Life is never a straight line…even our days are a rollercoaster of ups and downs, moments of peace and moments of war. We tend to rate our days based on how few inner/outer wars there are, from this we determine whether a day was “good” or “bad.” As if circumstances alone accounted for our happiness and success.
It really is all about perspective…Feb. 22, 2020 was filled with anxiety, trauma, motherly fear, and some pain…in the moment, it appeared that day was doomed. I remember Aaron clearly stating at the end of it that “it was still a good day.” And I, hooked up and stuck in a hospital bed for 8 hours of observation remember replying, “no it wasn’t.” I couldn’t see his point of view at that moment, but now I do.
It was a good day, despite what satan intended to do, God saved us and our baby. Many people poured out love on us and prayers and we gained a new perspective on life and the blessings around us. We still celebrated our wedding anniversary and found a deeper love and appreciation for each other. We learned never to take things for granted, not a single day, moment, hour…and most of all, we learned that God still holds us in His capable hands, and loves doing so.
Can I really still say that was a bad day? Do I even have the right to? I heard a quote once that said, “in life, pain is mandatory, suffering is optional.” It’s a really thought-provoking statement that is quite true. I know we can all think of someone, whether in our lives or in history that either faced pain with joy/optimism or succumbed to misery and was always suffering. (Who, I wonder, is remembered most of the two?)
It doesn’t have to be physical pain that hinders us, no, more commonly it’s mental/emotional pain that chains people from their God-given potential and ultimately, stops them from experiencing joy in this life. I am a personal believer in the power of Christ to free such individuals, however, more often than not, they seldom desire freedom, or are willing to seek it out.
Let’s face it, from the perspective of the world we are entitled to suffer, entitled to feel victimized and powerless to do anything about our circumstances. It is easier to let our emotions lead us than to surrender ourselves and selfish pride to God. Surely it is easier to lay down and cry when you are sick than to force yourself to walk around, drink some soup, and get well. People want a cure-all that doesn’t involve self-sacrifice. They would rather their doctors prescribe a pill than give them a list of things they can do (or give up) to see results.
(Please understand that I’m not singling out those born with mental illnesses caused by imbalances/birth defects etc though even still, God’s Will is for healing…what I’m talking about are states of mind that we put ourselves into, “this is coming from someone who did suffer from depression and is now free by the grace of God and through His wisdom)
The truth of the matter is that God should be the one we turn to first. He is the supreme doctor and redeemer, He knows what you need when you need it. And His prescription may be hard to swallow, but it will REALLY cure you. Earthly doctors only know what they see with their eyes, they have no idea what goes on in the spiritual, how many of the people they drug up are actually suffering from demonic affliction rather than physical? They, like all of us, have a family to feed and a product or quality to sell… and so they give you what you want more than what we need.
Those old country doctors that tell you the hard truth whether you like it or not are a dying breed. They didn’t care if you didn’t like what they had to say, they told you anyway, and they weren’t so worried about you taking your money elsewhere, all they cared about was their patients getting well. God is of the same mind, He doesn’t care if you get mad at Him…He’s a good father, who will make you mad if He has to in order to save you, oftentimes, from yourself.
Lately, I admit to being tempted into despair, anxiety, and uncertainty. Financially we really are relying solely on God to help us make ends meet. We are still both being attacked and being blessed often all in one day as if He were trying to remind us, “Hey kids, I haven’t left you…this problem is no bigger than all the other problems we have faced together, and I am not done being your Father!”
Pregnancy, though more enjoyable now that our son is very active, I have more energy and feel good for the most part, still isn’t without its challenges. Mentally and emotionally I’m being tested for sure. With each passing day, I grow larger and look less like “me.” And my delivery date is quickly approaching, regardless of our financial struggles or plans, our son is arriving soon and at his proper time. It is a joy and a terror to think about, but even in this, I choose joy.
Seeing every day as good and being joyful/hopeful doesn’t mean you don’t experience other emotions, it just means you don’t let them consume you. You take authority over your life and your day and just decide to smile, to laugh at satan’s attempts to rob you of something paid for by the blood of Christ. Satan is powerless to rob you of anything, the only way he gains control is if you give it to him. Only you have the power to surrender your authority, to wave your white flag in defeat before the battle’s even begun.
I know it isn’t easy. When I was going through depression, in the middle of my emotions everything felt impossibly difficult. I was tempted to just take some medication, something that looked easier than facing my inner struggles. I can honestly say that if I would have claimed “depression” over my life and succumbed to it, managing or burying it with pills, I wouldn’t be who I am today, or where I am. Eventually, we have to face our monsters, we can’t hide them or stuff them away forever, no pill is strong enough for that. Often times our depression is actually mourning, or the result of an open unforgiven wound of the past, surely, such things must be dealt with rather than stuffed. There is a process of mourning and healing that is painful but necessary.
I really am speaking from experience, not just in my own life but in the lives of those around me. It is my hope and prayer to see other people become free and experience joy while they are here on this earth. It’s too short a time to waste! And what we do here and how we face things will make a huge impact on our eternity.
So today, though satan has knocked me down more times to count, I still stand. So long as I have God, I have all I need to keep standing back up, again, and again…His strength is sufficient for me.