At the young age of fifteen, Jennifer Rothschild was diagnosed with a rare, degenerative eye disease that would eventually steal her sight. Known for her substance, and a down-to-earth style, Jennifer weaves together colorful illustrations, universal principles, and music to help audiences find contentment, walk with endurance, and celebrate the ordinary. Today she shares about how to face today, when you feel sad, depressed or stuck.
“Yes Jennifer, you have to get up; you are the mom!”
I would begin most days coaching myself to get up and be the grown up I was supposed to be. I didn’t want to face the day because that day was probably going to be like all the yesterdays… dark, hard and long.
That’s how I felt most mornings for a solid year. It was a long year of depression that was like nothing I’d ever experienced. I had been blind since a teenager and I was used to darkness – physical darkness, that is. But, this darkness was different. It was scary and stifling; I had more fatigue than faith.
The doctor explained how menopause had come and my body’s chemical support had gone haywire. I was full blown, chemically depressed! It had affected everything. I was tired, hopeless, forgetful and afraid.
I had relied totally on my mind to navigate blindness. You know, I’d have to pay attention to how many steps I took, which direction I was facing, where I placed my cup, and the like. I had to keep so much information in my brain like my calendar, my to do list, my phone numbers… and on and on.
Then, my brain chemistry and my female hormones engaged in World War Whew! Let’s just say, when blindness met menopause, they did not play nice. I was depressed. Plus, on top of that, I was depressed that I was depressed.
I’d tried to fix myself but I just couldn’t. So, every day felt the same – dark, hard and long. I didn’t want to face my day; I wanted to turn my back on it and roll over and pull up the covers.
Ever felt that way?
I bet you have. We all have. It is for different reasons that we share that dread.
It may be because of illness or debt that you don’t feel you can face your day.
It may be because you dread another encounter with that teenage child, aging parent or controlling boss that you feel you can’t face your day. It may be rejection, insecurity or depression that makes you want to turn your back on today.
Or, it could be your despair, your weight or your bank account that makes you want to call out, “Mom, do I have to get up?”
But, my friend, you do have to get up! Deep down, you want to. So, here are 3 ways to face your day when you want to turn your back on it:
1. Cry when you hurt
Jesus wept (John 11:35) and so should you. When life hurts, admit your pain and cry. The physical act of shedding tears is important and protects our physical health.
But, crying out to God or emotionally expressing our sorrow is also vital in protecting the spiritual health of our souls.
When you cry out to God and tell Him your fear, despair and concern, you invite Him to join you in it. Don’t try to hold it in, suck it up or pull it off all on your own. When you’re hurt, abandon your pride and reservation and humbly admit your disillusionment to God.
Honesty leads to intimacy but repression leads to isolation. Don’t go it alone my friend. Cry when it hurts; your tears are safe with Him.
2. Trust God more than your feelings
Feelings are real, but they don’t always reflect absolute reality. In other words, our feelings about a situation may not always match the facts of the situation. We can misunderstand, misinterpret, and become miserable because of it!
Feelings may be unreliable at times, but they are still important to acknowledge. They hint at what is in your heart and in your head. They point to what you fear and what you desire. They often reveal beliefs you didn’t even know you held. So, don’t totally disregard them. Learn from them. What do those feelings represent? What are they inviting you to pay attention to?
Feelings can be incredibly revealing, so don’t repress them. But, let them serve you rather than govern you. If you let them serve you, you employ them as an intuitive detective that can lead you to ultimate truth. Feel your emotions, but don’t confuse them with facts or base your faith on them.
Your feelings will change; this season of pain will change. But, God never changes. That’s why we ultimately trust him more than our feelings (2 Corinthians 5:7).
God is faithful, God is with you, and you can trust Him with every detail and moment of your day…of your life!
3. Choose loyalty over logic
Choose to loyally love God and faithfully follow Him even when the path you travel feels dark, hard and long. When sorrow invades our lives it rarely seem sensible to us. Just settle in the mystery of God and be more devoted to His revealed character than your mind’s natural reasoning.
Rest in the fact that your logic sometimes just isn’t enough. What God says about Himself is more dependable than what you “think” during a time of trial.
You can face your day when you know He is with you; He is for you; He is compassionate; He is good, and His ways are perfect.
God has been and will be faithful to you. Don’t miss the blessing that waits just around the bend by abandoning the walk of faith. As you choose to remain faithful to Him, you will see His faithfulness to you more clearly.
My year of depression came to a gradual end and God used it to usher in greater perseverance and gratitude. God can use whatever you are facing that makes you want to turn away also.
Don’t be discouraged my friend, and don’t lose heart. The next time you want to call out, “Do I have to get up?!” whisper to yourself, “No, you don’t have to, but you want to because you don’t face this day alone!”
Jennifer is a wife, mother of 2 boys, speaker, and writer. Connect with Jennifer at www.jenniferrothschild.com. Jennifer’s new book, God is Just Not Fair: Finding Hope When Life Doesn’t Make Sense, walks through 6 tough questions of faith including, God do you care? Are you fair? Do you hear prayer? These are questions Jennifer wrestled with during her time of depression, and maybe you’ve been there too. Jennifer serves as your guide as you delve into the deep questions and doubts, and all the while, she holds your hand to comfort. She meets hearts right where they are when life doesn’t make sense. Learn more about the book at www.notfairbook.com.