Sometimes I fear we believe we must have it figured out before we share.
We must have crossed through that middle space, now having clarity and beautiful perspective before we can share about the depths through which we waded to get to that other side.
The books we read, maybe a memoir or an intended encouragement...all look the same.
They have a beginning with some sort of challenge/road block/unexpected bump.
They have a middle that includes an inciting incident/come to Jesus/reckoning moment
and an ending where it's either all wrapped up in a tidy bow or it's not.
Either way there is a beginning, middle and end.
The authors share their struggle and the victory they found, in hopes that we might push through whatever we are facing to find that "promised land" as if saying...
Look, over here it's better so keep going.
Sometimes I want to call BS.
I want to say, your story isn't mine and there is no guarantee I will find what you found in this lifetime so don't give me the steps, the outline or the script.
Where are the stories of those in the thick of it, the ones who haven't reached the other side of the valley yet? Where are the stories that say, "I'm here in the middle and if you are too...let's do this together because I haven't figured it out but maybe we can together." Why doesn't anyone share that part?
Some days I see things clearly. I see a God who has ordained my every step and still allows me to choose the path I take. Ever patient in my choices, drawing me back to Him no matter which path I choose. Not a puppet master, but an artist who creates along the way--pursing me as I pursue the higher calling on my life.
Some days I feel weighted. I feel as if I'm under water, barely enough strength to come up now and again for a deep breath that ensures I can last a little longer.
I don't quite see the point of it all, I don't want to be tested, used, or drawn in any which way.
I question my telling God I would do ANYTHING He asked of me.
Every step feels heavy and without purpose other than to just survive.
What the $#&* am I doing anyway?
Of course, then I feel guilty for questioning anything at all, my doubts rising to the surface make me feel fraudulent and because authenticity is to me as breath is to life I find myself crippled at the thought of being fake.
So, how do I reconcile my wrestling on the hard days?
How do I give myself space to doubt and process it out without feeling like I must have all the answers right then?
I am learning to give myself grace on the days that I doubt.
Learning that it's okay to wrestle with the hard stuff and that not having an answer for it at that moment doesn't make me fake but makes me real.
It's okay to shout
"this year" "today sucks" and still love Jesus.
To grumble and complain while also reading your Bible and telling Him you're kinda ticked off the way the weeks have gone and you don't even feel like doing this but you're doing it because you do believe He is faithful despite the muddy waters you travel in.
I don't have it all figured out.
I have days where even the hard stuff feels purposeful.
And there are days when the hard stuff, no matter how big or small feels completely pointless and I want to throw in the towel on this "upstream living".
I guess all this is...
is a me too.
Feeling weighted? Me too.
Feeling like this is really hard? Me too.
Feeling like some days are easier than others, to live out this life in Christ, to be used and poured out in all the ways? Me too.
I haven't arrived, nor do I think I will in this lifetime.
But I do believe that each moment that is hard, and each moment that is good and each moment that is painful is doing something in me.
It's refining me and making me more like Christ and on the hardest of days I still choose that over a life without Him at all.
Hardship produces qualities in you that no other experience can.
The tough stuff brings about such things that cannot, in any other way, draw you into a nearness with Christ.
I guess I'm thankful for those "reached the other side stories" after all, otherwise I wouldn't know that statement to be true and I wouldn't know there were others who had once said,