When life gets complicated, it’s hard to want to persevere. In a way, it feels like something inside of us dies. It can be hard to want to do anything, but today I write to you to tell you that there is life, hope, and stories to share on the other side of your hardship.
Pushing through hardship is not easy at all. Someone who knows this well is a pregnant woman about to give birth and a caterpillar. A woman has to push through to see a new life come to be, and a caterpillar has to push through to become who it was always meant to be.
It takes faith to push and trust that on the other side, there will be life. If you don’t go through this now, how will you know the end result of faith?
Whatever you are going through now, I want to encourage you to keep pushing through the unknown, the pain, the darkness, the confusion, the trials, and the fear. Have faith that choosing to continue the good fight will be worth it in the end. Before the caterpillar becomes a butterfly, it finds itself in a dark place, and before a woman gives birth, the pain seems unbearable, but on the other side, they both realized that it was all worth it and there was life.
There are days when everything seems to be going great, and then there are those days when everything completely sucks with feelings of sorrow, negativity, and a lot of complaining. This is how I felt all week. I tried so hard not to feel discouraged, I even prayed and asked God for help, but nothing seemed to work. I am pretty sure God heard my prayer because my neighbor texted me out of nowhere, saying, “I feel like the Lord wants to tell your not to grow weary in doing well.” And then my husband realized without me saying anything that I was down, and he would encourage me. It was helpful, and it made me feel so loved, but I still felt discouraged. There were these lingering feelings of depression and oppression. I didn’t go through anything too crazy to get me to the point, but this is how I felt. At the end of my workday today, I was just done with the day. I wanted to be mad and remain mad, but at the same time, I wanted to go back to feeling present. I came across a YouTube motivational preaching that I thought might help, but I knew deep down that that wasn’t the answer. Instead, I played some instrumental worship music, and I talked to God and cried freely.
I got real with Him and told Him all the reasons I was discouraged, and I also acknowledged my need for Him. At that moment, I truly realized that no amount of money, accomplishments, love, or gifts could fix my soul’s discouragement. Only God can speak life into the hopeless parts of my being. After praying, I felt that I was supposed to say out loud all the things going right in my life. As I began to do that, the burden began to disappear, and I started to see and think more clearly. Proper encouragement can only come from the one who knows what is hurting us when we don’t have the answer. Tonight I was greatly encouraged by the one who loves my soul, and I hope you have been inspired by reading this and have the desire to talk to God now.
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Psalm 139:13-14
To be known is what I desire. To be seen is what I want. To be loved as I am is what I crave, and to be heard is what I need. My whole life, I have wasted wondering if I am enough? Am I good enough? Do I matter? Do I make a difference? I want to know that someone knows what I need. For so long, I thought men were the answer to all these questions. I wanted to be affirmed. But how can a man who has never been affirmed by the creator of heaven and earth affirm me?
I wasted 9 precious years of my life wandering in between the arms of men so that I could be affirmed. They couldn’t give me what I wanted, and instead, I would end up more lost in my self-worth while all along, God was asking for my attention. I couldn’t give my attention to this great God. How could I? I was afraid of what I did not know or understand, but yet He never gave up on me. He constantly pursued me. He frequently found ways to show me he was there. Some of his ways would seem unreal for many to believe, but that is who he is. The one who never gives up. The one who leaves the 99 to go for the 1. Oh, gracious God, what did you see in me? I was lost, without direction, and a lot of rejection towards you, but you never gave up on me. You pursued me and have always wanted me. You know me, and yet you still want me. I am a mess, but you like me, you love me as I am, so here I am, Lord. Take me as I am.