Oh man, I'm tired today! It's spring here so the wind is blowing. And it's blowing in a snow storm so it kept me up all night long. I feel like whining.
When the economy is bad, life is rough for lots of people. Stress levels are up. Contention is through the roof. More people get sick because they are not eating as healthy and not getting as much sleep. Suicides are up. So much pain and grief. People are weary. That's the best word I have to describe the condition of so many these days. It is a daunting and discouraging time for us all.
It's a time where we have to dig down deep within ourselves and find out what we are made of. I often wonder how people get through times like these if they do not believe in God. I really do. That faith and trust in Him is literally the only thing that gives me enough strength and courage to get up out of bed and face another day sometimes.
I guess it's the ones who have a hard time understanding how God can let bad things happen. Does he have the power to stop all the bad things in the world? Sure he does. But what would we learn if there weren't ever any hard things for us to overcome? I know that I appreciate what I have so much more when I have had to work for it; not just material items, but non-tangible items as well -- knowledge, compassion, courage, faith. I didn't obtain any of those things by sitting on a beach doing nothing all day. I had to work for those things. I had to sacrifice for those things. I had to even suffer sometimes for those things.
When I was 24 years old I was pregnant with my third child. I was due in October. It had been an unusually hot and dry summer and we were in the process of moving into a new house. There were some days the temperature outside would get as high as 100 degrees F. We didn't have any kind of air conditioning in our home. I had a four-year-old and a two-year-old so I didn't get much sleep. By the end of the summer I was worn out. I was big and pregnant. I didn't feel well. Then, when I thought the worst was over, just 8 weeks before my baby was due, I got Shingles. From my waist to my knee. It was excruciating pain and I had to stay in bed for about a week as the blisters continued to spread. I had hundreds of fever-filled blisters and every movement was extremely painful. The shingles cleared up about 3 weeks before I delivered my third child. I still have a scar above my knee and feel ghost pains from time to time, even though it has now been almost fourteen years. I still remember that pain like it was yesterday.
I could have been angry and cursed God for giving me Shingles, but I never did. I could curse Him for taking my husband's mother from cancer when she was just 56 years old, but I never have. And neither has my husband. I could have cursed Him when I had a miscarriage, but I didn't. I could have cursed Him every time something hard happened in my life, but I haven't. How could I ever curse Him when He has blessed me with SO much?
I learned so much from this experience. Having those shingles allowed me to feel compassion for others who suffer from extreme pain that is constant. It is a hard thing to suffer from chronic pain day in and day out.
I have depression. It will always be a part of me. I don't know any different. I used to think it wasn't fair, but I don't think that way anymore. Having depression helps me to seek to understand people and to not judge their actions or behaviors. I do this because I want people to understand me when I'm not doing so well or going through a "low". I don't want to be judged as a snob or unwilling to help just because I am overly tired or not as cheerful as normal. I want to be understood so I also try to understand as well as I am capable. I try to give people the benefit of the doubt.
I guess the message I want to give today is this: Please don't give up. Please don't curse God. Life can be hard, but it won't ALWAYS be hard. Look for the rays of light even when the clouds seem so dark, because they are always there. Pray for help. Plead to God to comfort and bless you. He will. He has for me so many times that I can't even begin to count them all. Look up. Hold your head high. Get out of bed. Get dressed. Face the new day with courage. Look for the good in people and in yourself. I promise you will find it.