It's Okay to not be Okay.

(I wrote this several years back and never finished it. I think maybe it was too raw for me at the time. God brought these words back to my mind as I was speaking to a dear friend going through a difficult time. I can't help but think someone needs to hear this today so they can know it's okay to not be okay. God is big enough to handle it.)

One of the hardest things to do is admit you are not okay. It's incredibly easy to say that you're fine or good or great or whatever, but to say you are not those things.... well, that takes a bit of vulnerability. You have to be willing to meet resistance. Discomfort. Awkwardness. Apathy. Anyone relate?

Pain is weird. It does not respect your boundaries. It is not obedient. You can't make it stop or go away with a snap of your fingers. You can't throw a "Hail Mary" of verses at it hoping for fast results. There are some experiences you cannot avoid or step around. You must walk through them. Pain is one of those.

I've been studying and meditating a lot in Psalms. It's really been such a comfort to me because right now I am not okay. I'm struggling.

People don't deal well with struggling people. They are difficult to be around because well, they are struggling. In our instant gratification world, we do not do well with long-term anything. We have a window of grace that we allow people to not be okay in, and once it's reached we move on. Why? Because they are emotionally hard and draining to be around. Aren't Christians supposed to be immune to that kind of sorrow anyway?

God forgive me, how many countless times have I've been guilty of this kind of impatience?

We do a disservice and heap guilt upon the struggling when we assume that a quick verse or fast prayer will fix their problem. We also inflict deep wounds when we assume their faith must be weak or they wouldn't be hurting this way. Why are we okay with David or Job or Jeremiah or any other Bible character crying out in pain to God, but not with our fellow brothers and sisters? Why?

What needs to be understood about my current struggle is that my faith is not shattered. My faith is sure. My faith is solid. My faith is everything to me because right now my faith is all I have.

What also needs to be understood is that my faith does not take the pain away. Someone needs to hear that. I have never trusted God more in my life with my life, but that does not lessen the hurt. What it does is leave me with a solid hope I can cling to.

One of the hardest statements said to me during this time was, 'I don't like this, "you." I want the other Shelly back.' Believe me. I want her back too, but I can't seem to find her right now. This doesn't mean I have lost my joy or my hope in my God, it is just manifesting as tears and sorrow right now.

Tears for the pain. Sorrow for the hurt.

My hope and joy rest in knowing that even as I navigate this, it is not the final word for me. Why? Because just like David, in the midst of me not being okay, I have confidence in the One who is walking this road with me.

Psalm 42:5 Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so dist