even know who you are anymore. You’re so used to putting up a mask, hiding the person that you’re afraid no one will like. So you’ve pushed all your actual feelings way, way down, to the point where you don’t even recognize yourself. You’re living someone else’s life, but your own life feels distant. And you want it back. You want to feel like yourself again.
Or maybe you are dealing with loss. Losing the guy you are in love with, or the guy that never really treated you well in the first place. Maybe you lost someone to a car accident, to a fatal illness. Losing people, dead or alive, is one of the hardest burdens we will ever have to carry.
I wish more than anything that I could sit down with you and cry with you and pray for you. But I am going to try to encourage you as best as I can through the lovely medium of the internet.
Today I read a really encouraging verse:
You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book. – Psalm 56:1
You might be feeling that God doesn’t care right now. That he is a million miles away from all your struggles and tears. That he doesn’t see you and want the best for you. Maybe you have a bitterness in your heart towards him, because he let something horrible happen. How could a loving God let her get cancer? How could he let hundreds of innocent women be sex trafficked? How could he let me suffer from anxiety?
Though you don’t think he cares and that you are alone in this – I want to remind you of truth. Some people might not care that you are facing adversity. But you know who cares? The one who keeps track of all of your tears and hurt and broken heart.
You are not alone in your struggle.
God cares, even if you feel he is distant and cruel. He is with you in the struggle, in the depths of the pain you feel.
We might not understand why God does what he does until we reach the golden gates. But what we can understand is that it is not our job to know all the answers. To know the answer to our many “why” questions (which I am very, very guilty of). What we are called to do is to trust him, even when it feels impossible.
You might be asking, how the heck do you trust in God? What does that even look like?
It’s a mindset, a way of life. I’ve learned you can’t control what happens to you in life, but you can control how you respond to it. And that looks like trusting that God is working everything out for the good, even if you can’t see it now.
There are many ways to help develop a trust in God, but here are a few that have helped me.
1. Ask for guidance
It’s okay to ask God for assistance. For clarity. And most importantly, for strength in the valleys. You can’t go through it alone – and he knows that. And believe it or not, you can ask him to help you in your unbelief and lack of faith in his strength. He isn’t surprised by what you think. He wants to help, and he hates to see you miserable.
2. Seek community and encouragement
In times when you are struggling, it’s okay to ask for help from those you love. To ask them to pray for you when you don’t have the strength to pray on your own. You can’t get through this alone, and it’s a good time to tell people that you just need love right now. And if you don’t have anyone in your life right now to encourage you, ask God to provide people who will point you to truth. He wants to give you people that will build you up.
Keep your eyes on Jesus. He will speak to you in ways you couldn’t even imagine. Sometimes we can be so sucked into our own lives, that we are blind to what he could be telling us. He’s probably waving his hands like a crazy person, trying to get your attention. And that might exactly be why he is letting bad things happen to you in this season, because he misses you. He wants to grow closer to you, and he knows he’s gotta tear down idols for that to happen.
I have found that I have never once grown closer to God when things were going amazing. He usually tears down my peace, relationships, joy, or passions to bring me closer to him. Because if I had everything, why would I need to know him better?
Who grows when everything is amazing, anyway?
That would be annoying, frankly. I don’t enjoy the company of those who have never faced adversity, because they are either lying or just haven’t experienced it yet.
Some of the best stories come from struggle. Struggle is beautiful. Don’t we always root for the heroes who had to go through something hard to reach the finish line? #KatnissWhereYouAt
Friend, I don’t know what you are going through. But I know that you can get through it. With your eyes on Jesus, with your faith and trust in him, you can get through anything. There is a plan for your life, even if you feel it means nothing.
He can make anything beautiful, no matter how painful or hopeless it feels.
That’s what brings me to the story of Job. Job had everything: wealth, family, love life, and status. But he lost everything, his image, his family, everything. He fell into a deep pit of depression. You might be thinking- why in the heck would a wonderful, loving God let such a horrible thing happen to someone? It was to show Job more of Himself- where true joy is found. At the end of the book, Job says this:
“I know that you can do all things;
no purpose of yours can be thwarted.
You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?’
Surely I spoke of things I did not understand,
things too wonderful for me to know.
Right now is a struggle. To wake up everyday, to believe that there is a plan, to push through the mess. To put one foot in front of the other. You are going through hell, and your joy and peace might feel like a distant memory.
But you have not been left behind. You are not forgotten. And while you may feel that this is all on you to bear, there is an advocate on your side.
So much of life is to just show up. Let yourself hurt, let yourself feel.
And you never know, this pain your feeling now could eventually lead to your greatest breakthrough.