Have you ever had one of those days?
Where you’re just struggling.
And you have no idea why.
That was me the other day. Yes, I could go on and on about the abundant blessings of life. And there is so much joy in it all.
But for some reason I didn’t want to get out of bed. I just wanted to sleep away the daily grind. There are dreams unrealized. Hope deferred. Long tiring days. Expectations and demands. Guilt from being too tired to do it all.
And sometimes it’s just so so much. And all I want to do is pull a blanket over my head, shut out the world, and cry. And I’m so not a crier.
And then I had lunch with my mom and had a complete and total meltdown.
And I didn’t even know what was wrong (for all the girls out there:)). There was just this monstrosity of slashed hopes and hurtful words and expectations and pressure and relationships and pain and failure and…well there was just life.
And through the tears I tried to talk myself out of it all.
I…I…I…am (sniff)..so…(hihu)…(hihu)…tha…nk…ful…for… it…all. He’s…ddone…so…(hihu)…much. I’m…so…bl…essed…(hihu). I…don’t…kn…ow…wh (sniff)..at’s…wrong…with…me….
And amidst my snorting and coughing and wiping my eyes and making myself into a hot mess, my mom said, “Lauren, you’re human.”
“You’re allowed to have a good cry. You’re allowed to feel a little sad. It’s ok to have a day where your heart aches a little. It’s ok to have a day you don’t get out of bed to go to the gym. It’s ok to be tired and want a vacation. You’re human.”
And for some reason, that was just what I needed to hear.
And then my sweet friend text me this: “I think people sometimes think that believing in the sovereignty of God means that we are never confused, or feel sad, or question, or wonder, and it’s simply not true.”
So often I wonder if we put expectations on ourselves that He never places on us. So often I wonder if Christian lingo pushes us into false pretenses.
And suddenly the cultural expectations crash head-on into that Christian lingo and that collision tells us we need to just be ok. To hold your head high and smile through the pain and don’t cry over the same thing twice and pull yourself up by your bootstraps and keep going and it will all work out ok.
But. I don’t find that anywhere. Have you noticed He doesn’t ask us to be happy all of the time, or bottle our emotions up, or never hurt, or never feel sad, or never cry, or never have a day where the ache seems heavier than normal?
No. But He does say something else.
Trust me. Lean on me.
Hard. And the worse it hurts, the harder we lean.
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28
“Cast all your anxiety on him because He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7
And that might sound cliché, but it’s true. But do you really do it?
Because the reality of life…of Christian life is hard. It’s not a shortcut, it’s not the easy way out.
It’s a sacrifice. And it’s sanctifying work. And it’s refining work, and that refining comes through heat. And sometimes my prayer is just this: “give me grace to do your will.”
And so, here’s to the days where you need rest, both emotional and physical. Here’s to the days that it’s ok to mourn the dreams unfulfilled–not in an angry, wallowing way, but in an I’m-sad-but-still-trust-you kind of way.
Here’s to the days it’s ok to not do it all.
Because He never asks that.
Because yes, He does tell us to rejoice in all circumstances. But perhaps one of life’s greatest clarifications came when I understood that doesn’t mean be happy all of the time, or be happy that I’m hurting.
But rather, I am to rejoice because of what God is doing through the ache. Because of how He is working. Because of what He is up to. Because, despite the confusion and pain and ache and this-doesn’t-make-any-sense, I can trust that, through me, He will be glorified, and there is wonderful good coming from all of this.
And I can trust that, because that promise is rooted in the life and death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
And then there’s this.
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:15-16
What beautiful words in the midst of this life.
How can I pray for you today?