For When Life Piles Up (Grief & Other Stressful Things)
The past 7-9 years have been a series of big ups and bigger downs. I’ve experienced more before the age of 30 than most people experience in a life time. I’m not complaining, just observing.
People often try to be encouraging, but, more often than not, only have misguided advice. The one thing I hear more often than not is some version of:
Hang in there; it’ll get better.
I really appreciate the sentiment. It means you understand how rough things can get. It means you care enough to want to make me feel better. It means you’re an optimist.
If the last decade has taught me anything, it’s been that maybe things won’t get better. There will be great, wonderful things worthy of huge celebrations, but the bad things might not go away. Mine may be a life that has an undertone of sorrow.
Again, I’m not complaining. I’m not trying to be an Eeyore. I’m just confessing that I have now come to the understanding that we were never promised an easy life full of sunny days; life may be stormy for a season or for the rest of my days.
It doesn’t mean I won’t be happy or without joy.
It just means that, like my piles of unwashed clothes, sometimes the hard things keep piling up and there isn’t much to do except run the washing machine. It means that I choose hope; I choose to believe that even though situations may not change and grief may continue to roll through, that there will be more grace, more peace, and more joy than tears.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t like wearing dirty clothes. I am willing to do the work to get the clothes clean because the outcome is worth it. It’s not that I am willing to go through hard times, but that the refinement and growth that will result will all be worth it.
Here’s my prayer for myself and those of you who understand exactly what it feels like:
When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God
’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. (Ephesians 3:14-19)
Interested in some of the verses that have helped me? Here are the highlights:
My grace is all you need. (2 Corinthians 12:9)
Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus… (Philippians 4:7)
Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living. (Psalms 27:13)
I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)