Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Why Persevere?

I’ve felt really lost lately. It seems this year, especially these last few weeks, have proven more difficult than any I can remember in the past. The hardest part has been pushing through it all. Even though I have many different things falling apart in my life right now, I’m still expected to keep going and moving forward. I guess out of anyone around me it is I who expects the most. School, and many other areas, has begun to layer one thing on top of another, and as I look towards the days and weeks in front of me they seem impossible. The hardest part though is knowing that if I push through harder, I will only feel the consequences of it later, making the days after even more difficult than the ones I am in now. So to me it seems pointless to keep going, if I’m only going to make things worse. I guess what I mean is that, to be more specific, one example is the pain I’m feeling today is only going to increase if I get up and go through school and the hours of homework that will follow. If I stay home and rest, I’m only going to have the school work pile up more and more which will come back to hit me later, and will eventually cause me to feel worse as I try to catch up with everything. So, for the last couple days I’ve wondered, why would I keep going? What is there for me? If this life continues on the way it has been, I can only see my health failing more, and everyday tasks becoming more and more difficult.

Another thought also came into my head when I was thinking about all of this. I began to wonder, what do I take joy in? Really. What makes me happy? If it’s just the good days, when life is comfortable and easy, and giving me things, then that definitely means I won’t be joyful or happy for most of the time that I'm here. So, instead I realized that I need to not only take the bad circumstances with courage, but actually rejoice in them. I need to learn to be happy when life isn't giving, but also, and more importantly, when life is taking. Just because these times are seemingly awful does not mean that they aren't as important for me as the “good times” in life. In fact, it seems that these trials lead me into being someone much more joyful than I could have ever been if my life had continued on normally; well normal as in if it had gone on as expected.
It is then that I read this verse, and it seemed to sum up exactly the guidance and encouragement that my soul had been searching for.

Romans 5:3-4 “Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.”

Also, in another light;
Job 1:21, “The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised."
Blessed be the name of the Lord, for he gives and takes away. I need to learn to praise him not only for the things he has given me, but especially for the things he has taken away from me.


  1. How do you 'learn' to praise God for your suffering? Have you felt the joy that comes from trials, or is it something that you believe you are supposed to feel, but you don't really feel it? I have suffered, and the only way I feel joy in it is by connecting with God on a spiritual level, in the deepest place inside me, past all the attachment to worldly comforts. I get forced to turn to God in my heart because when every worldly comfort gets taken away, I have no choice but to go to God. But most people shut down and numb their feelings, or take a drink, or talk to a friend. But sometimes the pain is so deep, no one can understand or help, and that is when I 'bottom out' to God and find a vast world of eternal rest and comfort that leads into eternal life.

    Sometimes I want to die, but then I think, 'hey, wanting to die isn't so bad--it is similar to wanting to be with God--and I can be with God here and now in my plea, in my need, in my pain--since I can feel His love through the Scripture, and through my faith in His words.

    Most people I know have only intellectual faith and their religious life is based on things they were taught they should or should not do, but they don't ever really connect with God as a real, substantial thing, so they don't actually feel His love. You have to go very deep, and get very quiet, and get past all the guilt and religious conditioning to ultimately approach God.

    I so wish you could just have that eternal rest where you are very quiet and still, beyond all the voices of what you have been taught you should do or think or be, beyond all the comparisons with other people, beyond all the guilt and shame and 'shoulds' and expectations. There is a place for you, a healing peace, where there are no expectations of school, friends, family, success, getting better, achievement of any kind. Beyond all that worldly pressure to do something, to be something, to accomplish something, there is a transcendent spirit, and it is the truth, and it is God, and from there flows all joy, success, action, achievement. But all this pressure and expectation comes from the world. I think you are called to go beyond it.

    First get that eternal connection beyond the mental chatter and voices of how you should be. Go past the consciousness of all your friends and family--you are meant to take the leap and break down and out, and commune with God beyond the religious conditioning of how you should be. Know God for yourself--He will speak to you in your heart. Sorry for rambling on. I may be wrong here about you, but it is my two cents. You can take it or leave it.

    I know desperation and I've used it to connect with God most of my life. But it is not always easy with the voices in your head from what others told you about how to be spiritual. Those voices often just breed guilt and inadequacy, and spiritual dryness, and a sense of 'not being good enough', or 'not doing something right', or 'I need to do it better'. That's not the foundation of grace and love, though. Grace is the free gift. We want to do better, not to earn the free gift, but after we receive it in our heart as a real thing, a real spiritual experience. Then we are motivated by love. You need that love that goes beyond the efforts of self. Well, maybe this is just more of things you 'should' do, but, oh well, just know there is hope, and many people care about you, even strangers (although I believe we are all connected in spirit)!

    And again, thank you for your openness and honesty in sharing your struggle with us in internetland...or webville.

  2. Sorry, I wanna add something. I know it's a burden to have to be strong for people when you feel weak inside. Often there is a self-image to uphold, an expectation from others of certain behaviors from you. You may feel pressure to be an example of faith and spiritual strength for others (and you put this pressure on yourself). Maybe you believe upholding this image is part of your healing--to be 'strong' in your faith. But you know God's strength is made perfect in human weakness. I hope you can just let go and fall apart somewhere, and let God be there for you, or maybe some person. I don't know, maybe you do that already. We all need to be able to take off the mask, be real, feel our pain, and find some comfort and love. I hope you have that in your life, because that is what truly heals. Sorry if I'm being presumptuous.

  3. The way you express yourself is a reflection of the beauty of your soul.

    In the past,when i was first diagnosed with scleroderma ,i refused to believe in my own power to improve my health condition.I spent many,many years of my life feeling like a victim..a victim of circumstances..I spent many years of my life feeling i have no control over my disease..i spent many years of my life feeling completely lost because of the difficulties caused by this disease.It is just a few months ago that i realised,that i learned,i understood and accepted that my mental attitude improves or worsens my health condition.I know i am repeating myself but i do not want for you to make the sames mistakes i did...i do not want for you to believe that you are completely unable to reverse this disease..that this is going to be your life from now on...I wish i had realised earlier the importance of a positive attitude no matter what!!You know there is this place inside of us..there is this special place in our heart which can not be touched by anything...our inner peace.I wish i had realised earlier that inner peace is a key-element,that positive thoughts are a key-element...that i can actually CREATE a better future by adopting an optimistic life theory,without comparisons,expectations to be the best at school,unnecessary pressure and a permanent tendency to be "perfect".
    I wish i could give you a big hug and tell you you have the power to reverse this disease if YOU BELIEVE IT...Please choose the light...
    i wish i had done it earlier..
    sending you love and best wishes from Athens,Greece