Fight to Rest: Hope in Rough Times

cloudy-sky-4-1017166-m
Sometimes it feels like one thing goes wrong after another after another. Over the past few years big events like a constant battle with finances, my sweet boy being diagnosed with diabetes, the constant heavy challenge of dealing with depressed family members … oh, these sting, deep inner pain.

And these “big” things use up my strength, so when something not so big (medium big) like a $2800 car expense crashes in, I have little reserves to draw on. Then even with smaller frustrations creep in–a migraine hits or a kid loses her socks or I forget to pick up something from the store, I’m tempted to give in to despair and self pity. Wallow on the edge of anger, pool around in agitation.

Is there hope in the midst of these struggles? Dear friends, I think so. Keep reading.

I’m Learning …
(Or trying to learn) to lean in to the struggles. Rather than rail against them like a fussy toddler, which only makes it worse, I let myself grieve, feel the real human ache of those who are already in Christ but not yet perfectly with him.

I feel it–that raw pain. Acknowledge it, but then breathe. Take a step out. I won’t dwell there.

I’m Learning …
To not magnify the trials as if only bad were happening. Many joyous blessings coexist along with the struggles. The same day our new car dies, my son makes a friend. The same day I’m plagued with a migraine, a friend tells me how much my book changed her life. And on and on…

I tend to focus on the rough spots, the wounds that scream for attention. But I am not all wounds. There’s good stuff too.

I’m Learning …
To draw strength from the fountain of God’s constant power, desperately clinging to the truth that he will never leave me, gripping his promise to direct my paths, forcing myself to always return to love–first his love for me, then my love for others. Love is my hope.

I’m Learning …
To not think, If only this trial were over, I’d be happy. If there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that another roadblock always pops up (just read my memoir). Instead of focusing on the if only, I seek to abide in a place of contentment within the struggles. Rejoicing in various trials, like someone once said.

It’s Hard
So incredibly hard to do this. It means tears and exhaustion and confusion and wrestling against the fleshly desire for resentment and despair. Facing impossible truths. Letting go of the way I wanted my life to be. But is this not what the Christian journey is about? They don’t call it the road of suffering for nothing. Paul said fight the good fight.

Weird. In order to rest, I must fight. It’s a battle to get myself to rest in him, to trust. And yet, I do not fight this battle alone. The battle belongs to the Lord. He already won.

And just like in any battle, the winner receives spoils. Unspeakable blessings of love, joy, peace, hope, and more. Most of all, his presence.

So, don’t give up, dear friend. Don’t drown in despair–fight against it. Fight by resting in the One who already won.

And remember, he loves you like there’s no tomorrow.

Ocieanna

If you want to read more about the struggles I’ve faced and how God’s love brought me through, check out my memoir. You can get three FREE chapters by clicking on the link.

loveliketheresnotomorrow3d