In the more recent months, I’ve learned more about myself than the years of my life prior, combined. This includes becoming aware of some personal characteristics (but actually, challenges) of mine, a couple of which have seemed to become more noticeable to me amongst all of the life changes I’ve had lately. For some reason by what I know was the prompting of the Holy Spirit, today I felt compelled to share a bit about these struggles to hopefully create some encouragement from them. For whomever might read this post, but probably more importantly, for myself as I’ve grown increasingly discouraged by the way they’ve affected my life.
As a prelude to the more specific characteristics, you must understand that I’m an exceptionally emotional person. While any of my closest friends or family could tell you that, only God really knows what I mean when I say this because it is easily what I would consider the primary descriptor of my personality. Because of this, I tend to get my hopes up very easily at the slightest possibility of a positive or desirable circumstance. This is my first challenge. I get extremely excited about things, even if nothing is guaranteed, because I’ve become a way more positive person than I ever used to be. But then sometimes– life happens. Things end up differently than I expected. It’s at this point where the next challenge comes in: I feel stupid and embarrassed about the expectations I had set, things I had said to other people with higher hopes than I should’ve had, and the level of disappointment I subsequently begin to feel. I’ve struggled with anxiety for the majority of my life (a story for another day) and I’ve learned that changed plans and the most minor of disappointments are a couple of the worst triggers of that for me. Whenever these feelings of disappointment, anxiety, or embarrassment set in, I simply tell myself that I’m never going to get my hopes up again because all I ever do is get let down.
Yeah, because that’s the right attitude to have. This is one of my greatest challenges, to accept when things don’t go my way, with grace. Because often life just doesn’t go the way we expected it would. Sometimes people let us down, hurt our feelings, or turn out to be different than we’d hoped. Sometimes God tells us “not yet,” and we have to wait a little longer for the object of our desire. It’s at these times where I need to remind myself that it’s okay for me to be upset about things, and I should never be ashamed of feeling that way. If God cares enough to number and name each of the stars (Psalm 147:4), shouldn’t I know that He cares about what’s disappointed me?
Our God cares about all the minute details of our lives. He sees me when I’m crying without even understanding why. He sees me while I wait for what my heart so badly longs for. He sees me when I’m disappointed over what others might say is something insignificant or unworthy. And the best part? He doesn’t judge me for a second. I can put my faith in Him to deliver me through whatever size trial is phasing me, just as I’ve seen Him do time after time in my life and the lives of others. Sometimes the trial for me is as small as being excited to go somewhere one evening, then plans being changed at the last minute. Other times it’s bigger, like going many months hoping for something I’m not even sure will ever happen. Whatever your trial is, just know that the Lord sees your pain, and He is actively working to change circumstances, hearts, and lives for your good and His glory.
“Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s spirit is right alongside us helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.” Romans 8:26-28