Sunday, December 22, 2013

Push Past the Hard and Find the Good

The truth seems plain. I can do hard things. But sometimes, it just isn't as simple as that sentence.

Yes, I know I can do hard things. I know I am brave and strong and able to take on anything life throws my way. But I'm not always able to do it right away.

Numerous times this week, I've had people call me an inspiration, brave, strong, and positive. I appreciate every single one of those comments, even though they sometimes feel out of place because I don't always feel brave and strong and positive and I especially don't feel like an inspiration. But if my words have inspired you, I am immensely grateful for that.

Part of my purpose of blogging is selfish. I love to write and writing is like therapy for me. But there is another purpose that is near to my heart and that is helping you. If I could help one person through the words on my blog, this is all worth it. Well, either way it's worth it {Remember? Lover of writing?} but helping you is the cherry on top.
When I look in the past, present, and future, it is easy to feel overwhelmed with life because sometimes, life is really hard. It is easy to feel like it will never get better, or ask why did this happen to me? but it is possible to push past the hard and find the good.

So how do we get there? How do we even begin to find the good when we are so overwhelmed with the bad?

I believe it's different for everyone. Everyone handles the good and the bad differently. Everyone feels differently.

For me, it started with service. I've already mentioned how something as simple as taking cookies to a neighbor helped me out of my funk. One thing that helped me through infertility and continues to help me is holding babies. My friends are all having babies right now {That's water I won't be drinking for a long time} and often times, I'd describe it as service when I help them with their babies. Sometimes, it's purely selfish but most of the time, I do it because I know they need it. I remember what it was like to have a 16 month old and a newborn. Wow, talk about doing hard things. It was extremely hard for a while and I had tons of family around to help ease that anxiety for me.

So is that it? Does service make our pain completely disappear? No, it doesn't. Service eased my pain and helped me to grieve in a way that was conducive to my life. It didn't make everything better.

Another thing I'm learning right now is that some grief just takes time. There is no magical button or healing power that takes it away in an hour, a day, or a week. Healing is a process.

Often times, I've been surprised by my reaction to things. When infertility hit, I was a freakin' mess. Seriously. I was a mess for about a year and around the time that I started to figure out my emotions, my marriage was having issues. Ha. So funny, right? Then, I dealt with that and learned how to figure those emotions out. And gosh golly, by the time I figured those emotions out and thought my marriage was fixed, I was left single. And yes, I cried. I still cry. But part of me just wanted to laugh. The twisted sense of humor in me thought this was all really funny. So...what's it gonna be next year, huh? Is this really happening all over again? How do I overcome this?

That last question is so important. A part of me wondered that for a while. How do I overcome this? I'm not strong enough to handle this! But I already knew the truth. I knew I was strong enough. You see, after the infertility and everything else that's happened in my life, I knew I could handle this. I had already done hard things. I could do them again. I certainly didn't want to and I still don't---but I can.

And I will.

Overcoming these obstacles is sometimes an icky, sticky mess because we feel lost or trapped. It's hard to find your way out with the tunnel vision we were all born with. It's hard to see the bigger picture and have faith that you'll get to your final destination someday. It sure is easy to doubt and to fear.

For me, fear is what I struggle with. Fear of inadequacy, fear of failure, fear of being alone forever, etc. These are things I deal with daily. I struggle to picture the end result of school because I don't think I'll ever be smart enough to get into a masters program or be brave enough to start my own practice someday. I fear divorce because I don't want to ruin my childrens' lives. I fear losing my friendships. I fear that one day, they'll all be gone---because I'm crazy---and I will feel even more alone.

Laurel Christensen at Time Out for Women talked a lot about our fears and not letting them run our lives. God wants us to have faith. Satan wants us to have fears. This is sometimes hard for me to decipher because I have so many fears in my life. I try so hard to trust the plan that God has for me but sometimes, I lose it.
Sometimes, it's easier to focus on today and what I want today. Sometimes, my selfish desires make it hard to focus on the future and what is best for my life as a whole. So to put my faith before my fear, I pray a whole lot. I trust a lot. I remember who I am and my divine purpose. These are things I know will help keep me on the path I want to be on. I don't always succeed. Actually, so many times in my life, I've insisted on doing things the hard way and learning from my mistakes. The good is still possible to find but it's a lot harder that way.

When we feel lost or angry, it is easy to feel like we should give up. These are the times we need God the most. Giving up is not the answer. There is always good to be found. I promise, there just is. Fight for that good. It is worth it!

My hope for this week is that you find that good I know is in your life. Find it and focus on it. Remember it. Be thankful for it.
I always feel so much better about my life when I focus on that good God has given me.

It is always there. Sometimes you just have to search harder than other times.

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