In His Peace, In His Presence...
I've been having some rough times in my life lately. Last year was a very stressful year. I can honestly say it was one of my worst years ever so far in my life, besides the year my Grandma died. Without going into great detail, I had 3 traumatic events occur. Actually 4, if I also count the stress of my marriage problems which almost lead to divorce two times.
I had huge hope that with 2013 finally coming to an end, my life would get better just because it was a whole new year. 2013 seriously became what I called FRIDAY the 2013th. So 2014 looked so promising. As if just getting out of 2013 would be life changing. My terrible year was coming to an end and 2014 offered a chance for "new beginnings."
It is funny because I never even really put much thought into the new year as being so amazing and awe inspiring just because its a brand "new year." I set it up in my head months ago that "things will be different next year." I began to build up Hope that the new year will be different. Which is why we took a Disneyland trip for the new year. We weren't able to take a regular vacation last year because of the stresses through the year. So Disney seemed perfect, the much needed get-away. Well my expectations led me to a huge let-down. To sum it up, Disney wasn't exactly the "happiest place on earth," like I yearned for it to be. My husband and I got in numerous arguments and fought so bad it actually brought us back to the dreadful divorce discussion. And it didn't help that it was so crowded there, you could barely get around the park. Well, you get the idea, it wasn't a very relaxing joyful vacation.
Anyhow, my terrible year and stressful beginning to 2014 led into these anger feelings toward God. I tumbled into a spiral of negativity and have been so angry with God. And I'm not proud to admit, it was a struggle of mine off and on last year through the bad times. I would get caught up in confusion and wonder "why God? Why are you letting these bad things happen in my life?" I've been where the pain hurts so much it is crippling. Your life tends to completely stop, while everything around you keeps going. I've felt like the walking dead at times.
And though the struggles are difficult and confusing. I somehow muster up the little Hope I have to keep my focus on "God has to be holding it all together." I slowly get myself back to praying and asking for forgiveness for my anger and attitude. And God continues to show up in my life. When I get these little God moments where His peace and presence surround me, there is an unexplainable joy. Sometimes it is in a song, that comes on the radio just at the right time on the Christian music station. Sometimes it is in the sun shining through the clouds in the morning while I drive my kids to school. The sky is just breath-taking. Through these moments, I have to believe, God is letting me know He is still there with me.
I realize all my anger does is shut God out and pull me into more stress/sadness/depression. I'm grateful that God hasn't given up on me and His Love is greater than anything we face with the trials and hardships of life.
But man oh man is it hard to stop thinking negatively when I am in the hard times. It is such a challenge to go to God and ask Him for his help and forgiveness when I am so angry.
What faith struggles do you experience when stress and hardships enter your life? How do you deal with these struggles in your faith? How does God show His presence in your life? I would love to hear from you.