the struggle is real

bear one another’s burdens.

but how much, and for how long?

when do you stop thinking about them to think about yourself?

when does it become “unhealthy?”

when does love need to become “tough?”or is that even supposed to be a thing among us?

we’re just given the general guidelines. love one another. love yourself. turn your cheek. forgive your enemies. go the extra, thankless mile. be kind, patient, humble and gracious. be like Him. be living, breathing sacrifices every day. but then here we are, in a world full of wounded, broken people. and here i am…trying to find the balance between opinions, emotions, circumstances and Truth.

i’ve spent the last few years pushing myself through recovery, trying to make sense of life and love after having been subjected to so much perverseness and cruelty. here i am, having had to learn how to take care of and love myself, having had to erect boundaries and make sure i’m not letting other’s define my happiness and who i am.  lately, though, it’s harder to draw that line. harder to see those boundaries. this past year, i’ve seen people i care about hurt and struggle beyond my capacity or understanding to help them. i have felt so helpless. i’ve been deeply depressed. i’m continuously frustrated. i’ve thought myself foolish and a naive. sometimes i’ve known how to respond, but that hasn’t always made it any easier to act. other times, i haven’t known the answer and just tried acting on what i knew, and later wondered if i just made everything worse (those damn “good intentions”). but in every case, i have sincerely tried to live up to His command to love, to be understanding, to hope against hope and believe He will make a difference…

the thing is, i’m left here at the end of it all, wondering if my understanding of everything i’ve felt He has taught me these last few years has been right. because now, given the chance to apply it, and looking back…i don’t know. i carry this heaviness in my chest now….how ironic is that? right over the heart.

i have to learn the hard way. that much i know about myself. and love is hard. and that’s ok. but the struggle…it’s real, folks. it’s very real.

sara

against hope

“hope against hope.” i’ve never really understood that phrase (in rom 4:18) until now.

lately, i’ve just been hoping to not hurt anymore. i’ve been hoping that the storms would stop. i’ve been hoping against fear and disappointment and heartbreak and the pain of loss. but – fact is – it was pointless. life is like that. it’s unfair. it offers blows like that everyday, all day, and always when it’s inconvenient. sometimes one right after the other after the other. this world sucks.

pain is unavoidable in a broken world…and no amount of hoping against it happening has made it stop. i need to hope against hope – in other words, hope when it seems like there is no reason for it. i can’t conjure up hope within myself. it’s something that is put there. i have no control over it.

and not only was i “hoping against” all the wrong things, but i came to realize i had been casting it in all the wrong places. i would put my “hope” (or desires, really) in people or dreams or ideals. they would constantly occupy my mind, and if i ever lost it, i’d scramble for a replacement. i couldn’t be without something. so here i am at the end of myself…again. i have been so scared, so hurt, so lost…it has been a whole new level of despair. i have no idea what to do with myself. my thoughts have been so scattered. i see myself chasing pieces of paper getting violently tossed around by the wind. i can’t keep up. they blow away from me as i reach out to grab them. all i can do is snatch up what i can and grieve the loss of the rest.

so, i have resigned to just get through each moment. as long as i’m breathing, there’s something to be alive for…there’s hope. i may not know what or why, but He has to be enough. i have such a strong desire to know what’s going to happen, or at the very least, have something to base my thoughts on…but that’s not how it works. “hope that is seen is no hope at all” (rom 8:24). just hope because He has given me breath to do it.

if anything, it will allow me to be surprised.

sara

rocks and snakes

you get what you expect.

at least, that’s been my mentality. as hard as i’ve tried to work on it, i tend to always half-expect things to turn out the opposite of what i hope for. probably more than half, really. and usually…i’m right, because reality never fails to set in. so, i throw my hands up in the air and figure it’s just some lesson that i “have” to learn…whether it’s being content or dealing with disappointment or paying better attention to detail or whatever. and once more, i pick myself up and move on. again, and again, and again. it is what it is.

what happened to those glory years when i started all this? when anything seemed possible and my dreams were going to change the world?  those years weren’t easy, oh nooo…but somehow, my perspective was a little more wide-eyed and full of lovely ideals.

but as i gained my independence, as i had to put things into practice and move forward, that’s when it all was, i don’t know…tainted, maybe? sometimes i feel cheated. it’s not like i had a rose-colored view of the world – oh, hells no. i know better than that. but reality. you have to fight for everything. time flies by faster every day. depression sucks the life out of you. heartbreak paralyzes you. you see others enjoying what you so desperately want, and you realize you are no where near closer to it than before. i just don’t want to care anymore sometimes.

i read this passage the other night:

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a stone?  Or if he asks for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!” (matt 7:7-11, nasb)

i almost wanted to call bull on it, but i thought about how i always go into it expecting the rock. always looking for it, and feeling like that is what is always served to me in the outcome. sometimes i see myself just snatching a rock at His feet and running off to get the disappointment over with. i expected that from fathers, i suppose. asking for love and getting something else. wanting truth, but getting lies. looking for something to hope for, but always getting my dreams crushed. why even ask anymore?

i know God doesn’t work like that, but i found myself crying out for bread the other night. literally. i prayed for that bread…whatever that is. i want that different perspective…i want to always see the good. even when it hurts. even when it’s not the outcome i wanted.

oh to have that ability.

sara