Last night I was laying in bed, making a pro and con list of all things in my head for what in the world we are supposed to do for this big decision we are trying to make. As I was making the list, I was muttering in my head at God asking, why aren’t you just telling me what we’re supposed to do? Even though, I was pretty sure I was aware of the decision we needed to make. So really I was muttering, why? Are you sure that’s right? You keep hitting us with really hard things and quite honestly I am done with it all. Oh also, I’m confused. I’m really confused because what I think is right, what I’m pretty sure my heart is telling me to do, is it? Is it actually right or am I just playing games in my head?
I feel like I am having these conversations with myself daily. Literally. I generally feel somewhat like an insane person, but hey! And I am constantly asking myself, why in the world do we have to face hard things? Becky over there (example) looks like she is living a pretty fab, cush life and well, I would really like to do that. I am tired of the trials I am facing, the heartache and ultimately having to make hard decisions. When is it my turn to be happy?
Well…if there’s one thing I have learned through these years of heartache, hard decisions and trial after trial, it’s that one, you can’t compare yourself. It may look like Becky is living the ultimate dream life from the outside looking in, but is she? I guarantee she has her battles, her daily challenges, you just don’t know it. Ask yourself this question, how many people looking in at you on your social media know about the real, hard, challenges you’re currently facing? I mean honestly, did you write about them? Did you post a picture of your disgustingly messy house and say, “Today was the worst. Finances suck and honestly, I was in tears all day today.” NO. You didn’t, well, neither did “Becky”. Goes both ways eh? Comparing also goes another way as well. I think a lot of times we are faced with hard times and we are really down in the dumps, but then we start feeling stupid because well “people have it harder than us”. Yeah, they probably do, but people have it harder than them and people have it harder than those people. One thing I have learned is that, something that might be hard for myself, might not be hard for the next person and while yes, someone might have it harder than me, it doesn’t make my trial any less hard for myself. We are given trials, “hard things” because they’re hard for us personally.
The second thing I have learned is, honestly…you might think you’ve hit your breaking point, but you haven’t yet. Things are going to get harder. Or do they? Maybe you just get stronger? Maybe that’s the entire point of the trial because you made it through that last bump in the road and you’re stronger than ever and honestly, you should feel pretty dang good about yourself for handling that. Well…God has a plan and he needs you to be your strongest, so unfortunately, you’re probably going to get hit with something else, it might look daunting and it might seem like your world is crashing around you. Honestly, maybe your world technically is crashing around you, but you made it through that last one and you didn’t think you would now, did you? BUT you did, so you’re going to make it through this one too.
Which leads me to the next thing I’ve learned. You know the saying, “God doesn’t give you more than you can handle”? It’s wrong, he absolutely does. But you know what I read once and it’s honestly stuck with me since, in fact it brings me to tears just saying it. God never gives you more than he can handle. Key word there, “he”. He can handle a whole lot, he has handled a whole lot and when you’re at your breaking point, angry, in tears and honestly have given up. You might not feel it, you may not notice it at all. Honestly, during those lowest points in my life when I have felt every, single, one of those emotions I didn’t think God was there for me. I would tell my husband time and time again, what’s the point? Is he even listening to me? Does he hear me at all? Well, he did. Maybe I didn’t feel it in that moment, but I made it through it didn’t I? I made it through something that I honestly didn’t think I was going to, something I never thought would end. I DID IT. And that’s because, I couldn’t handle it, it was more than I could handle, but it wasn’t more than he could handle and he picked up the pieces around me.
Fourth, the fourth thing I have learned is that there’s no time limit on how long “hard things” are going to last. In fact, I’ll tell you first hand that we have been facing the same challenges for over five years now. No. Time. Limit. It’s about how you handle it though, how you let it affect your day to day life. You can cry, that’s fine. You’re going to have somedays that are much hard than others, that’s just the reality of facing hard things, but it’s how you pick yourself up after the hardest of days. I spent a lot of months honestly, down, depressed, I didn’t even want to get out of bed most days and well, I didn’t. Then one day it hit me, what’s the point in living like this? Really, what is the point? This is miserable for me and everyone around me. I needed to STOP COMPLAINING. Yeah, I have it hard, others have it harder, but does that make it any less hard? Nope. It’s gonna be here no matter what, so really, I might as well just have the faith that one day, maybe in 10 years, it’s going to fix itself and work out. I might as well try and enjoy the now.
Finally, remember the things that are good in your life. When I was at one of my lowest parts and trying to pick up the pieces around me, I started a gratitude journal. A simple journal where every morning or night I would write down what I was grateful for. Sometimes I would go into detail and other times I would just write down one word. I still do this. It’s just an easy reminder to put things on paper and to remind yourself that even though things might be really hard right now, there are some good parts and you have to focus on those good parts to get you through the bad ones.
Now, I’ll leave you with this, honestly, I don’t know the right answer on why we face hard times. However I do think it’s to make us stronger, to bring us closer to God and to prove our own strength to ourselves. It’s most likely preparing us for something in the future, I’m not sure. Somedays I wish I had a crystal ball for the future, but hey — I don’t, so might as well just have faith and learn from the battles we face.
The gratitude journal I use can be purchased, here.