Have you ever been asked how you’re doing, and your reply is a quick “I’m fine” when you’re anything but “fine”?
This was my song and dance for the better part of my adult life. I could do it all, be it all, help everyone, and please everybody. I was never tired, frustrated, worried, scared, or lonely…except I was… I just didn’t let myself feel those feelings; I didn’t acknowledge my emotions, much less express them. I was self-sufficient and running full speed ahead…. straight for a crash course.
In the summer of 2017, after years of ignoring my thoughts, feelings, and desires and not truly listening to or leaning on God, I experienced what I refer to now as a Spiritual Wake Up Call. I was too busy hustling and hurrying, ignoring God’s call for me to rest in Him, to fully understand the emotional and mental toll it was taking on my body, mind, heart, and soul. The moments I felt as though something was wrong, the many times I thought I should ask for help, were all stuffed down, tucked away. I didn’t have time to deal with the racing thoughts, my anxious mind, or my depressed spirit, and I certainly was not going to let people think that I may not be okay. I was, after all, the one everyone else turned to, the one who had it all together, the one who made being a wife, mom, teacher, friend, daughter, sister, and neighbor look so easy. But, friends I was just pretending- I was fooling others, and I was even fooling myself. How could I think I could do this life alone- especially without a deep reliance on God? But I was living this way- my faith life had become complacent, and I relied on no one but myself.
We live in this world that, oftentimes successfully and deviously, leads us to think the busier we are, the more we hustle, the more we produce, the more we perform- the better we are. But this is simply not true. We were never created to do this life alone. God made us for each other- He longs for us to be in community and fellowship with one another. He wants us to share our stories- the successes, the failures, the triumphs, and the struggles- He wants us to share our hearts. His Word tells us, “Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, NIV).
We don’t have to pretend we’re okay when we’re not. Often we feel that we have to put up a facade and hide our true feelings in order to protect others. We don’t want to burden anyone with our troubles, so we hide our hearts. But, friend, God has something better in store for us. None of us are meant to journey through life alone. He has placed people in our lives to help us better see His goodness and love. When we open our hearts, share our needs, and ask for help, we are showing others that it’s okay for them to do the same. When we become vulnerable, we become real. Rather than rejecting the help and influence of others, and allowing life to take on burdens and hardships all alone, God wants us to turn to Him and trust in His promises. And when we fall, He wants us to help lift each other up.
So it’s okay to not be okay. We have Him, and we have each other. We can share our hurts- collectively offering our problems up to Him- and allow Him to use them for His good and His glory. He reminds us to boast about our weaknesses when He says, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness”(2 Corinthians 12:9, NIV). When we share our sufferings and celebrate our weaknesses, we shine a light on His strength.
About the Author:
Jodi Kinasewitz is a Christian writer who lives in Mason, Ohio, with her husband of 21 years, their four children, and their yellow lab, Max. She is an elementary-level reading specialist and a certified yoga instructor. Jodi is passionate about leading Christian-inspired yoga classes, reading and writing. She loves to travel with her family, and she spends any time she can outdoors. Jodi has had several articles published with various online Christian platforms, and she was published in the Milk & Honey Women Devotional Journal, Volume 1. Jodi recently co-authored a devotional journal titled Unshakable Peace in an Unsteady World. Jodi’s hope is by sharing her story of struggle through a season of anxiety and depression her writing will shine a light on the importance of spiritual and mental health while pointing others to Jesus.
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