By Ashley Chin Aleong
I was scrolling nonchalantly through Instagram recently and stumbled upon this message that read:
“I know I’ll be okay and eventually everything will work out. I know that what’s meant for me will happen, I know… but I just need a minute or two to pull myself together because sometimes the stuff life throws at me gets heavy, that’s all.”
I felt that so deeply and I know that as you are reading this, I’m not the only one. Then there’s the saying “Just have faith, God knows what He’s doing.”
See, while I don’t doubt that God knows exactly what He’s doing, just as He said in Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future,” the truth is that sometimes faith is hard, and fear is easy.
Let’s be honest, it’s easier to turn to alcohol, drugs, porn, or any other vice when we’ve experienced loss or heartache or an unexpected wave of emotion, rather than to turn to God and see the lesson He’s trying to lead us through.
It’s easier to be bitter and sad when we’ve buried a loved one or when you’ve lost a job and are the only breadwinner of the family, rather than turn to God and say ‘okay, whatever You’re doing here; whatever You are trying to teach me; wherever You’re trying to lead me; I trust You.’
However, nobody speaks about the strength it takes to say those three words and tell God that we trust His plan, even when we don’t feel it in the moment amidst the pain, the fear, the anxiety, or the depression.
Sometimes we forget that tears are still a prayer, even when we don’t have words, and that’s enough for God to work with.
Some of us have the strength of a thousand warriors and can soldier on amidst all the chaos, oftentimes because we feel as though we have no choice with the number of people depending on us.
For others though, strength looks like being able to get out of bed and take a shower just once for the day and make ourselves a meal. Even though it may not look like it in the moment, I’d like to think that God looks down and smiles at the effort.
I’ve personally experienced both versions of strength, plus a whole lot of the in-between versions too.
This has made me reflect on the entire experience of the pandemic and even this past year especially. Life has thrown each one of us a hurdle in some way, shape or form and it’s taken a bit of extra strength to get through to the end, or even just to continue.
So, I leave you with this: whether your strength has been through the roof or at the bare minimum, I see you, I salute you and I’m proud of you.
I know it will be okay, but it’s also okay to pause and rest a while. Allow yourself to see and appreciate how far you’ve come, instead of how far you have left to go.