I have a friend who I think is wise beyond his years (I don’t really tell him that because I don’t want his head to get too big) and for the past few months he’s had to deal with the brunt of my life stresses. Any time I was worried or sad about anything he was really helpful and a lot of the time he would tell me that I could have things a lot worse. This didn’t sit too well with me at first but tonight it seems to have finally made some sort of impact on me.
For the past few days I have found myself in a really good mood, totally in love with Jesus and pretty content with things. But last night something triggered all my fears and worries again and today I haven’t been so okay about things. Tonight it all came to a head and I found myself in a foul mood again, bursting into tears and, not angry at God, but just asking Him when this would end.
But instead of moping around for too long, for the first time, I really thought about how much worse my life could be. I thought about how good it is: I have a home, where I live with both my parents, I pay very little to live here, I have a job, I have friends, I live in a democracy, food and clean water is not scarce, I have a degree, I’m learning to drive… The list is endless. Everything I need is available to me and a lot of the things that I want are attainable. The best part is that I am loved by an amazing God who would do anything to keep me safe, who watches over and protects me every day and who doesn’t let me do anything alone, who will
never desert me, who fills me with hope constantly, who will never be far away, and who died so I could be forgiven and know Him.
I know it’s hard to do this, to see the good in the pain, because I don’t believe it’s wrong to let the bad things in your life make you sad. There’s a great quote in The Perks of Being a Wallflower (the book, at least, I’m not sure about the film) about this:
I think that if I ever have kids, and they are upset, I won’t tell them that people are starving in China or anything like that because it wouldn’t change the fact that they were upset. And even if somebody else has it much worse, that doesn’t really change the fact that you have what you have.
But, keeping all this in mind, I think that we’re all so ready to wallow. As Claire Colburn (Kirsten Dunst) says in Elizabethtown,
Sadness is easy because it’s surrender. I say, make time to dance alone with one hand waving free.
And that’s just it, isn’t it? It’s easy to sit and think, “My life is terrible, everything is awful”, but it’s not easy to turn around and say, “You know what, I’m going to look at the good in my life.” It has taken me seven months to be able to do this, and it was no easy feat. Again, I emphasise that this doesn’t mean that your pain is invalid, but it will give you freedom from it and enable you to live your life and hopefully motivate others.
The thing is, God doesn’t change, no matter how we feel. I have spent too long blaming Him for all my problems and I can’t even begin to imagine how much that hurt Him. I wrote a post on how God loves me a few weeks ago entitled ‘Why Romance isn’t Dead’ and after really considering all these things I understand that everything I said while angry probably tore His heart in two. He has so many good things planned for me. He can’t stop the bad because He allows us freewill, a great sign of a loving God, but He showers me in blessings constantly and that, putting everything else aside, is more than enough to prove to me that my life is good every single day.