If you’ve watched the news at any point over the last few weeks, you’re already aware of the devastation that Hurricane Harvey has inflicted upon the Gulf Coast, as well as all of the racial turmoil that is plaguing this nation. On a personal level, so many of my friends and family are in their own individual crises: stressed out about finances, career failure and frustration; their children, and their spouses.
My own life is no bed of roses-just this year alone I’ve faced a large increase in my fixed rate mortgage, due to a bank error that no one caught when we closed 3 years ago; the struggles of being a new mom (because I’ll be honest…the maternal instinct did not just magically kick in for me like it seems to do for other moms! Everyday has been a learning process, and I’m not making straight A’s if you catch my drift!), and the daily challenges of my super stressful career (Child Protective Services). It seems as though myself, and all those I love, are going through what has been described as “the dark night of the soul”. We’re all sitting and asking “Are you there God? Cuz I don’t hear you right now.”
In times like this, I have to put my total and absolute faith in God…even if the situation seems hopeless; even if my prayers seem unheard and unanswered; even if it seems that everyone around me is being blessed, while my life is in shambles. God said “He would never leave us or forsake us” (Hebrews 13:5) and because of that, I have to stand on His Word and know that even in my low place, He is always with me. Here are some of the things that I do when I feel my faith is failing me, and when I need an answer from God.
1. Make Time for God: We are all busy people. Most of us juggle full time careers, full time classes; and parenthood. Sometimes, I come home from work and get right in my pajamas, because I’m so exhausted! But I find that when I don’t carve out the time to read the Word, and meditate on the promises of God, I have a harder time dealing with the ups and downs of life. Start small…talk to God in the car on your daily commute to and from work; take the time to read the Word before bed; sneak away to a quiet room for uninterrupted prayer time; push away from the dinner table for fasting and prayer. All of these things will feed your Spirit, and strengthen your faith.
2. Reflect: Everytime something bad happens, we often feel as though nothing could ever be worse than what we are dealing with at the moment. But when we look back over our lives, we can see that every time we faced what we believed at the time to be an insurmountable obstacle, God never failed us, and has proven Himself time and time again to be greater than our problems. Reflecting on all the times that God has given us the victory will help us to face our current hardships with steadfast faith, and assurance that our mountains can be moved!
3. Surround Yourself with Loved Ones: I’ll go on and admit that whenever I’m down, I tend to retreat inside myself and pull away from everyone. After all, I don’t want to burden anyone with my problems. But I am learning that being able to be open and honest about my feelings with my loved ones is healing and cathartic! The people who love you can help you carry your heavy baggage. We are told to cast our cares upon Jesus (1 Peter 5:7), so go to Him first, and then surround yourself with those who can offer good advice, help you manage your issues, or simply make you laugh so hard that you forget your problems!
4. Monitor Your Input: Simply said, be careful what you watch and listen to, when you’re down. If you are feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, or depressed, now is not the time to watch 13 Reasons Why, horror movies, or anything on Lifetime! You have to feed your Spirit with positivity and productive imagery. You also need to take heed to what you are listening to. Don’t stand around listening to negative office gossip, or taking phone calls from that cousin or friend who always has a sob story. You need to guard your soul and mind, because you’re in a vulnerable place.
I hope that these tips have helped you! Please feel free to leave your own tips in the comments section below! You never know who you will bless!
This post is dedicated to the victims and survivors of Hurricane Harvey. My prayers are with you all at this time. For all of my friends, family, readers and followers who are going through a tough time, I pray that you feel a comforting touch from God, and that your dark night will soon give way to morning!
See ya next time!