2022 has proven to be a challenging year and we’re not even through it. Jarrod and I as husband and wife have faced more discouragement and disappointments than we were prepared for. There’ve been nights where I cried myself to sleep in Jarrod’s embrace. There have been moments where we both just sat in disbelief and silence. There have been days where we prayed out of desperation and clung to the one thing we knew, hope. Despite the blows, I am proud that we choose not to fight with each other, but rather to stand with each other and fight on our knees. Don’t get me wrong, when things got chaotic, we did have our moments, however, we remembered who and what we were fighting against.
A lot of this year if not most of this year’s pits have been a result of external circumstances going south. You probably can relate. It’s fair to say we’ve all faced some type of mess in our life. Our minds and heart can often get muddy in these situations. We ponder our purpose. We ponder life and we ponder the goodness of God. These disappointments, both external and internal, can disrupt the pattern of a sustainable life. It affects both your mental and physical health. It did just that for us.
Most recently we had some issues with our home water system that left us without water for a bit. For someone who enjoys her morning and nighttime showers, this was a big deal. I realize how pathetic I may sound, but for me, this was the last straw. In the pit, I sent Jarrod a text listing all the 12 things that went wrong this year.
I was sitting in our living room curled up in a ball smelling like salt and a hint of snot. Not my proudest moment. When I read Jarrod’s response, I immediately was convicted by something the Lord impressed on my heart at the beginning of this year, “Remember..”
At the start of this year, many of my prayers consisted of “teach me to remember your goodness, Lord.” At the time, not much had gone wrong. But as each blow came one after the other, that prayer became less frequent. The crazy part is, had I made a list of all the incredible doors opened, answered prayers, and opportunities we had this year, it would double if not triple the list I had sent to my husband.
In the moment, the mess we face may not appear all glamorous. For the most part, it probably isn’t, however, there is an uprise beauty in the messes we face. The beauty is the strength we gain. The beauty is character growth. The beauty is the grit we develop that prepares us for steeper and tougher climbs. The reality is, we get to choose to remain in the pit and mess. Our mindset and approach to life’s messes say a lot about our emotional and spiritual health. When we allow the mess to become our identity and rule how we approach life we shift authority from God. We take matters into our own hands and we indirection (and directly) tell God, He’s not sufficient. I did just that. I hit rock bottom and in hitting rock bottom I realized I lost sight of my source.
I will conclude with this. Remember God’s goodness. Remember the days He brought you through. Remember the doors He’s opened. Train yourself to see the good despite the circumstance. That is not denying your circumstance, rather it is acknowledging you trust a known God with an unknown and unpredictable future.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6
Side note: I would even challenge you to dive into the entire chapter of Proverbs 3. There’s meat that’s worth chewing on.