Monday, April 15, 2013

Tough Times Don't Last, Tough People Do.

When we're going through a tough time, no matter what it is, it feels easy for us to say no one understands how we feel. We often say that no one has been through our situation, no one has ever felt this low, and that there's no way things will ever get better. But I promise you, it does get better. It may not seem this way right now, but the pain will subside and you will smile again. I know how you feel.

I've been back stabbed by a best friend. I've lost loved ones. I've had my heart shattered into a million pieces by a guy I thought was in love with me. I've struggled with learning to accept the way God made me. I've compared myself to others far too often. I've failed a test. I've forgotten to do homework assignments. I've been lied to, used, and verbally abused. I've been hated for by sharing my opinion. I've had a huge crush on a guy who wouldn't even look twice at me. I've gained weight. I've said things I should've kept to myself. I've hurt other people on purpose simply because they hurt me first. I've had negative numbers in my checking account. I've fallen short of someone's expectations.  I've misplaced things and never found them again. I've forgotten deadlines. I've apologized to someone and not been forgiven. I've ended friendships that I felt were poisonous for my life and the way I want to live it. I've dated a guy whose parents would never accept me.  I've been faced with decisions that will hurt someone either way. I've been cheated on. I've had someone steal from me. I've cried myself to sleep. I've apologized for something that wasn't my fault.  I've wrecked my car. I've struggled while trying to balance school and work.  I've fought with my parents and my sisters. I've been led on by a guy with no intentions of loving me. I've been my own best friend. I've had people stop talking to me and give no explanation. I've been rejected. I've gotten drunk to side-step the pain. I've chosen not to apologize when I should have. I've been stressed out. I've worried about my future. I've gone down the wrong path. I've missed people that I pushed out of my life. I've been denied a second chance. I've made decisions that seemed great in the moment, but they've come back to haunt me later.  I've had days when everything has gone wrong. I've had regrets. I've made mistakes. I've sinned. 
But then again, haven't we all
You just read the above paragraph and made a mental checklist of everything you've been through. You're probably thinking "Wow, she understands!" I do. And once again I'm here to tell you, it WILL get better. After your troubling times have passed, you'll feel relieved and wonder why you were so depressed before. 
Let me remind you that Jesus was the most persecuted person during his day and time. 
When you're feeling alone and betrayed, think of yourself being improved.. Not beaten down. You're getting stronger. You're learning. You're developing a better YOU. The people who are your true friends and want the best for you, will still be there through it all.. Helping you up when you fall.. Encouraging you.. Pushing you forward on days when you feel useless. We need to stop thinking we're alone, and realize that we're ALL fighting our own battles, some even similar to others. Here is a relieving thought: Life on Earth was never meant to be perfect. Life on Earth is meant to be LIVED.. Through the good, the bad, and the toughly taught lessons. God would never give you something you weren't strong enough to handle.
 People say that the best way to get through something difficult is to remember that someone else is going through something much worse than you. But I disagree. I believe the best way to get through a hard time is to stay positive. Don't allow yourself to keep reminding yourself of the "what if's", but keep reminding yourself that this difficult time is making you stronger, wiser, and more equipped for future struggles. Everything will be okay in the end, and if it's not okay, it's not the end. 
So, forgive your friends that backstab you. When you lose loved ones, remember they've been welcomed into the arms of Jesus. If someone breaks your heart, thank them for making you stronger, and move on. Don't compare yourself to others. You were carefully thought out and created by God; remember this fact when you're hating the color of your eyes or the width of your hips. If you fail a test, study harder for the next one. When you're lied to, don't be so quick to trust that person next time. When people hate you for your opinion and how you agree and disagree on particular things, remember that everyone is entitled to their own beliefs. Remember that people disagree with things that they believe as well. If you have a crush on someone who doesn't give you the time of day, move on. They aren't worth it. Someone else is wishing you'd notice them, too. Think before you speak. Don't hurt people just because they hurt you. Don't try to retaliate. According to Gandhi, "an eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind." Don't worry so much about your weight. People come in all shapes and sizes. If you apologize to someone who doesn't forgive you, move on. You've done your part. Give them time and space. They may need it in order to heal properly. If you feel like a friendship is poisonous to your life, leave it behind. You should be surrounded by people who truly love you and desire the absolute best for you. If you date someone whose parents don't approve of you, stop wasting time trying to make them. Move on. Remember that if you marry them, you marry their family too. When the time is right, his parents will adore you. Don't spend time with people who genuinely don't want you around. If you fight with your parents and siblings, apologize. Be the bigger person. Don't let your selfish pride get the best of you. Don't get drunk to feel better. Alcohol and drugs may suppress the pain, but it is only temporary. You need a permanent fix. This comes from healing your heart and your mind. Substance abuse is not the way to heal. Don't worry about your future, it's in the hands of God and he will not betray you. If you miss someone you've pushed out of your life, let them go. What's done is done. There is no turning back. If you have days when everything is going wrong, remember that it's just a bad day.. not a bad life. We all sin. We all fall short of someone's expectations. We all live with regret. We all feel like we'll never be happy. But happiness is a mood, and it's only temporary. It's like being tired, or hungry, or angry. Happiness is here, and then someone pulls out in front of you on Airport Boulevard and it's replaced with frustration. It's that easy. Don't minimize the pain, acknowledge it. Keep your head up, remember you're not alone, and most of all
Don't ever let anyone dull the shine that God gave you.
"In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." -John 16:33

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