Ever feel like you’re almost to the end of your rope and you just cannot hang on another minute? You’re not alone. Everyone goes through seasons of self-defeat, pain and anguish.
It’s no wonder that we feel that way. What with the economy, the current state of unemployment and rising prices—to say nothing of global uncertainty and rumors of economic collapse in daily headlines—it really is enough to make you want to pull the covers up over your head and sleep until everything gets better.
Just so you know, that is not an option. Instead, here are three proactive steps you can take that will give you the courage to keep going:
1. Verbalize how you feel. I would caution against making this a public dissertation. Write it journal style where you can keep it private.. Tell God how you feel. Say that you are angry and bitter or that you’re afraid to face the day. However you choose, find a way to pour out your heart. It is cleansing to get it all out because that helps to release swirling negative thoughts. While your situation may not change, the way you feel about it will.
2. Accept help from others. You really do not have to go through this by yourself. Once you determine where you are stuck, seek out help. If you are struggling with credit card debt, for example, go to NFCC.org to find a certified credit counseling organization in your area. Make the call. Ask for help. If it’s a medical situation where you cannot afford the cost of meds, reach out for help. Simply asking for help is going to guide you to resources you may not know exists.
3. Choose joy. Even when you are at the end of your rope, you still possess something very valuable: Your attitude. You can choose your thoughts. You can default to pain, fear and anguish or you can proactively choose joy. You can focus on all that you do not have and all the stuff that’s coming at you, of you can choose to rise above that and focus on what you do have—even if that is just the air that you breathe. Embrace it. Choose to think only about things that are lovely, true and pure.
I do not personally know anyone who has a perfect life. On the contrary we’re all on this journey and the road can get rocky from time to time. I’ve come to realize that what I’ve been through can either beat me down and make me bitter, or I can choose for my experiences to make the difference in someone else’s life.
Kay Warren, has written a wonderful book, Choose Joy: Because Happiness Isn’t Enough. If the name sounds familiar, Kay’s husband is Rick Warren of Saddleback church. Recently, tragically—and since writing this book—Rick and Kay lost their son, Matthew, to suicide.
Surely, Kay’s determination to choose joy no matter what, has been severely tested. Still she is determined, through tears and sorrow, to choose joy. What a powerful message!
I have one new, hardcover copy of Kay’s book to give away to one of you today! Join the conversation by clicking “comment” below. How are you choosing joy in spite of … in the middle of … even if … ?
At the end of the day, I’ll randomly select the winner. This excellent book could be in your mailbox in just a few days.
Check back later as I will be commenting with the winner’s name.