Struggling with life

“The reality is not everyone wants to hear our messes or wounds. Not everyone will care or understand. Not everyone will believe or support us. But that doesn’t make our stories any less true or important.” Trudy Den Hoed at Freed to Fly

Trudy’s blog post this week challenged me. I want to hide away my struggles, bury them under smiles and justifications. When I find myself talking about a current challenges, there is an underlying shame that I’ve caused this messiness and don’t deserve to be accepted. Will this person that I am sharing with still accept me? Will they see me as bad mother? Or cold and unsympathetic? Or with too much mess in my life to be bothered with?

Shame too, comes from another question. Who am I to be admitting to these challenges when I have so much? And then the guilt. My struggles shouldn’t matter and don’t deserve attention. Is this self-pity?

Ironically, my purpose to write is to create connections. To create connections so one does not feel alone in the world. Trudy writes, “And even if our stories aren’t received by all, there just may be someone who needs to hear it and will feel less alone and more understood.”

Her words are what I needed to read. Are they words you also needed, dear readers?

Feeling less confident

Although I know that in life we will have struggles, the current pandemic environment has amplified my uncertainty about the future. Where once I felt like I was understanding how to navigate the bumpy and curved roads, now I grip the wheel with less confidence. I do hold on to hope for better days to come, particularly with my job that pays the bills and with my special-needs son whose defiant behaviour is again escalating.

Feeling Fearful

But I am fearful.

Although God calls us not to fear–I fear, my friends. I fear for my future, and I fear my son’s behaviour will damage his new living arrangements in a supportive group home.

I fear I am not good enough at my job and not a good enough mother, regardless of the current environment, to turn things around.

There have been days I struggle to stay awake. Somedays I loose that struggle and find myself covering myself up in a quilt and closing my eyes when hours of daylight still remain.

Better days

There also have been days with hikes in the mountains, neighbourhood walks with girlfriends, and star-gazing by campfires. There have been days with discovering new places among creeks and valleys and a first climb to the top of an old rusty grain bin to watch the deer in the distance and the hundreds of Canada Geese resting in a farmers field. There have been precious days, too, with the delightful laughter of grandchildren.

It’s these days that help keep me mentally okay. Family, friends and nature–oh do I need you even though I may hide behind smiles. Or be too proud to show that I need anyone. For to need seems just too vulnerable. What if you leave and never return?

Keeping it raw and real, I have no answers right now, wisdom or advise. I don’t want to water-down the reality with a feel-good meme or cliché. What I hope though, is you know that you are not alone in your struggles and even if your struggle is different from another’s, someone (maybe even me) understands how darn hard and messy it is. You are not alone.

Lord, I come, I confess
Bowing here I find my rest
Without You I fall apart
You’re the One that guides my heart.

Matt Maher, Lord I Need You.

Another blogging friend, Rolain Peterson, is releasing his first devotional book this week, Rise Above Fear, Choosing Faith in Fear-Filled World. Rolain’s post are real and encouraging, and steeped in God’s truth. I hope you’ll take a moment to discover his place, Kingspeech. Considering the fears I have been having, I see God’s hand in the timing of his book release!

Also, my writing group, Writers’ Cafe, is working through the final edits of their story collection, Hope Connections. To find out more and be the first to hear of the latest news on the Fall 2020 release, visit Inspiring Hope In You.

How are you are seeing God’s hand in your life right now? If you’re feeling alone in your struggles, please let me know if there is something we, as a community here, can help you with.

28 thoughts on “Struggling with life

  1. The past several months, I’ve felt God’s hand all over my life. With all that going on in the world, He provides me with hope and peace. Life is so much harder when we’re angry or upset all of the time. I’m thankful for the faith God has instilled in me to believe better days are ahead. Love your gorgeous photos, Lynn! xo

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I appreciate this post, and your open heart that shines through it, Lynn. Our struggles are real, whatever form they take. Some days I feel alone and even spiral for a time. Other days I am stronger and think I have something to offer. The reality is that in both our despair and our mountaintops we have gifts to offer. It’s a lesson I need to learn again and again. 😊

