Anytime you take on the task of writing about big subjects, life is bound to throw you hard circumstances. Since my current manuscript is called Getting Through What You Can’t Get Over, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised at the new struggles our family is facing. But I’m human, so I’m confessing a wee bit of shock at a new round of Jobette experiences. (I felt a little like Job from the Bible several years ago when going through a decade of wave after wave of really hard times. To try and keep my humor up, I gave myself a female derivative of Job’s name, and this is where Jobette was born.)
Today’s circumstances don’t nearly compare to then, but they are difficult enough to remind me of how I felt during years where I thought I’d never feel good again. It seemed as if I were in a dark, slimy pit, and no matter how much I tried to scale the walls for escape, I’d slide back into its hungry stomach. I feared life would never brighten again. But I was wrong. Over time and tenacity, I clung to God, and He showed me the way out.
While struggling to survive those years, confusion reigned over much of my thoughts, but something good was also brewing from the black hole of my anxiety and depression. I was learning, and didn’t know it.
Today, those previous lessons are serving me well. Providing hope when things look bleak. Spurring me on when I feel overwhelmed. Offering promises, I know I can trust. The knowledge of these truths are carrying me through right now. This is what I learned.
- I learned how to take the mask off and ask God real and raw questions. It’s okay to wrestle with Him over hard things. He’s a big God, and He can take it.
- Don’t fear accepting help. You steal someone’s blessings when you don’t allow them to act on the empathy God has placed in their heart. (God used my sister Deanne to teach me that one.)
- Well meaning people are just that, they aren’t God. Job’s friends were overflowing with advice, the problem was, they opened their mouths before consulting God about what they should say. When you hurt, you can almost guarantee someone will offer opinions, platitudes, and stories to rival your own. Try to respond with thoughts and words of grace when their good intentions add new welts to stinging wounds.
- “He got me through before, I wonder how He’ll do it this time.” Your mind is empowered with fresh faith when you survive tough stuff.
- I eventually recognized the darkness as a sweet period, where God took me on what I now refer to as Wilderness Walks. A place where He gets me off to Himself for intimacy, to hold my hand, to whisper in my ear, to show me love in new and profound ways. To teach me things I did not know.
- My trials have the ability to inspire others. I have compassion for things I never could have without going through my Jobette years. Today, I don’t turn my head or my heart away from someone else’s pain. I don’t say, “I’ll pray for you,” without meaning it. I’m not afraid to sacrifice a bit of time or energy to show someone else I care. My selfish gene is often superceded by a generous gene.
- Writing and speaking brave, as I was just reminded at a conference, not only heals me, but can shed light into someone else’s black pit. Every human being eventually faces one or more physical, relational, emotional, mental, or financial issue. Knowing we are not alone can make the difference in getting out, or staying in. By reaching down into another’s hurts, who knows? God might use us to draw them toward a healing place, where they are empowered to do the same for someone else, later on.
I also learned to take specific actions during my Jobette years, but I don’t have time or room to tell you right now. I’ll write a second part on my Fresh Faith Friday post. In the meantime, I ask you these questions.
What are you doing with your story? Are you hiding it in shame, or are you courageously allowing it to inspire others, helping them climb out of their own pit?
Anita Fresh Faith
Jeremiah 33:3 (NIV)
‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’
Anita Agers-Brooks is a Business and Inspirational Coach, national speaker, Communications Specialist, Certified Personality Trainer, Productivity Expert, and Certified Training Facilitator. Anita is also the author of, First Hired, Last Fired — How to Become Irreplaceable in Any Job Market. Her new book, Getting Through What You Can’t Get Over, releases through Barbour Publishing in April, 2015.
She’s a partner in The Zenith Zone, a business coaching firm. Member of the Christian Writer’s Guild, Toastmasters, and a client of WordServe Literary Group. A graduate of CLASSeminars for Leaders, Speakers, and Authors, a co-founder of The StoryWriting Studio, and speaker on circuit for Stonecroft International Ministries.
Anita co-hosts a weekly podcast, Engaging Life and Leadership with Darren Dake, available on iTunes, Stitcher, and other podcast platforms.
Anita is passionate about business with integrity, healthy relationships, and issues of identity. She travels the country teaching others from her personal experiences and research. She believes it’s never too late for a fresh start with fresh faith.
Her favorite pastime is lounging by a river or lake in Missouri, laughing with her husband of thirty years, Ricky.
Follow her FreshFaith blog anitabrooks.com. You may contact her via website www.brooksanita.com/contact/ or email email@example.com.