NOTE: Today’s post is kind of between me and God, but since at some point or another, we all go through the same pain, I’m posting it to let that one person know she’s not the only one who feels hopeless today.
It’s time to admit that I’m just not doing well. I thought I reached my limit months ago, but the pain just keeps coming. Disappointment after disappointment is taking its toll. Watching as the people around me get the very things I’ve been asking for – begging for – while I continue to be denied the privilege of good news. Jobs, weddings, babies, moves, vacations… I’ve told myself that I can’t compare myself to others, but it’s what humans do. It’s what I’ve been doing for as long as I can remember.
This week I asked You to give me just a glimpse of hope – just a little encouragement for my discouraged heart – that life won’t always hurt this much and that it will turn around eventually. Instead, I was slapped over and over again with bad news, disappointment, frustration and further losses of hope. The Bible tells me that You give good gifts to Your children. The Bible tells me that You know what’s best for me. It tells me that You are good, loving, merciful, gracious, kind. It says that I’m Your child, dearly loved, chosen before the foundations of the earth.
You knew before You created a single molecule that I would exist, that I would choose You and You would choose me. You’ve planned out every one of my days. You saw this week coming centuries ago.
The human, hurting, confused, and yes, angry part of me wants to know why You couldn’t have stopped it. It wants to know why my week was so bad and so full of hopelessness and despair while others around me got to celebrate new jobs, new life and new blessings. It wants to know when it will be my turn.
The spiritual, trusting, Bible-believing part of me wants to believe that You know what You’re doing, that You have a plan, that You’re working on it and You’re coming to my rescue. That part of me tells the other part of me that relief is right around the corner: “Just hang on, He’s got it under control. He sees your tears, He understands your hurt. The promises in His Word really are true and really are for you too, not just everyone around you.”
At night, I lay in bed and wonder what I’ve done wrong? How I have I offended You? What sin have I committed that makes all of this make sense? Am I praying wrong? Am I not reading the Bible enough? Am I ungrateful or impatient or am I not trusting enough? I read Job’s story and relate so much to all of his losses and I wonder if that’s what’s going on. Am I just a pawn in some game You’re playing?
Or is this not even about me at all?
I look at people who are watching their children fight and lose the battle with cancer, kids who are taking their lives because they’re being bullied at school, people on the other side of the world who are being murdered just because they were born into a certain tribe. I look at them and realize that in the grand scheme of things, my problems are so small and superficial. And I feel guilty. But this is my reality. This is what I’m waking up to every day, and while it’s not “as bad” as what so many others are going through, it’s still pretty bad.
In an effort the take my focus off me, I’ve thrown my energy into serving others and investing in their lives and when I’m doing that, it helps. But I can’t do that 24-7. Eventually, I have to go home and face my reality again.
I don’t know how to respond to all of this. Praying feels so completely pointless today because I’ve been praying for years, seemingly in vain. Looking for another solution feels so completely pointless today because I’ve been searching for years, seemingly in vain. Coming up with a way to fix it feels so completely pointless today because every solution I’ve come up with lately, everything I’ve tried has failed. I feel like I’m being sabotaged. And I feel like I’m being overly-dramatic and self-centered.
A few weeks ago, I asked my mom what she thought I should do. She said, “I feel like it doesn’t matter because whatever choice you make will be the wrong one.” It’s pretty bad when the people who love me the most and have been praying the hardest for me throw up their hands in hopeless frustration right along with me.
And so I’m left with this: If You are for me, who can be against me? Nothing can separate me from Your love. You work everything out for the good of those who love Your and who are called according to Your purpose. You are the God of hope, the God of peace, the God of joy. I just have to keep waiting, keep trusting, keep holding on…I have to.