"Hardships have a way
of preparing ordinary people
for an extraordinary destiny."
I've been going through a historic low in my life in the last few years. I've been struggling with the debilitating symptoms of PTSD, and I've faced a lot of rejection and loss. I've had a very long season of just feeling like I am nowhere near good enough.
I've had difficult clients that make me feel like I have no business being in the food industry.
I've been wrestling with a lot of PTSD flashbacks and symptoms… and that makes me feel like a prime candidate for worst wife and mom of the year.
I've been going through a delayed grief process where the tears come rushing out during the most inconvenient moments.
I've had unspeakably awful family drama that is emotionally crippling.
I've struggled through secondary infertility. It has felt as if God was rejecting the type of mother I am by not giving me another baby.
…just to name a few. The list is actually a lot longer.
I've also walked through lower lows with some very dear friends, and I feel guilty for struggling so hard with my lows that aren't nearly as low as theirs. The prayer on my heart over and over has been "God, please forgive me for not being better and stronger than I am. No matter how hard I kick to swim up to the surface, I keep falling further and further downward. I'm drowning Lord, and I'm so sorry."
It's not something we Christians tend to talk about publicly, the struggle. Even when we do, we talk about the grind we're going through, and then we follow it with some cliché to make us sound more "officially Christian". Yes, it's hard that my loved one died, but they're in a better place. Yes, I lost my job, but God has a plan. Yes, I'm stressed to the max, but God won't dish out more than I can handle. I'm not saying that looking for peace and claiming faith is wrong, but it is wrong to suffer alone.
We tend to think that depression or struggles undermines our Christian identity. We think that we can't be followers of God if we're broken or damaged. That is the farthest thing from the truth! Paul talked about his the glory of God was made perfect in weakness. Suffering is the greatest method for giving God's people compassion.
The best biblical earthly examples of God's love were people who suffered greatly. Someone who has never suffered is usually crippled in terms of having empathy. In scripture, the "crazy/broken/lost/sad" people were the ones God chose to do great things:
Job cursed the day he was born.
Elijah begged God to take his life.
Hannah was almost crushed by years of infertility.
Paul declared himself the worst of sinners.
David, a man after God's own heart, was always questioning why he was so downcast.
So many biblical characters and modern Christian leaders have triumphed over affliction, and have used it to literally change the world. A couple of modern examples include C.S. Lewis and Louie Giglio. People who have the biggest hearts to heal are those who have been broken. It's how God works, y'all. There's no shame in the struggle. In fact, those struggles can be the seed for the next wave of great world change, if we let them.
There truly is such glory in weakness.