Life has a way of throwing things at us that we didn't see coming. I remember when I was a kid, probably around 10 years old, I had my best friend over for a sleepover. I had my friend, Jason, as well as my sister, Amanda. Now, it was a grand sleepover in which I thought that the point of it was to ... sleep! So I passed out. So there I was minding my own business, sleeping on the floor when out of nowhere
I'm pegged in the head with a bouncy ball. Not just one of those tiny little ones. No, this one is the size of a childs fist and Jason and Amanda thought it would be fun to throw it at my head while I slept! It's amazing I can remember as much of that event as I do! They were both so shocked that they threw it so hard and apologized through their fits of laughter... Mmm Hmm...
We don't understand why life throws oversized bouncy balls at our heads. We don't get why we can get the short end of the rope so many times in a row. Too often it feels like life is more of an old fashioned beat-down than anything else. We see our finances take a hit as our health declines. We see our mental health decline because our finances are taking too many hits. We experience family drama that is so extreme it leaves us silently screaming. Over and over we feel like that bouncy ball is pounding into our heads and we just sit here confused as to "Why me?".
I've been there. It's not fun. It takes it's toll on even our closest relationships. When we get hit with so much in such a short period of time we find ourselves questioning absolutely everything and we experience even a testing of our faith. I wish that I had some fool-proof, 3-step plan to navigate out of it, however I have yet to find such a plan. But don't panic, freak out, and think that all hope is lost... I actually have a 1-step plan for you today. That's right. At no charge I will give you the best possible plan that I have found to navigate through the non-stop barrage of bouncy balls that have been whipped at you. Ultimately this plan will lead you to discovering what steps need to be taken to move forward.
1) Bring it to the light
- Talk about it with someone. God has given us trustworthy partners, close friends, wise counsellors, and willing accountability partners. When we keep it locked away and don't let anyone know we're struggling, we find ourselves assuming that we are alone or a special case of disaster. You'll find that as we bring our struggle to the light that others have gone through something similar and they can empathize.
- Please understand that as Christians we don't have to have it all together. There's the assumption that once we know Jesus we need to have it all together. That's an absolute lie. Being a follower of Jesus does not make us super-human. It does not make us gods. It does not make us perfect. It's okay to not be okay. We just can't stay there.
"Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” - John 16:33
That first part is enough to make a person cry when they've been being bombarded by bouncy balls, but I am so thankful for the second sentence. But take heart, because I have overcome the world. What we go through we don't go through alone.
Even when I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will not be afraid,
for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff
protect and comfort me. - Psalm 23:4
So that's it. Bring it to the light. Talk about it. And if someone approaches you as a friend, don't judge them. Don't try to "fix" them. Listen. Empathize.
You're not alone. Reach out and let's walk through this together.