Have you ever experienced a time of struggle? Day after day of things not going well. Week after week of the ideal situation morphing into something not at all ideal? Year after year bearing the load of insecurity on your back, dragging the shackles of rejection around your ankles, all while feelings of regret teeter totter from one side of your brain to the other?
It’s hard to keep going when you have to deal with realities such as these. You can only smile for so long. You can only “hang in there” for so long. You can only cling to hope for so long. Eventually your facial muscles give way to the frown, you go from hanging in there to being left hanging and the gravitational force of your trial prevails as your grip on hope is lost.
How do you deal with stuff like this? What helps you put one foot in front of the other when you are so burdened by life? Do you drink, party, have sex, or do drugs? Do you call a friend, journal, pray, or listen to music? Do you eat, exercise, sleep, or binge watch your favorite show? All of these options have the ability to affect how we deal with difficulties. But, truth be told, all of these options can and have left many feeling just as hurt, abandoned, and lost after indulging as before.
So what can we do? If nothing on the list above “works,” what’s a girl to do? Here’s an idea: rather than doing something, let’s become something! I am the queen of checklists! I have them on paper, on the computer, and in my head! It’s how I organize, brainstorm, and access progress or a lack there of. Checklists have their perks but they also have short comings. My list show me all of my “to-dos.” Do this, check. Did that, check. Great! It works, until it doesn’t.
I hit a hard spot when there is something I want to check off that I can’t check off. I want to do it, but due to factors out of my control, I can’t. For example, perhaps you want the friendship to be mended but she won’t answer the phone. You want the marriage to work but he won’t stay home. You want to be a great parent but it seems you’re too late. You want to apologize but they are tired of hearing it.
In situations like these, no checklist will fix it.
We don’t need to do something. We need to be something!!
Romans 12:2 says:
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
This was recently very eye-opening for me!! Notice it doesn’t tell us to “go and transform our minds….” It’s not telling us to do something ourselves. It’s telling us to be something. To be transformed.
The Message Bible puts it this way:
Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Fix your attention on God. You’ll BE changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it.
The only thing we need to do is take our lives—with its burdens, shackles, and regrets—and place them before the Lord. Then just BE!! BE transformed as HE embraces you as you are, renews your mind, and equips you with His list of “to dos”. And His list will look like this:
- Let Me
Sounds too passive? Great!
(Disclaimer: I found this writing in my folder of “drafts” on my personal computer. I have no recollection of writing it myself, but did not cite any other author. My husband, after using every form of “plagiarism checker” we could access, is convinced that I wrote it. In fear of being wrong, I’m going to err on the side of caution and say this: this piece blessed me! I found it too valuable to not publish. Whoever wrote it, me or someone else, definitely had yours truly, and perhaps, a girl like you in mind.)