Part one of this post I talked about me. How a decade of my life helped me understand Job from the Bible in a real way. I not so lovingly referred to myself as Jobette during that period. And I discovered a few surprises along the way.
But Part Two is about you. Maybe someone reading this is going through a season where you feel like things will never get better. Family and friends may tell you it’s time to get over it, and move on with your life — but you know you’ll never get over the thing that plagues you.
If this speaks to you, then here’s more encouragement. Though your emotions may lie and tell you differently, you are not alone. Jesus is sitting in that pit with you. He understands despair. Look at His anguish in the Garden of Gethsemene, His cry as He hung on the cross. “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
What helped me may not work for you, but I will share key strategies that carried me through valleys I did not choose. Take any or none of these ideas, they’re simply things that helped me get through one more moment, when thinking about a whole day was more than I could handle.
- Acknowledge Christ’s presence. Talk to Him. No one else has to know, and He won’t tell on you. This is private, between you and Him. Get raw, He can take it. Then get quiet, and listen. He rarely shouts, but with practice, you’ll learn to recognize His whispers.
- Take one minute intervals. The best thing for you during a crisis of emotions is exercise. One of the last things you feel like is exercise. But I’ve found by jogging in place for sixty seconds, waving my arms for a minute, or kicking my legs while in the shower for sixty, can get my blood pumping enough to release a few feel good endorphins. Talk yourself into investing just one minute in some kind of intensive movement. A little bit later, repeat another one minute interval. It can make all the difference in whether your next hour is better, or worse.
- Write your questions, confusions, and frustrations down. You can journal letters to God if you want. I’ve done that, and it helped get the gunk out. It’s a truly cleansing experience.
- Drink extra water. This may seem strange, but it helps. Water flushes more than physical toxins. Keep a bottle or glass at hand at all times, and drink often.
- Know you are not alone. There are over 7 billion people on this planet now, and I can assure you, at least one of them understands your situation. The ones who really get you, won’t try to fix you, they’ll simply listen and love. If you don’t know someone personally, search for books written on subjects similar to your own.
- This is the most important thing I did. And there were times it was really hard. But crack open the tissuey pages of a Bible, and read something. You don’t have to study for hours, a sentence may be all you need, but do ask God beforehand to show you something personal, and to give you the wisdom to understand. I did this, and wow, the things He told me. The support and care I heard as He spoke to me through His love letters was incredible.
- Become willing to share your story. Our purpose can often come wrapped in pain, at least that’s been part of my experience. But it’s like giving birth. The labor is intense, and sometimes you feel like you’re going to die, but when it’s over, you forget the negatives as you hold your precious bundle in your arms. The sweet scent, the soft skin, the fluttery breaths of your new baby transforms your past into a dim memory as you relish the joy of your present gift. My Jobette years are like that now. I have the privilege of traveling the globe, offering real hope for real problems in real people’s lives. God taught me practical, financial, emotional, mental, physical, relational, and spiritual lessons on our Wilderness Walks. Now I get to share them with others.
If you know someone on a wilderness walk, trying to gather enough strength to take one more step, there’s something I hope you never do. Don’t try to fix them. If you’re a Christian, please don’t offer the, “Take two scriptures and call me in the morning,” approach. Simply walk with them. For guidance on what not to say, read the book of Job in the Bible, where the friends start talking. It’s a real lesson in what not to say to a wounded person. And I know from experience, people in the twenty-first century still say them today.
Your journey is yours alone. The happy, the sad, the bright, the dark, and even the grays. No one can walk it for you, and only God is truly qualified to tell you everything you need. But we can walk together. Sometimes in silence. But always with love. If you are wandering in the wilderness, please know, if you take enough steps, there truly is light at the other end.
Anita Fresh Faith
What strengthens you to get through the tough spots? How has your story helped others?
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 national speaker, Business and Inspirational Coach, Certified Training Facilitator, Communications Specialist, Certified Personality Trainer, 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.
Anita co-hosts a weekly podcast, Engaging Life and Leadership with Darren Dake, available on iTunes, Stitcher, and other podcast platforms.
She’s a partner in The Zenith Zone, a business consulting firm. Member of the National Association of Professional Women, Christian Writer’s Guild, Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, and Toastmasters. 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 is passionate about work 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.
When she wants to let her hair down, Anita lounges by a river or lake in Missouri, laughing with her husband of over thirty years, Ricky.
Follow her FreshFaith blog www.anitabrooks.com. You may contact her via website www.brooksanita.com/contact/ or email firstname.lastname@example.org.