I’ve been struggling with something lately; I’m struggling to continue on, to get my life to a better place, to reach my dreams, to make myself better, and sadly, struggle just to survive and thrive. As I mentioned in my first post of ’19, I’ve been struggling a lot lately with life challenges, severe depression, and anxiety. It feels like my life has been nothing but struggle the past few years. Well, if I’m being really real, this has been going on my whole life, it’s just the last few years have been particularly difficult. I’ve been fighting depression, anxiety, difficult circumstances and so many sidetracks and stops I can’t keep track of them anymore. I’m tired. My life just seems so stagnant- heck, I seem stagnant. And when it’s not stagnant it’s tough and I’m having to fight all the time. I watch my friends and acquaintances moving forward in their lives, making progress, realizing dreams, finding love, finding their way and I wonder why I’m struggling so hard to get there. Their lives are going so well and I’m over here putting out fires left and right and fighting challenges ALL. THE. TIME. Seriously, can’t I get a decent break!? It often feels like I’m destined to just be here.
Except that I hate here. I don’t want to be here anymore. The here in my life makes me sad, quite frankly. I want things to be better. I want me to be better. I want my life to be better. I try to encourage myself and accept the encouragement of others. I try to pray and hold on to God even though I often feel like I can’t make it. God says in the Bible that He has a plan for each of us, that He knows our path and the plans He has for us. “‘For I know the plans that I have for you’ declares the Lord. ‘Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” Jer. 29:11 NIV. Gosh, I want to be able to feel the hope that this verse gives! I want these plans; I want this future. It’s hard because I don’t understand what His plans are. I don’t know what’s in my future. I have a hard time with this verse sometimes because my whole life has been stressful- how can I accept the hope that things will change some day? How am I supposed to feel this hope? I know I should, but it’s hard.
I often identify with this verse of the Bible: “What strength do I have, that I should still hope? What prospects that I should be patient?” (Job 6:11.) I often feel like Job in the Bible. One of my best friends even told me once that I was like Job- waiting and enduring so long. But it’s no joke, I do often feel like this. What strength do I have left? Every time there seems to be some light in my life, it seems like it gets snuffed out, or that it never lasts very long. This is hard to deal with; and the fight to keep my head above water so to speak is tiring. But the verse just before this gets my attention: “Then I would still have this consolation-my joy in unrelenting pain- that I had not denied the words of the Holy One.” (Job 6:10) I’m trying so hard to cling to hope even though I struggle to feel it.
I sometimes feel like a hypocrite; writing a blog about hope and light, and getting through difficulties when half the time I struggle with those things myself. But I do this because I know that there are others out there feeling the same way. And I can’t just wait till things get better to talk about hope. Hope is needed now. But lately, I feel like my posts are not just for others, but for me, too. In posting hopeful things, I force myself to stay on track and continue on towards the light. If I don’t speak hope, how can I find it; how can I feel it? I have to speak it- for others, and for myself. Right now, I feel that God is the only light I have. I know His word says that there is hope; and sometimes knowing it, even when I don’t feel it will have to be enough right now.
Sometimes I feel like while my life isn’t developing, I am. This goes back to the Job thing a little bit. Job was made to endure a long period of difficulty and wait for God’s blessings. It was tough for Job, though. It’s so hard to wait when things are tough and you can’t see the way out. But in his wait, Job developed a stronger character and a stronger relationship with the Lord. Now, I know that I’m developing more strength; but honestly, I’m a pretty darn strong person, so sometimes this goes right through me. I don’t care about gaining strength half the time. I feel like I’m strong enough- why add more!? But, I’m also gaining a better and stronger relationship with God as I go through these challenges. Now that’s something I’m happy about. And Job was given twice what he had to begin with. Maybe that will happen to me (?). I wonder: am I going through a Job-like situation? Well, I don’t really know. Only God knows that one. I suppose it’s possible though.
Honestly, this idea that I am developing despite everything else being stagnate is both wonderful and insanely frustrating. I’m glad to be developing as a Christian, but it’s just taking so darn much to do it. Wasn’t there an easier way? Did I miss it? Well, I don’t know, and I don’t suppose it matters much now. As one of my old professors used to say ‘It is what it is’. (Thanks Mr. Headen!) I guess that’s true. I can’t go back, or change things, I can only try my best to accept what is, move forward and trust that God has things in the pocket. And, I need to press on. I can’t continue on in my little pool of sadness and stagnation. Maybe God is developing me; and if He’s doing that then maybe there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. Maybe He has plans to use me for good in the future. I don’t know exactly what the deal is, but guess I’m going to keep going on. Somehow. We’ll see what the future holds. I just keep going hoping that things will get better eventually.
*Are you going through a Job like situation? How do you feel about and deal with it?
PHOTO 1: Free Images/Bettina Schwehn
PHOTO 2: Free Images/Ali Taylor