Last week was a bad week. Like a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week. And I did not handle it very well at first. But, I am thankful for friends like Rebecca (shout out!) who seem to know when I am drowning without me even telling them. She texted me Sunday night after I made some comment and said I am calling you, what’s a good time? And for those of you who know me well, know I do not like phone calls much less talking about my problems. My gift is encouraging…I’m supposed to be encouraging not receiving the encouragement!
I started talking for about 5 minutes until I felt like I ran out of things to say. “Well, that’s about it.” And she said something along the lines of, “Well Nicolle that’s a great summary, but you need to keep talking. Just get it all out.” Ughhhh haha Thank you, Rebecca, for your patience and persistence! We all need friends like this in our life, if you don’t have one, please find one! And I think it’s important that we make ourselves available to be this person for someone else.
Last week was the type of week where I felt like I was living in a black hole, surrounded by darkness and seeing no way out. That is not a fun place to be in. It’s the type of darkness that weighs down and presses into you because it doesn’t want you to see the light. It doesn’t want you to know how much you are loved. It doesn’t want you to experience joy. It doesn’t want you to know hope. I know this might seem a bit dramatic, but that’s honestly what it felt like. I don’t know if you have ever experienced anything like this, but know that if you have, you are not alone and that it can be a scary, lonely place to be.
I started reading the Bible, and 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 says “Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.”
Hope through grace.
How powerful. This is something He willingly gives to us. We have hope because of God’s grace. And He gives this to us simply because He loves us.
When I get in this bad place, it is usually because things are happening that are out of my control. No matter what I do, or how hard I try – it just does not work out the way that I wanted or had all planned out in my mind. And then I start to doubt. And question. And wonder. Thus begins the downward spiral.
But the truth of the matter is, I had no control in the first place. It seemed like I did when I made a choice to do something or circumstances were going right and I take credit for that. But when I start to plan out my own life and figure things out on my own – it’s then that I start to realize how weak I really am. How little I actually know. In this realization though, I come to know how gracious God is towards us. He knows we are weak, that we are broken, that we will make the same mistakes over and over again, that we fail – but He uses us anyway. He loves us anyway. He chooses us anyway.
There’s this song sung by Lauren Daigle called “How Can it Be” and these lyrics speak directly to my heart:
I’ve been hiding
Afraid I’ve let you down, inside I doubt
That You still love me
But in Your eyes there’s only grace now
I so easily forget. But He is always ready to remind me. Even in our most hopeless, faithless state, God’s power is not far from us.
2 Corinthians 4:7-9 “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair, persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.”
Continue to lean on His grace, my friend. His grace is the light in the darkness.
I’ve created a tradition for myself to pick a word on New Year’s Day to focus on for that year. This year’s word was trust. In all honesty, I am not sure how well I did trusting God this year. But I do know that He is not finished with me yet. I am a work in progress. And so are you.
The end of the year is coming up which means I need a new word to focus on. If you were to pick a word to focus on in 2018 what would it be? Share if you’d like!