46. A Word of Hope

29 Dec 2017

I have been meaning to do a couple of things, and I managed to do that today – migrating the blog, and adding a new blog entry, that has to do with hope.

I think it’s extra difficult with social media over the holiday season for those struggling with problems, whether mental or otherwise. Even those going through difficult times can wonder how come life can go on around us, while we go through so much pain or troubles. So I write this word of hope – though be prepared that it’s not a word that may be expected.

See, it’s not a word about God per se, though God is central to it. It’s not a message of the gospel, though without the gospel, I don’t know how to bear up even with this message. It’s a message that carries hope because it allows us to be who we are, for a moment, for a time.

The message? It’s okay to not be okay.

For some of us, this is a season. A long period of time. For others, it’s a short one, temporal, while we struggle with events in our lives. This all is good and being strong is good, but you know what? Being strong is overrated.

It’s okay to not be okay. It’s okay to grieve. It’s okay to be angry at how unfair things seem, at how painful life is. It’s okay to cry, to break down, to melt into a puddle and just let the tears flow. It’s okay to feel like it’s too much to take, and it’s okay to feel like you’re on the verge of shattering into pieces. It’s okay to not be okay.

We hide from our tears and our anger, because we feel like it’s bad to give in to those emotions, of sorrow, of impotence. We feel like it weakens us, or speaks of our weakness, when we let go, when we give up, even for a while. We feel like we’ve let ourselves down, and we try to pull ourselves together, and ignore the sad reality that’s facing us, even if it’s for a little while.

It’s okay to not be okay. It’s okay to just sit for a while, and let those emotions course through you, and let yourself break down. It’s okay to be weak.

No, that’s wrong. It’s not okay to be weak. Isn’t it?

But true strength doesn’t come because we don’t cry. True strength and courage doesn’t come from us pushing aside our feelings, and pretending they don’t exist. True strength comes from facing up to our feelings, and pushing on despite them, knowing that it’s okay to cry. True strength seeks help when it’s needed. True strength pushes past pride, knowing that no man is an island. True strength cares, and in caring, true strength allows weakness, so that through that weakness, we can be forged, and really show what true strength is.

As for Christians, that true strength is shown by the light of our Lord Jesus, who died on the cross, for us. That in our weakness, He will show through us, the glory that Is His, the strength that is His. Our lives are preserved by Him, for Him. And this moment of “weakness”, this moment of falling apart, that’s ok. God is bigger than that. He’s kinder than that too. He will bear us up, and help us take the next step, for the next day. One step at a time.

If you are suffering, if you are burdened, if you are labouring to breathe, remember this – it is okay to just not be okay. Sit with it for a while. Grieve, and let it out. Let yourself be weak for a while, or for a long while. It’s okay.

Because if this message resonates with you, you probably are your own worst enemy. You’ve probably been your own strongest taskmaster. And you don’t want to let yourself down. But the future is uncertain, and what you face just seems so insurmountable.

But you can. With one step at a time, one breath at a time, you can. WIth God’s help, you can. If you don’t believe in God and want to talk about that, email me. But peace is found when we can finally rest easy and realise that the world doesn’t stop because we allowed ourselves to grieve for a while, to confront just how big the problem we’re facing is, and ask for mercy and hope.

Be kinder to yourself. Don’t burden yourself with all that. Just… allow yourself to not be okay for a while.

And then, things will seem just a little easier to bear.

Be well during this holiday season.

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