Have you ever noticed that in typical greetings followed by a simple “hello”, is the question “How are you?” asked? Casually and almost immediately a positive reply is given providing the assumption that all is well in our worlds. Even social media provides the illusion that life is perfect and every day is full of endless fun and adventure larger than life.
However how many of us have taken the time to pose the question “How are you?” and stopped long enough to read between the “okay” reply?
Life is not always perfect. There are days when you want to crawl back into bed, pull the covers over your head and pretend that what is waiting for you in the outside world is not your reality. But as humans and, sadly enough, as Christians, we’ve often conditioned ourselves to “fake it until we make it” and sometimes in the process, we force ourselves into denying the reality that not everything is okay. So we force a smile all the while hurting and bleeding inwardly.
This article is not intended to be full of doom and gloom and authorize self-loathing and self-defeating behaviors that support pity parties. However, I find that there is something very healthy about admitting when things are not okay in our world and taking ownership of how we feel about the situations we are facing. Emotions are good, and feelings remind us that we have a beating heart. Just because I’m a Christian does not mean I don’t hurt and my heart is never disappointed.
My faith does not give me a pass on hardships or disappointments, it gives me courage and strength to know that no matter what I face my God is greater!
Recently, I heard someone share a life situation they were facing and I was shocked because truthfully, this person’s life seems perfect. In that moment of vulnerability, it showed me that EVERYONE is carrying a burden they hadn’t planned for and it gave me a greater compassion for this person.
So, how do we deal with days that are not okay? Can I offer some suggestions that may be of help?
1) Find your “dream team”
Identify your core group of friends. You don’t need a large group of friends, you just need the ones you have to be faithful! Your close friends/family should be your support group. They should be your safe place at all times.
2) Admit you’re human
It’s okay to cry, to be mad, and to have emotions! It’s healthy to acknowledge how we feel! Suppressing how we feel leads to a bigger explosion later. We are not perfect but we serve a God who is, therefore I must depend on His strength to help me in my weakness! It’s possible to deal with emotions without allowing them to control your life.
3) Work your faith
Faith becomes alive when you have to put it to action. It’s easy to say you have faith until you’re faced with a mountain that needs to be moved. Faith is a heart posture that says, “No matter what I see with my eyes, I still believe and I stand on God’s word to bring my solution to pass.”
4) Control the zone
By this I mean you get to set the tone for the atmosphere around you. If you choose to push through the obstacles you’re facing, you will need to make sure you keep yourself in an environment and around people that will help your faith grow and your spirit stay encouraged. This is why it is important to have a good “dream team.” Real friends will listen to you and help you carry the burden, but they will also encourage positive growth and not allow you to digress or participate in negative behavior. Find music that inspires you, watch a movie that makes you laugh or take a walk that invigorates your senses. Do SOMETHING that creates a positive environment for your faith to thrive.
God desires for us to be whole in all areas of life. My friend recently said that we must learn to really “see” people. In other words, take time to hear the words they are not saying. Look past the general greetings and small talk. Ladies, let’s be of those who bring encouragement and healing in even the smallest of ways. If we want to change the world, let’s truly love the people in our “world.”