It feels like I’ve been walking through a battlefield, a straight up battle, the last several months where I’ve had to face and fight my way in and around and out of some of the darkest moments I’ve ever felt. And although, I’ve faced hard moments in the past, in a weird way, these past few months have felt harder. Not more painful necessarily, but almost harder to grasp and more, more alone, more me being in my own mess of self…does that make sense? Maybe it doesn’t need to.
And then I fight them all over again, every day, any day they pop up. Some of the faces of these hard moments have been feelings of (all with some kind of adjective such as crippling, severe, etc.…in front of it) anxiety, loneliness, worthlessness, fear, sadness, undeserving, not good enough, too much, regret, and a few doses of ‘what’s wrong with me?’ and ‘why can’t I be normal?’ Talk about being exhausted.
Now, after a very long, long fall/winter with some of these feelings still lagging in toe, but fighting my feelings with the truth (God’s word), I can see some buds of new hope and promise beginning to spring forward into what I can only hope will be the season of blessing and beauty for ashes my soul is so desperately longing for.
I have no concrete evidence that this will be the season for some of the beauty I’m longing for, other than the renewed hope I feel, hope that I’ve long ago put aside, because, well because it just fell away after, everything, little by little started to seem so hopeless again. But, God has been working with me, and in me again, feeding me and showing me that I can hope in him—in Jesus. Hope is such a powerful and needed thing. I used to pride myself on it. I always had it, always. Even if I lost everything else and was bummed out because x,y, and z wasn’t going my way, at least I had hope that this or that would happen. I lost hope for the first time around three years ago and it was the very first time I’ve ever experienced living in its absence. Thankfully, God swooped in and it didn’t last that long. The pain and heartache existed before and after, but the black hole that is hopelessness didn’t stick around too long. It only lasted a week or two, but it was the worst week or two I had experienced. I was never without hope before that, so I didn’t know what it was like to not have it. I didn’t know it was possible to not have it. I never wanted to feel the crushing weight of that again. But, I have.
Can you believe that now I have to fight to have and keep hope?? Me, who used to bubble over with the stuff and who used to walk around like it was just something to be taken for granted. I have to fight tooth and nail to hold on to it now. All because I lost it once. Or is it because I put all the hope I had, which was a TON, into the wrong hands? Hands that let me down and hurt me instead of putting my hope solely in the hands of God? But, the good news is, hope is alive again. And not just hope in God and his goodness and what’s he’s going to do in my life. But, hope for the possibility of love.
Anyway, these are the kinds of things God is showing me in my harder growing pains of this season that I very, very much would LOVE to be done with. Another thing that God is showing me, and rather is reminding me of, is that my worth is in him…in him alone. It’s not in the fact that I’ve been struggling so badly with finding permanent employment again after nearly a year (that was never the plan!). It’s not in the fact that I’m struggling financially and feel worthless because I can’t afford to bless anyone with ANYTHING and feel undeserving of being on the receiving end because I can’t reciprocate. It’s not in the fact that I still am at home with my parents. (Maybe for now, I should try to seek the blessing in that even when it hurts and feels impossible. Easier said than done when I’m in tears.) It’s not in the fact that I do not have a husband or a boyfriend to love/who loves me or share my life with. It’s not in the fact that I do not have children, even though I may not have traditional desires there…or maybe I could one day…who knows. It is not in the fact that I feel invisible to the world sometimes. None of that equates my worth, even if it FEELS like it does.
My worth is in God. My worth is in God. My worth is in God. I feel like I need to write it on a chalkboard a hundred times like a first-grader. Do they even use chalkboards anymore?
None of this is easy to digest. None of this is easy to walk through. None of this has felt particularly good, though it’s beginning to.
I’m hopeful it will being to feel better. I’m hopeful that just around the bend will be the blessings and sweet, sweet relief of a season of joy and beauty and peace. And more laughter, please. If even for a while.