I have to share a completely embarrassing story with you.
This summer was the first summer that me and a few of my friends were back in Kansas City after graduating from college. We decided we wanted to make the most of our time back together, so we planned a weekly girls night where we would pick a new restaurant around Kansas City to try together. On this particular night, we chose Taco Republic. It’s a fun place to go on a summer night because most of the seating is outside. We had just finished paying for our meal and were about to get up to leave when a huge beetle ran across the table right in front of me. I hate bugs, and I will admit that I was probably a little dramatic about it, but in an attempt to get away from the bug, I hit the top of my knee cap really hard on the leg of the table. Like, really hard. My two sweet friends just laughed at me and continued to get up to leave the restaurant, but I couldn’t move. I got seriously nauseous and had to put my head down on the table. I took a few slow, deep breaths and tried to gain my composure. When I felt like I could walk myself to the car, I got up from the table and started making my way towards the exit with my friends. All of the sudden, the nausea came back. I started feeling dizzy and I had to reach out to one of my friends for support. Of course neither of them knew what was going on, but they were trying to get me out of the dining area so I wouldn’t make a scene. Luckily, I had just rounded the corner, out to the parking lot when it happened. I lost it. Yep, I threw up three times. There was one guy walking by when it happened. He chuckled to himself probably thinking I had a few too many margaritas. Of course my friends are the only ones who know the actual story and we still can’t make much sense of it. Almost immediately after I lost my chips and guac, I felt better; like it never happened. My friends were laughing at me and I was laughing at myself. It’s now one of those stories that will, without a doubt, be brought back up every time we get together as a group of friends, from now until eternity. Gosh, so embarrassing.
This morning I got the idea to write a post about something more personal than usual. Like the story I just shared, it’s a little embarrassing. Not embarrassing because I feel silly for doing it, but mostly because it’s still so fresh. I really feel like I’m struggling through it right now and I haven’t come out on the other side yet. I know that by getting vulnerable here, I might be able to connect with someone reading this and not necessarily offer them a solution, but offer them company.
So a few months ago, I wrote a blog about being at the end of myself. I talked about being disappointed with this season of life and not feeling like I had much of a purpose. God kind of woke me up one day by reminding me that this season is not about me.
Can I be honest, though? As much as I know that truth, I’m still stuck here. In some ways, I feel worse about it.
I know that happiness is a choice. I know that I can control my attitude. I know that I have people who love and care about me in this season. I know that God has something for me in this season. I know that God is making me more like himself in this season. I know that I am going to come out of this season a better person. I know that God is a good Father, always.
I know all of these things. Seriously, I feel like every thing I read, hear or learn about is about how much good can come from a sucky situation. But no one ever talks about how much it actually sucks when you’re stuck in the middle of it, when it’s your reality every single day. I mean sure it’s assumed, but no one likes to sit in it with you. Everyone just kind of smooths over it and gets straight to end, the resolve. Let’s talk about how annoying that is. Like, sometimes I don’t want your advice, I just want you to tell me I’m not crazy for feeling like this!
Friends, I’m embarrassed to say that these are very real thoughts and battles that play out in my head and heart on a daily basis.
I know what God promises me. I know what it would look like to obey Him in this season. But, there are many times that I choose the easy way, instead.
It’s all too easy for me to wallow in self-pity. It’s easy for me to take out my disappointment on my husband. It’s easy for me to whine about how different my life should look.
Do you know what’s not easy? Being obedient to God and remaining obedient to Him day in and day out. It’s not easy to keep motivated when you feel like every day is a struggle. It’s not easy to keep a positive attitude when you look around and compare your situation to everyone else’s.
No one wants to talk about how hard this thing can be. No one is willing to admit that sometimes, ‘I don’t feel the joy of the Lord in my heart.’ Sometimes, praising God is the last thing I feel like doing.
It’s not easy to hear that God cares more about my holiness than He does about my happiness.
Before you start thinking that I have truly lost my way, I want to encourage you with a truth that keeps me seeking Jesus.
God’s saving grace is bigger than any amount of disappointment I’m feeling in this season. He understands my pain. He understands my frustration. He understands my hurt. He understand that sometimes it’s just really hard to obey. But, like any good parent, He holds firm to His command. He asks me to obey out of so much love for me.
So, in this season, I will continue to ask for strength to obey. I will continue to ask for forgiveness when I fail and I will continue to give myself grace as I learn what it looks like to live as a daughter of His.
Be encouraged, friends.
If you are stuck in a tough season and are needing some encouragement to keep going, here are a few things that have helped me.
My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers
Seeking advice from trusted friends and family members
The Bible – There are plenty of examples of people living through less than ideal circumstances.