When I was a little girl my family and I lived in a farmhouse in the country. It had a long driveway lined with cottonwood trees, plenty of fresh air, and little else. No cupboards in the kitchen, an upstairs that was literally crumbling, and when my parents first arrived, walls covered in soot. It also contained a family of mice that made its presence known by squealing when we sat on the couch and left droppings in the clean laundry.
By the world’s standards my mother had nothing during this time. Nothing but a note on the fridge that said,
“ Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,
“Never will I leave you;
never will I forsake you.”
Those words from Hebrews 13:5 are what kept my mom going during that difficult time. It’s the kind of “content in any and every situation” (Philippians 4:11-13) sort of faith that I long for.
I know God is all I need. I write about it. I sing about it.
But sometimes, I have a hard time feeling it.
That happened to me a few weeks ago. I was not okay. And I felt super guilty about not being okay. Guilty because I have a great job with the most patient bosses on the planet. Guilty because I live in a beautiful apartment. Guilty because I have my health. Guilty because I have Jesus, and He is enough. I felt guilty because I have all of these things and therefore should feel awesome.
Sometimes I get like that. Sometimes there’s something I need to change about my life in order to start feeling better.
For example, I know that I’m at my best when I’m getting into the Word daily and spending ample time praying and journaling.
But then there are days when the words on the page don’t seem to sink in, or when I’m feeling so bad I can’t get myself to pick up a pen.
Sometimes I feel gross because there are things I need to surrender over to God.
But then there are days when I surrender over, and over, and over again, but the desire for more community or more friendships is still there. Those days when I surrender my future and tell myself over and over and over that I trust in the Lord’s plans, but still can’t shake the feeling that at 27 I feel like I’m ready for a relationship. Days when I attempt to give everything over but the desire for ______ is still there and it makes me feel bad for awhile.
So what should I, we, do when feeling this way?
Well, friend, I wish I had all the answers. If I did, I would write one of those books with a title like, “Seven Steps to Achieving Your Most Awesome Happiness Goal by Next Tuesday!” And it would become a best seller and I would become a famous author and then ideally be a contestant on Dancing With The Stars, and then all of my problems would be solved!
Unfortunately, I don’t think there are seven steps to being awesome by next week. And if there are, please let me know!
In the meantime, please be encouraged by knowing that even if you’ve been a Christian for many years, it’s okay to not have it all together. And it’s okay to tell people you don’t have it all together. It’s okay to not have all the answers for your Christian friends who don’t have it all together. Sometimes having a friend simply agree that, hey, life is hard, and I’m sorry about that, can be super powerful.
My little moments of feeling down tend to come and go, but also be encouraged that if you’re struggling with depression, even as a Christian, there’s no shame in telling others about it. And there’s no shame in seeking help. I’m always a fan for taking things out of the darkness and bringing them into the light.
While I may not have all of the answers to make you feel better right away, one thing I do know: the promises in God’s Word are true. And they are true whether I believe them or not. They are TRUE whether I FEEL them or not. So please, cling to the truth that He will never leave you, never forsake you.
Cling to the truth that our Savoir is GOOD, and LOVE, and PRESENT, and MERCIFUL, and PROVIDER, and our ROCK, and a billion other things.
Cling to the truth that Jesus is enough.
Cling to this truth:
I waited patiently for the Lord;
He turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
He set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the Lord
and put their trust in Him.