I don’t have a lot to say in this post, just some encouragement for those experiencing a tough week, month, semester, year, what-have-you.
I’ve had a rough go of it this semester. This past summer, too. In fact, to be honest without much exaggeration, these past months have been the toughest months of my life. Maybe it’s due to the pressure of “having” to figure out what I’m going to do for the rest of my life, since I’m graduating soon. Maybe it’s because senior-itis is hitting, and I can’t find motivation to put forth effort in things I care about like school or soccer. Maybe it’s because I broke up with my girlfriend recently or maybe it’s this past summer catching up with me (click here to read about my summer.) Whatever the reason, I’m having a tough time enjoying life right now; however…
Everything is going to be OK. No, really. It is. I promise. Yes, everything will be OK. It may not feel that way now, trust me, I know. The journey of whatever you’re dealing with, whatever I’m dealing with, whatever terrible and crappy thing that is going on in our lives may be long. And difficult. And exhausting at times, and there may seem to be no end to the tunnel. But everything will be OK.
Because of that truth, the truth that everything is going to be OK, we don’t have to be OK as of right now. It is, in fact, OK to freely admit that we are not OK. At least, that’s what I have found to be true. My hope and peace in this world is not found in my own stability or even my own emotional well-being. It is found in something far greater than that. Therfore I can admit that I feel terrible and I feel depressed. I can admit that I am not OK right now, because even when I am not OK, everything will still be OK.
That’s my hope for the church and the community of people I’m constantly with. I want to be surrounded by a people who recognize their own messiness and are not afraid of putting it out there for the world to see. I have learned that being true and honest to how I am feeling is one of the best steps to take to deal with whatever stinky thing is happening to me.
You might be saying right about now, “Seth, you have no idea what I’m going through. Where do you find this peace? What basis do you have for this whole ‘everything is going to be OK?’ That’s so cliche and it sounds like a coping mechanism for difficult things…”
Well, maybe it is a bit cliche to say that everything is going to be OK, but Christianity is so much more than a coping mechanism; it’s a living mechanism. We are able to truly live as we were made to live when we don’t have to be OK all the time.
As I mentioned earlier, my internal peace does not come from my own “okay-ness.” America, however, seems to put a high priority on being happy and being OK. Fortunately, I find rest in something more stable than happiness and “okay-ness.” My internal peace, as a Christian, comes from Christ’s death on the cross and his resurrection. Since he really died and he really rose again, I have the ability to really believe that everything is going to be OK when all reality seems to point in the opposite direction.
You may not believe in the whole “Jesus-thing,” or religion in general. I don’t know where you are, dear reader; however, I want to ask you a few questions: Where do you find your deep peace? What is that one thing you are holding on to whenever everything else fails? Is it your own “Okayness?” Is it someone else’s “Okayness” or stability? Is it your own intellectualism, hard work, effort? Is it America, your nation? What is it? And will that one thing really last you out? Will it really stand up against everything this life throws at it? Maybe whatever that thing is will be able to stand up, but if I were you, I would make sure of it before life starts chucking things your way.
To conclude: I personally have found something that allows me to freely admit I am not OK. I can live in a state of turmoil, when my soul rages and froths like a stormy sea, when I lose my heading in life and I don’t know where to turn. I can weather that storm because I have found a rock in that stormy sea that is higher than I and higher than any wave, and I can cling to that rock even when all around me seems chaos. After all, it’s not about me; it never was.
Everything is going to be OK.
S/O to Virtue in the Wasteland Podcast for the idea.
Check them out below: