I may mention to a new friend my Saturday night plans… church
or give reason to why I just spend 2 months in Europe… missions
“Oh, so you’re religious.”
The stereotyping begins. Easily defined by someone who: thinks they’re too good, judges others, follow all the rules, is modest, just doesn’t understand the outside world, is part of some weird cult, is going to shove religion down everyone’s throat …)
But that’s not who I am at all.
Actually, I am broken. I struggle many days. I could perhaps even say my life is harder now that I know God with than it was before. At the same time, it’s the most beautiful.
I have seasons where I feel on top of the world. Body, spirit, and soul: exceeding.
Other times, it’s as if every step I’ve taken has been in fall back.
Back to being broke. Back to being frustrated. Back to being depressed.
One day I cash a huge paycheck, reorganize my room, meet a new friend, kill it at work, climb a mountain, look into the mirror and grin…. some mornings I even dance.
The next week it’s all fallen apart. I miss my ex, hating every song that comes on. I can’t find anything to wear, frustrated that I’m upset about such a first-world thing. I come across terrible news about an old friend while fighting with my family. Now, I’m eating french fires till my stomach hurts. Do I dare look at my bank account? More fries.
(And yes, the truth is even funny at times)
I get sick of acting perfect, being social, working hard, going to bed on time, hanging out with positive people, eating healthy, and replying to important messages. Like seriously, this summer I even got sick of going to church.
So what do I do? I stop. Then, it all only gets worst. Now, I’m even more upset about it all.
Back and forth I go. It’s not often anymore that I despise getting out of bed. But today I did. My instinct brought me to listen to a sermon, which left me plenty encouraged.
Two hikes, amazing friends, shopping with my mom, and Mexican food (my favorite). Then one trigger, and it’s gone. Does any of this matter? Do I even know who I am?
I went on a drive… alone. I don’t love being alone.
I also don’t love drug or alcohol use, but many times I crave it again.
Sometimes I give in, and just as I remember. Emptiness, pointlessness, as the unfulfillment lingers. Nowadays, my body can’t handle it anyways.
My soul aches the most.
Still, it’s much harder to do good. To be that light. To rest in the joy of knowing God.
Why is it still a challenge to seek out healthy relationships? To let go of old habits? To write how I’m feeling? To pick up that stupid journal? Why do I mean to go on the Bible app and end up on Instagram? How long will I crave sexual attention and despise it at the same time?
My life is full of tension. Yet, the resistance builds my strength.
At the end of it all, I have become stronger. I hold a deep joy, a confidence, a love for and from God that no one can give nor take away.
Even when I’ve fallen back into the pit of self-pity, there is grace.
Every day it’s a battle to get over me.
Most days, I fail. Other days, I fly.
I know my pursuit of Jesus keeps me living for the marvelous, and not the mediocre. Deep within me, I still desire to love others with my life. Again, I fail.
Whatever, whoever, it is that keeps you going, hold on to that. Press in more. If it isn’t big enough to give you the purpose you need, may it change? Always be open to change.
Yet if the only problem is that “life is hard” … life may always be hard.
But we do have a God, we have each other, we have a story, but no one … even “nice, young, Christian girls that get to travel the world, love their job, and live in great community” have it all. Because we get lonely, we struggle, and we get weary too.
No matter who you are, keep going. Be honest, be open, and know that no difficult season lasts forever. There is light all over this world, waiting to be found.