Saturday, February 19, 2011

Through the Fire

"Be strong in the Lord and never give up hope
You're gonna do great things, I already know."

-"The Words I Would Say" by Sidewalk Prophets

I used to wonder why the world felt so cold and dark around me. Why I felt like I was drowning without anyone left to listen and save me. I used to cry myself to sleep feeling completely alone in the depths of despair, to quote Anne of Green Gables.

A few years later, I learned a very valuable lesson. There is a reason I was allowed to feel such deep pain.

See, even the darkest night gives way to dawn. The angriest storm still creates a rainbow. And the deepest depression can open the doors to the greatest joy.

"Even the night shall be light around me; Indeed the darkness shall not hide from You, but the night shines as the day" - Psalm 139:11-12 (NKJV)

God knew that my pain was for a greater purpose, so He allowed it for a season. Not in spite, or to get enjoyment out of my suffering, but rather as a discipline for a greater good. I was going through the fire so that I might come out pure and filled with beauty.

In the past few years I have been learning to overcome depression on a daily basis, and have begun to experience true joy. I never could understand before that one can only feel as high as they have been low. I had to live through the darkness to truly appreciate the light. And it is WONDERFUL light!

If you are in the midst of the fire, take heart. While you probably can't see a bright future, know that your darkness has another side--one of joy that is literally out of this world.

Never give up hope--you have so much ahead of you. This I know to be true!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Little Things

It's easy to become obsessed with the big picture--the huge, dynamic things in life that are successes and accomplishments. But in the search for the big things, we often overlook the little things and instead let ourselves become overwhelmed when big things don't work like we think they should.

For instance, this week I became overwhelmed by the amount of homework I'll have in the next four months, and completely ignored the fact that I will be speaking at a church worker's conference next month and assisting in running a young adult's retreat soon after. I let the possibility of stress and insurmountable odds take away the joys of living each day.

See, the little things matter too. When was the last time you saw success in the little things? Maybe it's cleaning and organizing your room, or finishing reading a book you've been working on for months, or simply doing the dishes and admiring your clean kitchen. These are the tiny things that make a difference in your day to day attitude and perspective. Don't forget them, because when the little things fall into place, the big things will too.