I just wrote a blog post yesterday, and I realize that. But tonight I am overcome by emotion.
“Hang in there”. Sometimes I feel like that’s all I hear. “Just hang in there”.
Why must I “hang in there”? It’s as if I’m holding life by a single thread as it’s pulling and tugging at me in all different directions and I just need to “hang in there”. The past several days have been awful. I’ve been constantly busy, needing to do work, and constantly running out of time. It feels as though every time I decide to go to sleep, and I get more than 4 hours, I’m rushing around the next day trying to finish everything. I have gotten next to no sleep the past several days, and on top of that, I’ve been going non stop at school. What is worse is I really can’t do anything about it. All of my free time has been spent doing homework, and that “free time” (which morphs into “study time”) seeps into my much needed sleep hours.
I’ve been suffering in many, many ways. I’m hurting emotionally with deep, deep pain, physically I’m exhausted and my eyes are heavy, nose is stuffy, my mind is constantly going and telling me lie after lie after lie, and my heart is believing every single one of them without fail. Life is what is weighing on me right now.
Today, I was reflecting on my life. I spent some time with a good friend, and I was once again reminded that I am single and I have always been single. I got frustrated with myself that I long so deeply for a relationship with a man. I questioned what was wrong with me, and why I’m just not enough for a guy to be interested in me, and for a guy to have never been interested in me. I even questioned if I just look like a man, and therefore no man has an attraction to me. I really don’t understand what it is. But I don’t want to be single. I would love to have a family, and have kids, and glorify God with another person. But it feels like God forgot to about that in his grand scheme of things. This desire to spend my life with a man is not all consuming, and although there is a fear with what life as a single woman would be as far as how people would view me, I know I could do it if God called me to it. But that doesn’t mean I would want that. I was reflecting on my past, and I just really wondered why I’m still “holding on”. I’m tired of it. I’m tired of relationships, I’m tired of people, I’m tired of this world, I’m tired of being hurt, and I’m tired of feeling pain. All the time.
So why hang in there? Why is that supposed to be encouraging? It’s assumption is that this life will get better. Or that by some how hanging on, it will fix itself. What if that assumption is wrong? What if this life will always be hard, and there will never be a moment where I could say my life is going great? What if I’m hanging on to something that is no longer there? Am I being a Debbie Downer? Based on my own life, I don’t think life gets any better. If anything, I feel as though my eyes are opened to more and more of life’s brokenness. My longing for heaven becomes deeper, and deeper with every passing year in this life. The joy I’ve found on earth has been fleeting, and I see no reason why that joy shall not continue to be fleeting.
The only true encouragement I have found while on earth is that there is heaven. There is something better than this place (thank God) and that brings great joy. A joy that cannot always be expressed, seen, or felt; but it is still present. My struggle is having to stay here on earth when I so desperately long to no longer be here. Maybe that’s what it means to “hang on”. Right now, that joy that Christ has died for me and for my sins is very distant. I have no joy right now. I only have great searing pain, loss, and longing.
I am tired of the monotony of my life. I’m tired that nothing really does ever change (at least good change). I am just very weary of where I’m at. So I guess my hanging on to this life will hopefully bring me closer to the next life where I will not be able to find anything but joy. But what if my letting go is where the encouragement actually lies? What if my release of my desires, my struggles, my pain, and my comfort actually lead to joy? What if instead of hanging on to life, as if it is something I am losing, I let go of my life and just gave up like I so deeply desire?
In my desire to “hang in there”, there is a sense of clinging to my earthly life. But I don’t want that. It’s tiring, frustrating, and painful. Instead I think it’s clear in Hebrews 12:1 that we need to throw off everything that hinders (not only sin!) but every weight which clings so closely to us, and let us run the race with perseverance.
That seems like a rather fluffy ending to my post, and I’m really not sure if I like it. Letting go of everything is not an answer to my great frustrations with life. It may free me up a bit to just “be”, but that doesn’t mean that my pain and struggles will disappear (although I wish it did!). I think the constant pain, struggles, and frustrations I have in this life are fully because of our broken nature. That doesn’t make it any easier, but it does encourage me and help me to set my eyes on heaven and not here on earth. I pray God would teach me to cling to him. I pray God would show me how he sees the world. I pray he shows me how to love people who have hurt me. I also pray that God would put more hours in the day so I can get more sleep. But that is just a side note.