Ever felt less than?
I haven’t always been this way. More positive than negative. Honest with myself about how I feel, yet pushing on to feeling better.
Perhaps you have felt like I have in the past: Laying in bed late at night or very early in the morning, feeling not-so-great mentally. Maybe you have even thought similar thoughts tho those I would think in the past. “Would everyone be better off if I were dead?” This thought has crossed my mind more than once. Additionally, there have been times when I just wanted to go home to Heaven — not do it myself, mind you. I just wanted to Lord to just take me home.
Elijah knew how I felt. In 1 Kings 19, Elijah felt alone and wanted to die. He said in verse 4, “I have had enough, Lord. Take my life; I am no longer better than my ancestors [who are dead].” He wanted to die! What was God’s response? Did God scold him for feeling weary? Not exactly. God says in verse 18, “Yet I reserve seven thousand in Israel — all whose knees have no bowed down to Baal and all whose mouths have not kissed him.” God reassured Elijah that he was not alone.
Yearning for Heaven or death is not altogether wrong and it is certainly something I understand. The problem is when those thoughts become “how can I make it happen myself.” That is when it gets scary for those who care. And I have heard it said that sometimes not only do those who love us not understand what we are going through, but they also feel clueless as to what to do. I am not at a place or point where I know exactly how to advise those who are concerned about someone else. But I have plenty of advice for those struggling with depression, anxiety, emotional pain or suffering and the like.
I have learned what it is to Love Life. I have learned to count my blessings. Does that mean I never have a bad day? No. I still have rough days. There are still days when I pray my way through every single moment of the day because it is just that hard. But I pray. I don’t bury my head in the sand or cry and whine on social media. I know those things do no good.
What does help?
Prayer I don’t mean to sound all preachy or religious but, well, here goes! I know that, for me, it helps to reach outside myself to someone else who is greater and bigger than me. It takes some of the pressure off of me. I feel like when I give my life and my struggles to God it takes it off my plate. Then the issue is no longer “mine.” It is in God’s hands and I can let it go.
Let it go. I am learning the beauty of this phrase. It was made popular by the movie “Frozen” and has taken on new meaning for me. Ever since a rough day popped up and I was discussing it in earshot of my oldest daughter. She did a little dance and sang in a half-shouting voice “Let it go! Let it GOOOO!!” I laughed and cried a little and knew she was right. Letting go of issues I cannot change is sometimes the best way to get through it.
Let God be at work. Sometimes I find myself wanting things “my way.” Don’t get me wrong here! There is nothing wrong with dreaming big. Dreams are the fuel that keeps me fighting. Even so, things don’t always turn out the way I dreamed them to be. In the end, God works everything out and when I look back and reflect upon how things turn out I know it is good. It is God at work in my life. God needs room to work and life goes so much smoother when I let Him move and work within me and my life.
“Dreams are the fuel that keeps me fighting.”
Trust that God is Faithful. A good, steady study of who God is makes for a great study. To anyone who has any interest in God whatsoever: consider just looking at the Holy Bible and asking yourself, “Who is God?” Look at every story, every scripture from that angle and you will be enlightened. I did this several years ago and I have found that it really helped me in my relationship with God. I found a running theme: God’s faithfulness. Numbers 23:19 says, “God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should change His mind. Does He speak and then not act? Does He promise and not fulfill?” There are many promises in scripture (another great study to do) and it is encouraging to know that God, in His faithfulness, keeps every one of them.
Live Loved. I believe I am loved by God. Psalms 139:13ff says, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made int he secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” Why would this be true of God if He didn’t love me? Who am I that God should pay me any attention? Psalms 8:3-4 says, “When I consider your heavens, the works of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?” Such an honest look at man. We are something special because God says so! He deemed us special and worthy of His love. He showed us how much He loved us when He sent His one and only Son to die on a cross for us. I am loved. And as one who is loved I live my life with gratitude. I count my blessings and I recognize that each gift ultimately came from God.
These are just a few suggestions of things that have helped me. I hope you have found some encouragement here today. Feel free to leave a comment of something that has helped you when you felt down or anxious or just anything other than happy.
May you be blessed today and always.
~Maggie A. ‘Spoon
(I learned the phrase “Living Loved” from Lysa. It is found in her book “Uninvited;” a great read.)