Real Talk? This past week has been beyond trying. I had a conversation with a dear friend of mine who, while acknowledging that my exhaustion and disappointment were real, challenged me not to get so caught up in the anger or loss of this time and push ahead to both look at the positive and resolve myself to purpose.
I heard her…. but not really. Not fully.
A couple hours later, I was prepping to find a positive topic to cover on this blog and instead found myself googling “A time for anger” in an effort to almost justify me taking this time to be upset or wallow before moving myself to being more positive and forward thinking. Yes, I committed to this blog to find and continue to share positive stories, but I never said it wasn’t a challenge for me at times.
But if you are paying attention – and I am trying to – God speaks. Today, when I did that google search, I instead came up with the following:
Ecclesiastes 3New Living Translation (NLT)
A Time for Everything
3 For everything there is a season,
a time for every activity under heaven.
2 A time to be born and a time to die.
A time to plant and a time to harvest.
3 A time to kill and a time to heal.
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
4 A time to cry and a time to laugh.
A time to grieve and a time to dance.
5 A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones.
A time to embrace and a time to turn away.
6 A time to search and a time to quit searching.
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
7 A time to tear and a time to mend.
A time to be quiet and a time to speak.
8 A time to love and a time to hate.
A time for war and a time for peace.
9 What do people really get for all their hard work? 10 I have seen the burden God has placed on us all. 11 Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. 12 So I concluded there is nothing better than to be happy and enjoy ourselves as long as we can. 13 And people should eat and drink and enjoy the fruits of their labor, for these are gifts from God.
14 And I know that whatever God does is final. Nothing can be added to it or taken from it. God’s purpose is that people should fear him. 15 What is happening now has happened before, and what will happen in the future has happened before, because God makes the same things happen over and over again.
The Injustices of Life
16 I also noticed that under the sun there is evil in the courtroom. Yes, even the courts of law are corrupt! 17 I said to myself, “In due season God will judge everyone, both good and bad, for all their deeds.”
18 I also thought about the human condition—how God proves to people that they are like animals. 19 For people and animals share the same fate—both breathe and both must die. So people have no real advantage over the animals. How meaningless! 20 Both go to the same place—they came from dust and they return to dust. 21 For who can prove that the human spirit goes up and the spirit of animals goes down into the earth? 22 So I saw that there is nothing better for people than to be happy in their work. That is our lot in life. And no one can bring us back to see what happens after we die.
I read it and then I thought of my friend’s words this morning, my husband’s words all week, my coworker’s words yesterday, and my other girlfriend’s counsel the day before. God has been giving me the same message over and over and over from different sources all week along and, instead of listening, I have been vacillating between anger and acceptance and hopelessness and selfishness all week.
Today, I am making the decision to LISTEN – to challenge myself to really LISTEN and ACCEPT healing perspectives beyond my own, to not trust my own devices and have so much faith in my own knowledge and perspective alone. I don’t know everything. That’s a simple sentiment, but humbling and hard to swallow at times.
I am going to continue to make a concerted effort to inundate myself again with positive news and step away from social media a bit like I did before (outside of blogs like these, of course). I have so many questions, so many concerns, so many fears. I feel weary. I feel annoyed. I feel faithless in people. I owe it to myself and to my friends and family to take root in God’s promise and push ahead… so I can appreciate the beauty that is THIS life. We only get one and these feelings, while human, are not divine… and there’s a little bit of God in all of us to tap into. Wish me well and I wish you well too! God never said it would be easy, but with Him, I have faith it will all be worth it.