Welcome When my husband returns home from work each day, he usually asks, “How are you?” My response is usually, “Okay.” This is followed by his counter, “Just okay?”
This results from his typical positive outlook on everything, which is a blessing. However, after being married to me for almost fifteen years, he has come to realize that sometimes I have to work really hard just to reach “okay” status. And some days, I’m just not okay.
It has taken both of us a long time to reach a place where we know that it’s okay to NOT be okay, even as a blessed Christian.
Food For Thought One of my favorite songs right now is Maybe It’s Okay by We Are Messengers, a Christian band from Ireland based out of Nashville. (Please listen and watch here.) A discussion on the radio station the other day addressed this idea and how we need to be more honest with ourselves and each other when we’re not okay. This is the only way we can help each other. But even bigger than help from one another, is the surrender and vulnerability we have in these moments to let God hold us and care for us, when we trust Him enough to say, “I’m not okay!” In this moment, we can release control and trust God to care for every part of our being.
I have spent years of my life trying to hide my struggles, feeling that these were deficits and flaws to my personality and my Christian walk. I have spent much of my adult life thinking that to be a “good Christian” I have to be okay all the time. Believing I’m a light and example to others has mistakenly led me to believe that I should not show my weaknesses and flaws. I erroneously convinced myself that I couldn’t bring others to God’s love and grace if I was personally depressed, anxious, or guilty. Who would believe that I have an awesome and loving God if I’m such a mess?
But that is exactly what others need to see! I AM a mess. I cry a lot. I find myself struggling spiritually between what I want out of my life and putting God first. I battle weakness and sin every day, especially with things like envy, bitterness, and selfishness. BUT GOD LOVES ME ANYWAY! As stated in the song’s lyrics, the One who holds the whole world is holding on to me; the One who holds the stars, He holds my whole life. I may not be okay, but God gives me opportunity every single day to trust Him, cry to Him, and have faith that He will carry me through. And He does, over and over again.
I pray a lot and when I’m not okay, I almost always begin my prayers with, “God, I’m struggling again.” Sometimes I wonder if God ever gets tired of hearing me say those words, if He ever sort of rolls His eyes (I’m really not sure about God’s eyes, but maybe He rolls them sometimes) and says, “Again???” But I have learned that God is patient. God is forgiving. God extends comfort and peace. God blesses us through our tears. God will heal me, even if it’s just recognizing that I’m not okay.
Since I’m talking about not being okay, I want to share something with you. Sometimes doing this blog is a big struggle for me. It is not because I don’t enjoy writing or because I don’t want to reach people with daily scriptures, family tips, and recipes. I want to encourage and inspire others. My husband even asked me if I’m getting bored with it or if I feel like I’m done with the ideas. Nope, these are not the issues. It’s just that I fear “fakeness.” I worry that I’m falling apart here behind my computer screen while telling you all these encouraging verses and how everything will be fine when we just have faith and trust in the Lord. Yet I don’t feel fine. Then there are the moments when I feel so incredibly not-okay that I don’t want to write at all.
But I’m not being fake. This IS my reality. I can be crying and questioning God at the same time as I’m sitting down to do my Bible study. Because of my perseverance in faith, I know God will carry me through, this season of sadness, or whatever it is, will not last forever, and when my metaphorical sun shines again, I will appreciate it that much more, giving God all the glory and praise for healing my spirit. God knows me, okay or not, and He’s waiting for me to bring my need for healing to Him. I may not be okay and I still may not be great at asking my peers for help, but I can and will ask God for help. He’s never let me down before!
Today’s Bible Journaling Pages
I haven’t shared from my journaling Bible in a while. Over the weekend, when I wasn’t quite okay, I decided to do a couple pages in my Bible, focusing on verses that really speak to me when I’m feeling low. In addition to the scripture readings for today, I find Psalm 56:8 and Luke 12:7 to be very comforting. Enjoy for inspiration or encouragement as you see fit.