It’s so funny how we are expected to operate in the world today. Everything is all good. “Always wear your happy face…never let them see you sweat.” We’re ungrateful or selfish if we’re not all good. Our marriages are perfect, our country is thriving, and our children are perfect. Money is up, we got this! Do you know what’s also up? Suicide and school shootings. Addiction and domestic abuse. Children are being exploited and trafficked, and governments are being destroyed by ego and power. Need I say more?
The reality is, sometimes, we are just NOT in a good space and that is completely normal. The major problem in culture today is that truth is not revealed or accepted often enough. We are afraid to take off the masks that hide our true identities and we put on all the “stuff” to make it appear that everything is completely fine, like we were born this way and just deal with it, but we are hurting internally and pushing things down as if they are not there. It’s causing a spiral of behaviors that are often corrupt and unnatural.
The good news is that there is a way to see reality and be at peace in it. No, everything is not always the best, and no, not everything is all bad all the time. There are beautiful moments in life and there are challenging times. God can and will use it ALL!
Let It Up and Out
The only way we can deal with trauma, abuse, anger, stress, lack, and anything else is by allowing it to come up. Once we allow it up, what’s next? Listed below are a few practical ways to begin your journey to wholeness, healing, and deliverance from those things that have held you captive or in a place of not being okay.
- Allow it to come out. Sometimes thoughts will come up from past experiences, hurt, or even seeing things around us today that burden us. We begin “busy work” trying to push the hurt and pain down deep so that it can’t come up. Chances are, if we practice hiding instead of coping, the behaviors we exhibit, will make unresolved trauma evident.
- Don’t be ashamed. You need to know that Jesus has paid the penalty for all of us and that means that old things are passed away. If you have done something in your past that you are not proud of, or that you feel ashamed of, understand that a big part of your journey will be saying goodbye to yesterday as you move forward today. Also, everything is not your fault. If something was done to you or spoken to you that was not in alignment with God’s Word, speak this with me… “It was not my fault that _____________ happened to me and I will no longer wear the shame of it! I am free in Jesus’ Name!”
- Ask questions. I know there is a huge stigma associated with asking God questions however, IT IS OKAY TO ASK YOUR FATHER QUESTIONS! Don’t be afraid or feel like you are bothering Jesus by asking questions.
- Pray, confess, and repent. Prayer is our telephone to God. No, you don’t have to come up with any structured plan for prayer. I started my journey simply by speaking to Him like I would a friend. I cursed back then, so a few “not so pretty” words would even come out during prayers (out of raw emotion). I was authentically myself and Jesus knew me well enough to know my heart. Come with a pure mind, heart, and pure intention before God, he will begin to develop your prayer life. The more you pray, the more you will be sharpened. Use this time to confess and repent. Pray over not only yourself but over the world. Pray over the people that are committing crimes and those being hurt by them. Remember, this is so much bigger than us, but it is all (good and bad) used for God’s glory.
- Filter what you are consuming. Examples are the news, music, and media. The news cycles its stories. If you listen to the news every second of the day, you are consuming all that content repeatedly (I’ll let you guess how that affects your brain. What if you took that same time being intimate with God?). Sometimes your feelings can be affected by what you hear or what you’re around.
- Count what’s good more than what’s not. The truth of the matter is that there will always be something to work on, to pray for, and to heal from. ALWAYS! The importance of thinking about those things that are good will help you focus on those areas more than focusing on what isn’t.
To sum it all up, this is a reminder that it’s completely normal to NOT be okay. Our mental and spiritual well-being is vital to our survival. You will have moments where you are wonderful, and you will have moments where a thought will try and creep up to remind you of your past or present circumstances. When that happens, follow the above instruction and trust that God will lead you to peace. Always remember… weeping endures for A night, but JOY comes in the morning!