Hey there! I … yeah. Been a while. ? It’s been a while since I’ve been productive, so that makes sense.
But that’s okay. Life has been hectic, I feel like I’m always on the run, and I’m behind on several deadlines. Like, I’m not exaggerating. Several deadlines, some which seriously involve other people.
But I’m all right. Really, I am.
All right? Or not?
The thing about this world is it sells you two things:
The first is that you’re all right. You’re just fine. You NEED to be all right. Always, always all right.
You’re a failure if you tremble. Fear is bad—courage is normal, no matter the circumstances.
You need to have it together. You need to have that picture-perfect Instagram life. If you don’t live in a Hallmark movie, something’s wrong with you.
Success is inevitable, and you are a loser if you don’t achieve it—and now.
Perfection is the only goal, and without perfection, you’re a mess. Messes aren’t allowed. Messes are ugly. We get rid of messes.
We go round and round
Back and forth and almost upside down
To buy who we are –
A great big house, nice jeans, and a shiny car
But I’m learning that this world keeps turning
With or without me
So I’ll do my best and leave the rest
To the one watching over me
The second is that you should wallow. This actually breeds of the first one, believe it or not. The idea is that IF you don’t have that social media, perfect, awesome life … you should wallow in the sadness.
Maybe join a group of people who aren’t all right.
Maybe even use your “unusual” failure as the part of you that is unique.
After all, you’re told being a failure is weird. And uniqueness is liked. So maybe you can succeed at failure. Worth a try. You’re good at failing.
I know I am.
Trouble may find you …
But … neither of these perspectives are particularly helpful.
The first promotes depression because no one is perfect. No one is all right … not really.
I’m sorry, but you live in a sinful world. Even as a Christian (which I think a lot of my readers are), you … still aren’t going to be okay? Sorry?
Perfection is not our goal as Christians; it’s Jesus. But, though you will try, you need to accept being where you are in Him.
The second is also problematic. Looking at it from a Christian perspective, making your BAD traits (e.g. anxiety, laziness, procrastination) your GOOD traits is just a bad idea.
You want to overcome those. You don’t want it to be your brand.*
*You can make the struggle a brand**, but don’t get so stuck in the struggle phase—you can get better at, for instance, not procrastinating. So it’s only for a season.
**By the way, I use the world brand primarily in reference to author branding because a lot of you are WRITERS, and writers build branding around themselves. Which leads to a lot of them getting kinda messed up if they don’t separate self from brand.
BUT if you have spend any time with people, then you probably have a “brand.” A way you are. And it may not be you. And it may be stuck in a rut.
Here’s the thing …
I don’t want to be in either of those groups. Count me out.
I’m not always all right. No one is. Not on my own …
But I’m not really on my own, am I? I mean, I have to deal with my “on my ownness” all the time, we all do, and there’s nothing technically wrong with that (because it’s unavoidable).
But there is Someone who is always all right, infinitely all right, and my worth, my attitude, and my all-rightness come from Him.
To quote a favorite song from my childhood:
Trouble may find me
But it’s not gonna keep me down
‘Cause I’ll hold on tight
To the Father who loves me
And likes having me around
‘Cause He loves me, and He cares for me,
And so I’ll be alright
I’m no prosperity preacher. Your life is gonna be a hot mess—probably until you die.
Trouble will find you, but it’s not going to keep you down. There’s a difference between having a messy, troubled life, being a messy troubled person, and being kept down by it.
It’s okay to not be okay, but it’s not okay to not fight it.
Now, fighting it doesn’t always mean putting on all your armor. Sometimes it means resting in God’s grace. (I need to learn more about that, I’ll admit. I suck at it!) God fights for you, after all.
Neither does fighting mean ignoring the problem. If a big nasty ogre attack you and you pretend he doesn’t exist, you’re in for trouble, mate. You’re probably gonna get eaten.
But it’s important to say, “God, this ogre is too big for me. Handle it for me!”
Sometimes He doesn’t help in the way you want. He won’t always—I’d say even often—remove the ogre. But He will give you the tools to keep it from eating you—or help you chill while you wait for Mr. Ogre to stop pillaging.
Like I said, God isn’t a magical prayer-and-answer service.
I have been praying, but I’m not any closer to feeling better. Really, I’m not any closer to achieving my goals—being a better person—any of the things I need.
At least not externally. I don’t see results. And we’re taught to expect results for whatever we do … immediately. Seldom do people nowadays play the long game.
But there are promises:
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.”
On my own, I don’t get it. I just don’t. What’s up with me? Why can’t I be better? Why does this pain come? But God knows.
“For I know the plans I think toward you, says the Lord. Thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
I’m all right. Well, God in me is all right. He’s promised me an expected end, a future and a hope, a plan, even if it isn’t revealed to me immediately.
So is Kell all right?
Yes … and no. I suppose you could say KELL isn’t all right, exactly—not born of flesh Kell.
But Jesus Christ is perfectly all right. And He lives in Kell’s heart. Which therefore makes her all right, right?
So yes, as the song states:
Some say life is hard
Like swimming upstream
Or going against the grain
But I say life ain’t that hard
‘Cause I’ve seen how
The joy outweighs the pain
So you can sit and whine
About the times you’ve been having
Oh but as for me I choose to be
As happy as I can be
Because I’m alright.
What do you think on this issue? Do you agree that people tend to “wallow” in their problems, encouraged by today’s society, rather than seeking solutions? Have you ever felt like you’re not all right … and how do you handle it?