Tag Archives: Struggle

More Than A Mile.

“When, in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes,
I all alone beweep my outcast state
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries
And look upon myself and curse my fate,” – Shakespeare, Sonnet 29

“No, you do NOT understand.” she snaps at his attempt at comfort. She is right, he has not walked a mile in her heels, but at a loss for words he had tried to soothe her anguish with the words “I understand.” For he did know something about pain and loneliness. He had experienced his version of it. Her exact feelings and circumstances? No, those he did not truly understand.

I once had a job that did not allow its employees to say “I understand.” Why? To avoid the situation above, to avoid a stressed customers snapped reply of “No you do NOT understand.” We were allowed to say “That situation can be frustrating.” “That is upsetting.” and other empathy statements, but we were to never “understand”. When a friend comes to us with a problem we empathize, we recall a similar situation, and we can feel similar hurts, but we do not truly understand. Every situation, every set of feelings, is going to be unique to the person who feels them.

That is why when we hurt, when we are upset, when we are depressed, when we are struggling, it is also easy to feel so terribly alone.

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Free To Struggle

Christian do you struggle, on the battle ground, ‘gainst the powers of darkness closing in around? Christian rise, take armor, soldier of the cross; for the sake of Jesus count your gain but loss.

I struggle. I am sure that comes a shock to a lot of you. I know, I know, I come off pretty perfect but . . . oh who am I kidding, if you have read even one of my posts on this blog or my  Ripple In Culture blog you know I am a jumbled mess of chaos and crazy. It is the fact that other people struggle, especially those that have influence and seem to have an extra dash of spiritual, that has my mind in a tizzy.

From the pulpit of church I have heard them confess “I am not perfect.” From the stages of Sonshine and Lifelight I have heard them sing “I too am searching for the light in this darkness.” From the pages of their books my eyes have read their words “I am not always fully walking with God.” But I am not sure that I really grasped their meaning. I never truly believed them. The people that I see as super spiritual, they must have it all together. They have reached the place of walking hand in hand with God. They have reached the destination that is openly hearing God and following him all the time.

Nope. I think it finally hit home when I started to become close friends with people that I have dreamed my spiritual leaders. We have become close enough friends that I have started to feel towards them special feelings that we primarily reserve for our friends. That is right, disappointment. One day I was obviously hurting, but they did notice or reach out too me. One day a tricky situation presented itself and I did not think they handled it with the measure of grace I believed they were capable of. One day I heard them complain, I saw them be human, I watched them struggle.

My spiritual leaders are indeed struggling humans. They have been under a hard battle of spiritual warfare lately and it disappoints me. It disappoints me not in the way that makes me disappointed in them. I am not worried that they are weak or failing. In fact, just the opposite. Their strength is what is drawing these attacks. They must be walking close to God if Satan is trying to stall them and hurt them like this. I am disappointed, because if they are still being attacked by lies and past hurts, then there is very little hope for me to reach this perfection I figured most spiritual leaders possessed. I am disappointed that I had myself believing that one day I would wake up and I could just be happy. That I would somehow work myself to a place where I could hear God’s will perfectly and never stumble. That I could be perfect.

It is okay though. Oddly enough I am finding peace in this realization. There is no longer any pressure for me to reach a certain level of perfection. When I have a weak day, when I am feeling attacked, it is not because I am sinful and terrible, no. I am sinful of course, but sometimes being attacked means that you are on the right path and your personal demons are just trying to derail you.

Christian do you battle Satan’s power within, all his striving luring, tempting you to sin? Christian, do not tremble, do not be downcast; arm yourself for battle, watch and pray and fast.

Christian, do you wrestle those who taunt and claim, “Why keep fast and vigil? Prayer is said in vain!” Christian, answer boldly: “While I breathe I pray!” Peace shall follow battle, night shall end in day.

Peace shall follow battle. Night shall end in day.