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Oh Lynn, my heart is overwhelmed to tears. Thank you for being raw and real. There are more people than you realize who need to hear your struggles. The questions you ask yourself resonate in my own heart. Your fears and concerns are so genuine. I am hearing of more who are struggling emotionally and mentally because of this pandemic and all that’s going on in this world. They don’t always dare to share that, because often in Christian circles it’s considered a lack of faith. It’s sad. I had to smile as I imagined you climbing that old rusty grain bin to watch the deer and geese. I would have loved to be watching with you. 🙂 You have a gift of being able to capture the beauty and power of our Creator in your photos. They always refresh my spirit. And it was so good to hear that song again. Love and blessings of strength and peace in your journey! Also guidance and grace in knowing how to deal with your son’s defiant behavior! May you and he feel the arms of Jesus carrying you through!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Trudy! I’m glad you posted Monday as I had something else planned but the words came differently, inspired by yours. I hadn’t my camera but next time I am in that place, I will take a picture of that rusty grain bin that now holds small left over pieces of farm life! And behind it a breaking down shed that houses a columbine. The beautiful prairie country life… Have a wonderful day!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I wanted to “like” your post, Lynn, but couldn’t, so I thought I’d leave a comment instead. You are so right, the pandemic has escalated our already difficult journeys, and brought our struggles down to the very basics, at times. Step by step, day by day, that is all we can do. We know we are not alone, but it is good to hear it sometimes! And to know that we don’t have to do this alone, too. ❤

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hi Kathy! Yes, to know that we don’t have to do life alone is so important. May we reach out to our godly, safe friends and family knowing we will not be judged but loved. A step at a time is what we can do, with Jesus walking each step with us.

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  5. Lynn, thank you for visiting my blog, Clothed with Joy. Your visit to me enabled me to find you. I so appreciate your honesty and vulnerability. Too often, we Christians can put on our self-righteous masks and appear to the world like we have it all together. Where is the encouragement in that? Perfect people just make others feel even worse. So, we use our blogging platforms to share the good, the bad, and the ugly, and God uses our words to minister to others. Like you did!!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Lynn, thank you for your openness and vulnerability. I have felt some of those same feelings too yet, like you say, we don’t often feel right about sharing our struggle. Like we’re not living up to the perfect model of mother, employee, leader, [place your word here] that we think we should. It helps a lot to know I’m not alone in this. So, thank you! And P.S. your beautiful photography always stops me in my tracks.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Thank you for this. People feel alone more than ever now. Masks, social distancing, fear of the unknown, violence, political upheaval, all contribute to and exemplify every other struggle.
    We must share our struggles with them, so they will feel comfortable to share theirs with us. And then we can point them to Jesus who sees them all and gives mercy.

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  8. I think that often just admitting our fears can be the beginning of being released from them. Fortunately the Lord has given me faith through this whole thing to believe it wouldn’t be as bad as they predicted and that better, though maybe much different, times are coming. I have spent much more time in prayer through this, and I believe that has been a great help. I’m retired, so have not had the concern of losing a job. I am single and have no husband or children to be concerned about, either. Just me and the Lord. Of course I have friends, and I have a lot of support from my pastor and his wife. Also, just before the lock-down first started, I had a vision and a revelation from scripture which were very encouraging. I wrote a couple of blog posts about them. So I have hung on to them believing the Lord is at work on behalf of His people through this time and in spite of this time. This, too, has come–to pass. I pray that His word will encourage and strengthen you in every area of your life, and that through your honesty in sharing you will find new freedom.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Diane! Your words are very comforting. Sharing your vision from God is very encouraging. It is so true that this will pass and we can choose to grow through it including closer to God. And thank you for your prayers!

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  9. Hey Lynn
    Thank you for sharing this post which was raw, real and authentic.
    Knowing I am not alone in the trials and challenges I am facing was a good reminder and encouragement to me.
    And thank you for your support of my book release.
    Bless you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are welcome Rolain, I pray a blessing on your book release. I hope to see it maybe in a paper format available on Amazon in the future? I can see it being a good book to discuss during a weekly bible study, too–discussing what we learned and how to apply during the devotions we did that week.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Thank you for highlighting ways we can fight our own uncertainties and fears, with: hope of better days to come, a nap in a favorite quilt (!), time outdoors reveling in God’s creation, finding joy (as in the laughter of grandchildren), honesty with God (“Lord, I confess, without You I’d fall apart”), and rest in Him. Such a beautiful, heart-touching post, Lynn! Thank you for the balm of your words.

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  11. Ahhh, Lynn. I so appreciate your vulnerability here. I’ve had all these thoughts. I’ve been the one who takes a step back from the group of friends, because if they really knew me—knew the stuff I’m struggling with—they might step right out of my life. Fear is such a vindictive, lying enemy.

    I’m so thankful for the safe people in my life. I’m thankful for the beauty of the place where I live. And I’m thankful for the many glimpses of God’s fingerprints I find if I just take time to look.

    Thank you for sharing your photographs. They are truly breathtaking!

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  12. Jeanne, you remind me how important it is to have safe people in our lives and also to be a safe person for others! Yes, fear is a lying enemy! May God be showing the beauty of the place you live now and forever more.

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