Having a hard year? It's not over. Here's strength for the struggle.
Normally on Mondays, I like to give you an update on what's going on with The Create + Restore Brand. But this week just feels different to me. It's the end of the year, and for many people, this might feel like the end of a bad nightmare. Maybe the year didn't go the way you planned. You didn't get the promotion you though you deserved. You didn't find the love you hoped you would find. You didn't lose the amount of weight you wanted to lose. And every time you try to take 2 steps forward, you feel like life pushes you one step back. Is that you? Or is it just me?
In the past, my first reaction would be to throw in the towel. To simply give up. But what if the point of life is to overcome the odds stacked against you? What if, in giving up, we miss the meaning behind our struggle, and miss those golden opportunities we get to help someone else who might be struggling, too? Our struggles aren't our own. They are there strengthen us and to grow us, yes, but they are also there to benefit others. This morning, my son and I were having coffee. We were almost out of creamer and I knew that I had one more person in the house that would want creamer, too. So my son and I used milk instead. He was upset. He said, "Mom, I use creamer, too." And I understood that, and the easy thing would have been to let him have the last. But I said, "Yes, but we can use milk, they can't." We need to bear the struggles that we've been given so that someone else doesn't have to. Because maybe they can't bear the struggles like we can. Maybe we are strong enough to help others avoid pain. Maybe we have just the amount of strength and determination someone else needs to learn how to survive.
I know that this doesn't make things easier for you right now. But you are stronger than you know and more resilient than you could ever imagine. If you weren't, you wouldn't be reading this. So I want you to survive this. And then when you get to end of this chapter in your life, I want you to share it with someone else. The good, the bad and the ugly. Because that other person needs to know that they aren't alone. And they need to hear how more people, like you, got through it.
I want to leave you with 5 Bible verses I turn to when I'm facing difficult situations. As you're reading them, really let the truth of them sink in. Don't believe your past. Don't even believe your present. Stand on what the future holds and keep pushing. Want more of my Bible verses? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Not sure why Bible verses would even work for you? Read the Roman Road first. And if you really feel hopeless, please contact a counseling ministry or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. There's a team of people out there that want to see you succeed, including me.
1. Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. (Joshua 1:9)
2. I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. (Psalm 121:1-2)
3. Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (James 1:2-4)
4. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him and he will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
5. Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. (Hebrews 12:1)