Today I am posting something that I wrote almost a year ago- through a really difficult season of mine. I wrote it as a way to process and encourage myself. Not sure if there is anything encouraging in it for you- maybe it’s a bit over the top with emotion. (thanks to this Enneagram 4. *eye roll*) But I also know that life holds a lot of hard emotion. So take it or leave it. If it connects with you- that’s cool, if not, that’s fine too. I promise- all my posts won’t have this much sadness in them.
Sometimes we go through seasons in our lives where it feels like you cry more than anything else. Where tears leak and trickle out of your eyes when you really don’t want them to, and they fall at times when it’s most inconvenient. Sometimes those seasons feel like they last forever- or at least a lifetime. I don’t have easy answers for these hard, hard days and moments in our lives. Actually I don’t have any answers at all. I’m in a season of life where I would have thought I would understand more, and have less questions, but somehow it seems the more living I do, the more pain I meet and the more my heart shatters. And the questions- they can loom up big and ominous, begging, demanding even, to have answers. And no answers come. Only an eerie, awful, black hole of silence.
Some of you may not be able to relate to me, but I know that some of you will. So this is to you out there.
-You, who are barely holding on.
-You, who have tried so hard, and have come up short. Again.
-You, who has had your heart wrung, and broken, and trampled on.
-You, who had a dream, and then you watched it slowly die before your eyes.
-You, who thought it not possible for another hard thing could come your way, and if it would, it would crush you. And then it came, and it crushed you.
-You, who find yourself in a season of hard, a time of weeping, and maybe you aren’t even sure why.
-You, who can’t find the courage to lift up your heart and try again.
I wish I could tell you it will get better soon. That one day soon, if you hang on. Or in some cases, if you let go and surrender- that you will see the light again, and you will find a seed of hope taking root in your heart. But I don’t know how long your season of hard will be. Sometimes these seasons of breaking and seasons of hard last for years- and it’s brutal. In fact, sometimes it seems inhumane and it always seems both unjust and unmerciful. There is no quick fix-it remedy for these painful times. I’m in a season of sorts right now where it’s been really hard to find the light, where there has been thing after thing come up and swamp me. Where just when I thought I was coming through to the other side, another unexpected and unanticipated thing hits. Hard. It’s a season I want to run away from. I’ve cried. I’ve begged. I know that God is doing things. That much is clear. But that doesn’t change the hard and the brutal, the agonizing, soul crushing pain. In fact, although God has clearly led me into this season, He has been mostly quiet and seemingly not available as I experience some of my darkest, most lonely nights. It has felt like utter abandonment, like I’ve been discarded as refuse. So what do I do with that? How do I pick up and keep living after it feels like I’ve been absolutely stripped of everything? How do I remain soft and let the happenings somehow make me better rather than bitter? These are some of the questions I’ve been asking, and although I don’t have perfect answers, I know there are a few things that have been like lifelines to me through this season.
Here they are in no particular order of importance.
- The first one seems like an easy answer, but it actually isn’t. Find a trusted mentor/friend with whom you can be completely honest. They don’t need to understand what you are going through, but they will need to be okay with sitting with you in your pain. They will need to be people who won’t judge you or freak out when you are honest about the darkest places, and they will also need to be willing to speak hard truth into your situation with a ton of love. They will be your people who will believe for you when you can’t and who will hold you up when you can’t stand anymore.
- Find a way to express what you are feeling and going through. Find a creative outlet that both speaks to what you are walking through and heals you as you find a release. It can be art in any form- painting, cooking, writing, creating anything really. There is no limit to what you can create. You don’t need to be an artist to start creating. You might be amazed at how healing this is.
- If you have access to a good counselor, therapist or life coach, do not hesitate to put yourself out there and say I need a little (or a lot of) help here. Yes, there are a lot of terrible ones too, but do a little research or ask around. There are good ones available. Yes, it’s terrifying to step out and do this, but it is also so, so worth it.
- If you find yourself unable to pray, just use simple prayers, just a phrase or two and repeat that over and over through the hard. It doesn’t need to be fancy or eloquent. God will honor your wisp of faith. Also, find a promise and claim it. Again it can be simple and only a few words. But claim it as if your life depends on it. Cause maybe it kinda does.
- Finally- know that this season will not last forever. It might not get easier for a long time, it might get darker and harder first. But you will not be stuck in this hard place forever. Your day of redemption and deliverance is coming. Psalm 30:5 tells us, “Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.” And no matter how long the night- we wait with great anticipation for that morning.
These are just a few things that come to mind as I think about the few things that have kept me from completely falling off the cliff. I know there are a lot more, and if you have anything that you have found to help you through seasons of difficult, drop them in the comments below. We are in this together.
This too is a season- nothing lasts forever- this too shall pass. Much love to you my fellow warriors. We are not finished yet! Fight on. Glory awaits us.