My worst days exist within the confines of my mind – trapped and bouncing around like a bird who just lost her freedom.
I’ve always prided my mind on being a glowing source of good things – stirring up love and grace and beauty and spilling over for others to share. I thought I was strong and that my joy could get me out of any situation – no matter how hard or locked up.
But that’s not always true these days. Big questions and high stress and a combination of a million other factors sometimes leave me in the dark – clawing for a way out but unable to find light.
They generally don’t have a solid shape, these doubts and fears and insecurities. They’re hard to explain and therefore hard to get out of—infecting me like a slow leak with anxiety.
They suck the light away from my world, and the joy from within my heart. They show up and convince me that my world isn’t good enough and that I’m certainly not good enough in it.
Doubt and fear and shame and worry are the tapes that play over and over in my mind, making my eyes bleary and unreliable windows through which to see my world and myself inside of it.
And in those moments, I just want to climb out. I want to be able to smile, a big, happy smile, and to see the joy and beauty and love that’s sprinkled throughout my world. But in the hardest moments, I find myself completely incapable of finding light.
I wonder, in my darkest moments, if I’ve always been this way. And in even darker moments, I wonder if I’m stuck this way forever, trapped beneath the weight of my spinning thoughts, and deep, earth-quaking worry.
I love telling stories, and unabashedly prefer stories of victory. My favorite kinds are the ones where God shows up and saves the day – especially in the moments where the situation is the most dire.
I like neat stories – ones that resolve with a fully understood lesson at the end. I like stories that wrap up quickly, that don’t leave you hanging for more than a well-placed breath.
I don’t like the story in between.
I don’t like waiting for the rescue, and not being able to repair it on my own. I don’t like problems that are outside of my control, or situations that can’t be cured with a dash of positive thinking. And that’s why I have such a hard time with the story I’ve spent the last several months writing.
This is the story of a woman who does not have it all together – the story of a beauty-chasing optimist that some days can barely breathe under a pile of negativity and fear.
It’s the story of learning to trust God all over again, especially with the moments that seem so big and so scary.
It’s the story of asking God to come to my rescue. And it’s the story of waiting and the process in between.
I don’t know why this season has been so hard, but it has.
I’m doing everything I can – praying and repeating what’s true, replacing my ‘what ifs’ with ‘what IS’ at ever turn. I’m doing my best while I wait for the victory that I know is coming, and insisting that joy has to be around her somewhere – even when it feels impossible to find.
We go through seasons, you and I. We have days that feel like victory is parading through our minds with floats and confetti. We also have days that feel dark and scary, with death at every turn.
But regardless of the season, God is good. God is good and victory is near. Even and especially when it doesn’t feel like it.
Where do you need to see victory in your life? What do you do in your darkest moments?