The Struggle for Hope

How quickly the winds can change and the calm go to a raging storm. That is one of the most frustrating things about this journey, there isn’t a warning that it’s going to happen it just does. Sometimes it’s just a small storm and it passes quickly, but other times it’s a big storm that doesn’t seem to pass. That is what this last week has been, a big storm. There were moments of peace, but they didn’t last long. And it seemed like I had gone from feeling in control, and like I was at the top of a mountain, to all of the sudden back at the bottom surrounded by darkness with no way out. But the thing is the whole time I am aware of how crazy it all sounds which makes it hard to comprehend. If you will keep reading with me I want to share a little glimpse of what this looks like, just share a little bit of what it has been like in my head. 

Imagine the strongest fight or flight response you have felt. Typically you can rationalize it or calm yourself. This last week has been a lot of time stuck i that mode, a racing heart, racing thoughts, feeling as if there is danger where there is none. Moments where breathing hurt from a tight chest. Those racing thoughts they run like train that is going down hill only gaining momentum and speed. Any attempt to stop them seems like nothing as the train just plows through with full force. Those thoughts for me this week were memories playing on repeat like a movie that wouldn’t stop. In the midst of the chaos it’s so easy to be consumed by it, to not see hope. It’s easy to forget how far I have come, because it feels like being back at the beginning. And as it all builds and continues sleep doesn’t happen because in the silence of the night is when it seems that my brain becomes the most active. And without sleep, filled with exhaustion it becomes harder and harder to rationalize. But I am aware enough that guilt and shame sets in and lies of how weak I must be to be back in this place I never wanted to come back to and that I wouldn’t wish on anyone. 

See, that is right where the lies win. That is where some of the stigmas and fear of not being normal set in. So, now that I have had some sleep and moments of peace let me share what the truth is in the storm. This is what I would say to me in those moments now: If you are there, if you are stuck you aren’t weak. In fact you are strong because you are still holding on. You haven’t given up and that proves that you are a fighter, an overcomer, a victor, a conqueror. There doesn’t need to be shame or guilt because it all comes from a real place of hurt, the fear comes from a hurt caused by someone else and that fear was the very thing that let you make it through and survive. Those memories, are memories and aren’t happening. They are scary and hard to have play again and again, but it isn’t happening now and the thoughts will eventually pass. They have every other time and they are going to pass this time. Most importantly, don’t give up. There are people that care, that are fighting for you when you can’t see another way out. This too will become a victory, it will become another way that your story can be used. 

So how did I go from stuck, entrapped in what seemed like total darkness without hope to a spot that I can find some hope and know this too will be a victory? Jesus. I don’t say that to be cliche, but that’s the answer, Jesus, prayer, warriors of Christ praying, grace and love. In the storm when I couldn’t see anything else there were people praying for me, fighting the spiritual battle for me, declaring the victory for me. It was love, it was someone staying up with me, reminding me of the truth, having grace and not becoming upset when I couldn’t see it but rather fighting harder for that truth. It was not being left to go through it alone, it was the prayers when I didn’t want to pray. It was the Holy Spirit showing up and breaking my heart to remind me that I can run to the arms of my Father, that I can hide there because he will keep me safe. It was being held and loved when I had no words just tears. It was being reminded that this would pass. It was being allowed  to be where I was and fully accepted. That’s how I know the fight is worth it, because others would fight when I couldn’t. That is love. That is the body of Christ, that is real relationship and it is beautiful. 

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