Some blogs are harder to write.
It is much easier to put on a brave face and act like you have it all together.
I was thinking of that last week when I posted some lovely pictures of my birthday, and truly there were some beautiful moments which I was grateful for. Social media can be wonderful but it doesn’t always tell the whole story.
I was also struggling with pain and discouragement. Not that one airs dirty laundry, which is not helpful. However, I am realizing that many are having a difficult time right now. Mental health struggles are on the rise, even as Covid counts continue to go up.
The pandemic has created a culture of stress. Depression, anxiety, worry, overdoses, isolation, grief and at times despair, has coloured our landscape, even as we try to weather the storm.
Yes, there have also been the positives, the creativity, compassion, sharing of resources as people have shown courage, restraint, and helped one another. I’m sensing these days though, a weariness that many are experiencing, perhaps even hiding.
As I’ve faced my own chronic pain issues, and sadness, there is a determination to be honest, kind to myself and others. So often if we are depressed, we see it as a failure. We don’t talk about it. It is isolating.
I know I’m not alone. There is a fallacy that people with faith should be joyful all the time. This simply is not true, and creates guilt.
I’ve found that finding someone to talk it through is most helpful. Sharing sorrows cuts them in half, so Shakespeare said! Getting help from a doctor at times is necessary. This does not give me a failing grade, but allows me to accept my own humanity and limitations.
We are unique and the help we find might be vastly different. I find art and beauty and music are wonderful antidotes for pain. Words of faith often bring hope to my weary soul. A song can lift the spirits.
This weeks artwork was particularly meaningful to me. It comes from Psalm 139, one of my favourite psalms which speaks of how we are loved and formed. There is a wonderful verse which states “He will hold you fast”. What it means, I believe, is that God will hold you close.
We don’t always feel Gods closeness. But we can trust in it. Another Psalm I love is chapter 13, which is a lament. Laments are helpful to read when one is cast down or discouraged. The Psalmist pours out his woes, and then states… “but I trust in Your unfailing love”.
I have listened to two renditions of these words in song this past week, and it has been uplifting. “He will hold you fast” by Matt Merker can be found on YouTube as well as Brian Doerksen’s Psalm 13.
I believe God is faithful. As I’ve chosen words for each day, for this season of Lent, they become living messages that lift my spirits. “He will hold me fast” was my phrase for one day, a reality I could trust in. On that day, I was struggling with some pain, and had an honest conversation with God.
I got home, opened my mail and found the most encouraging note and gift. It gave me strength to carry on.
Are you weary, discouraged? You are not alone. Reach out, and talk to someone. Talk to God. He will hold you fast.