The best thing I can say about April is that it is over. It started with fraud on one account and ended with fraud on another account. In between were a wide variety of challenges – both expected and unexpected – and too numerous to outline here.
Nothing life threatening but just a whole lot of things that added up to a seriously discouraged and frustrated me for most of the month. Some of the challenges were mine personally and some were faced by people who are very near and dear to me.
On the other side of my difficult month I would like to share a couple of thoughts that may help you if you are feeling like you are on an uphill climb that just keeps getting steeper.
Do something for someone else when things get especially tough for you. Doing this takes your mind off your own troubles – send a card the old-fashioned way, offer to babysit, drive someone to an appointment, volunteer somewhere. A break from our own self-absorption is a wonderful thing.
Take care of yourself even when it is the last thing you feel like doing - especially when it is the last thing you feel like doing. Make a healthy meal since your body needs good fuel to function effectively. Exercise so your body can release endorphins which is God’s natural mood lifter. Make sleep a priority since everything looks better when you are not sleep deprived.
Fill your mind with good things – God’s word, great books, edifying music and inspirational movies (Miracle, Secretariat, Apollo 13 & Hidden Figures are some personal favorites.) Take a break from social media which has been proven to increase depression, as well as feelings of loneliness, isolation and discontentment.
Be transparent and let others know you are struggling. The reality is we are not going to receive the hugs or prayers or the listening ear we need if we do not make people aware of how steep our hill has gotten. God created us for relationship with Him and with each other. If you do not have the support system that you need ask God to reveal himself to you in a very real way and ask him to provide the friends and support you need.
Remember that God has overcome the World. John 16:33 says, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take courage! I have overcome the world” 1 John 4:4 tells us, “You, little children, are from God and have overcome them, because greater is he who is in you than he who is in the world.”
Understand God’s manna is new every morning. As with the Israelites in the desert He gives us just what we need for each day. Lamentations 3:22-23 tells us, “The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for his compassions never fail. They are new each morning; great is thy faithfulness.”
When your hill gets steep and the climb gets harder please know that you are not alone. God is with you every step of the way.