pressing in on the hard days and seasons
It happens to all of us. We all have bad days. We all get in a “funk”. We all have a week where either nothing seems to go right, or we face a totally unexpected heartbreak. Maybe you and your husband can’t seem to get along. Maybe you got laid off or your kids won’t listen to you or a loved one passed away. Whatever the reason/situation is – no matter how big or small – we all have seasons of life (or days) where we kind of want to pull the covers over our heads and hope that it all just passes while we stay in bed, where it feels safe. So, today I want to talk about what to do in those seasons, and what it looks like to press in during these valleys or seasons of heartache.
I’ve been more aware of this concept of “pressing in” recently, I think because of the nature of my job. To be honest, it’s kind of hard to have a “bad day” (or go through a hard season) when my job / life is social media – engaging with you guys on instagram stories, posting pics of my #ootd, or sharing spring trends on here. But, just like you guys, I definitely have those days where I don’t feel like getting up to read my Bible or workout or do all the things on my to do list – either because of burnout or because of a personal life issue going on or a number of other reasons. And lately God’s been teaching me a lot about choosing to do what you know is right even if it’s the last thing you want to do. I’ll explain.Let’s take, for example…heartbreak or heartache, either because of a breakup or the loss of a loved one or major conflict with a spouse, etc. As women, I think our natural tendency in these types of situations (at least for me) is to isolate and hide or to numb/distract ourselves with other things – shopping, “going out”, new things, food, new relationships, etc. My personal tendency a mix of all of those things – to either stay in bed and just sulk/be sad…or to 100% try to distract myself from the situation at hand by shopping or starting a new project for the blog or something. So, tendency is to either: sulk and stay in bed, or totally distract myself, during these “hard days / seasons”. But lately God has been showing me what it looks like to not escape or numb, and instead, to press in. To press in to Him, to community, to truth…and through that, find lasting peace and joy and life.
I want to share a few tips for anyone out there going through a hard season right now. These are things that God has led me to do that allowed me to press in to Him in a truly life-giving way:
one // don’t isolate yourself. Maybe you’re embarrassed to share what you’re going through or you think no one will understand. I promise, staying stuck in your head about it and overanalyzing the situation to death, by yourself, is not healthy and won’t bring about change or hope or healing. I’m not saying you need to go call 50 of your friends and hash the situation out to death, but I would advise you to talk to one, two, maybe three close friends who you trust. Friends who you think of as wise and loving. Maybe it’s your small group at church or your sister. Maybe it’s a situation where, for respect to your husband or another person, you really can’t share every detail of your “valley”. Don’t let that hold you back from talking to someone! Maybe tell them you can’t share every detail but you just need to ask for prayer, or you just need someone to talk to. I think Satan can really get a foothold into our lives when we isolate ourselves and aren’t asking other people to speak truth and light into our lives…especially during seasons of heartache!
two // journal. I realize not everyone out there is a journal-er. Personally, I’ve loved it and consistently journaled ever since I could write…from when I was about 4 or 5 years old haha literally. I have journals from when I was 7 filled with drama about the fights my sister and I would get in over our messy room LOL. Anyway…even if you’ve never journaled before, I’d encourage you to try it out during this particularly challenging season. Sometimes, when we just word vomit everything on a page…we realize it’s not as big of a deal as we thought it was. Or, we gain clarity on a situation just by writing it all out. I also love writing out my prayers. Pour your heart out to the Lord on those pages – the good, the bad, the ugly. I like journaling prayers too because it helps me to focus on talking to God. If I don’t journal my prayers and instead just think them in my head…one second I’m praying for my husband and the next I’m making a grocery list lol. I think there’s something very therapeutic about journaling – in good times and bad! I love to just be able to put on paper “God I feel [insert emotion here] right now”…whether that’s hopeless, scared, exhausted, etc. Know that you are not alone and He hears.
three // truth truth and more truth. Like I mentioned above, we all have days or seasons of life where we don’t want to wake up early to start our days in the Word. We want to get right down to the to-do list or what we actually want to do that day. Spending time in God’s Word is always crucial for believers for so many reasons…but it is especially vital during these seasons of heartache or stress. When you’re going through heartache for whatever reason, you’re in such a vulnerable place. Without the truth from God’s Word, you will start believing lies – “this situation is hopeless”, “I am alone”, “I am not good enough”, and the lies go on and on. We need to be saturating our minds with the truth from God’s Word every single morning to protect ourselves from those lies, and to be reminded of who God is – that no matter what…He is good, He is faithful, and He is loving. Even if you only have 15 minutes in the morning – read a Psalms or a daily devotional from Jesus Calling or New Morning Mercies by Paul Tripp (see this post for some of my favorite devotionals).
The sweatshirt I’m wearing in these photos says “no rain, no flowers”. I just want to encourage any of y’all that might be going through a hard season…that the flowers are coming. Joy is coming. Maybe it’s not tomorrow, or the next day. But, the beautiful thing about God is how sure we can be of the hope we have in Him. A few of my favorite verses to cling to on my bad days or seasons of trial:
Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning. Psalms 30:5
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalms 38:14
I sought the Lord and He answered me and He delivered me from all my fears. Psalms 34:18
So, just remember…we all go through trials or heartache. If you want these valleys to grow and change you though…if you want to find joy and peace on the other side of all of this, you have to press in. I promise, you will find the Lord waiting there for you with open arms.
Thanks for reading friends! So thankful for you guys!