The churning inside me never stops; days of suffering confront me. Job 30:27
Do you ever find yourself asking, ‘when will my struggle end?’ Do you look forward in your life to a time when you are ‘healed’ or ‘free’ from the struggle you are in thinking that your life will be smooth, calm, and that hard work, that constant straining, wrestling, and fighting will cease?
I have felt the same way. I would imagine that if certain things were not present in my life, or if other things WERE present, I would not have to struggle so hard in my life. I would play the “IF ONLY” GAME:
If only my marriage were better, I could recover.
If only I was more secure, I could recover.
If only I had a better body image, I could recover.
In my mind, to ‘recover’ meant that I would not struggle any more. I would be secure and free of doubt. I would look in the mirror and marvel at my beauty. (I know, a little vain, but I’m trying to be real here:) That I would never have another negative thought and that I would always clearly and boldly see and do God’s will for me.
This is not so.
I find that I still struggle, even in my recovered, Christ-seeking life…even in the midst of me feeling strong…I feel struggle.
For me, recovery has not been about whether or not I struggle in life, but HOW I struggle, WHY I struggle, and FOR WHOM I struggle.
That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet this is no cause for shame, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day. 2 Timothy 1:12
For instance, I used to struggle on my own-for my own, trying so hard to achieve beauty, perfection, security. I wanted to fit into this world, I wanted to belong to this group or that. Whenever I felt like I wasn’t a part of ‘the crowd’, my friends, my family, and even my marriage, I struggled to figure out how to do so…I listened to the things of this world to show me how: lose weight, be more ‘fun’, go along- don’t cause trouble—the list could go on and on. The problem was that I was struggling for myself, I was attempting to find my own happiness in the opinions of others. I thought that I struggled because I did not belong and that if I could just ‘blend in’ with the world, my struggle would end and I would be at peace—the fight would be over.
But I was no good at it. No matter what I did, I could not shake the struggle. I continued to feel isolated, other. My happiness was fleeting because I could never please everyone around me. I realized that my struggle would not end by doing this. I needed a new strategy.
Look on my suffering and deliver me, for I have not forgotten your law. Psalm 119:153
Would turning to Christ rid me of struggle? Tomorrow’s post: The Struggle in Christ