I don't know about you, but I love hearing stories of hard times and triumph. Full of redemption and glory and happy endings. We like to revel in the stories after the hard stuff has been wrapped up in a neat package with a pretty bow.
This is not one of those posts.
Instead, this will be one from the trenches. In the midst of the hard stuff before I'm on the other side or knowing how the story will turn out.
In the thick of all of this, if I'm honest, there is simply pure exhaustion. Often in the midst of crisis and tragedy life has to go on: you have to show up to work, drive the kids to school, put dinner on the table. Life isn't empathic when it comes to stopping for things to "get better; " it just keeps going. And the simple longevity of a hard space can lend to feelings of isolation, fear, and pain.
It's a dangerous place for a heart. And perfect soil for these feelings to settle in and begin to grow. To begin to believe the lies that I am alone, that this will never end, and even that God is distant. I can't get away (even for a moment) that my reality right now is just plain difficult.
But there is a truer reality. It's more real than my feelings. More real than even the circumstances I'm walking through. And when I get lost and overwhelmed with what is around me, I can rest on this: nothing happens to me outside of God's sweet love and care for me.
Putting my experiences and feelings through this filter changes everything. I've been literally living in Romans 8 recently. It's one of my favorite chapters in the entire Bible, full of who God is and who He says I am. How He is constantly close and that nothing can separate me from His undying love.
The essence of anxiety is failing to trust God's care for us. Not believing that everything that happens to us is for our good and His glory. Paul admonished us to think on "whatever is true" in Philippians as a direct response when anxiety creeps into our lives and into our hearts. When I believe the gospel, that God is always for me and nothing that happens to me is outside of his sovereign control and perfect love, I can rest.
So, here I am, smack in the middle of a hard and exhausting space. But I know the end of the story. I know the reality truer than even what I can see around me.
He has promised to someday make all the sad things untrue. And this makes all the difference.