Do you ever cringe internally when you’re approaching an upcoming conversation with someone because you know the questions they’re going to ask and you just don’t have the bright, shiny, polished answers? Yeah… that happens to me. These questions may come from distance acquaintances whom you barely know, or they may come from close family and friends. And the topics can range across all areas of life- family, relationships, marriage, kids, jobs, finances, if you can think of it… then add it to the list.
Sometimes I feel like I can answer a question with all of the positive aspects of the answer first, but then when it comes down to the not so positive things I kind of dance around the answer. I can kind of picture it like having a garden (which is a really ironic metaphor to come into my mind considering the fact that I despise gardening). If someone were to ask me “What’s growing in your garden?”, I would first of course point out my beautiful tulips, zinnias or lilies, but I am much less willing to admit all the weeds that can be found growing just below my beautiful buds.
So then I find myself wondering, well do I answer them truthfully and admit there might be some weeds in my garden? Or do I stick to only displaying my flowers? Here are a few questions I can ask myself to help me navigate these scenarios:
- Am I answering honestly? No matter what the question is, there is no reason for you not to give full honesty when answering someone’s question about your life. Whether it be about your job, relationship, family, friends or faith- let’s not allow ourselves to fall into the temptation to tell little white lies to make those weeds disappear. Just remember- honesty breeds vulnerability which ultimately breeds community and closeness in relationships. Maybe being honest with this person can grow your relationship.
- Does this individual need to know about certain details of my life? Another thing that helps me determine what I need to say is who I am speaking with. It’s OK to not feel totally comfortable sharing certain things with certain people- that’s completely up to your discretion. And if this is the case, in stead of getting caught up in our first scenario and feeling tempted to lie, I simply try to answer their question succinctly and move on to another topic. If it’s not something you don’t want to talk about, then there’s really no reason you should have to.
- Do I even have the words to answer their question? Sometimes the weeds are too overpowering, they’re too strong and so overbearing in your life. Sometimes the small act of a question being asked can send us into a complete tailspin where we completely loose sight of truth. This also has happened to me a time or two. So what do you do in those situations? When the words don’t come… when you honestly don’t even know what to say… just pray. Pray for the Lord to give you the words you do not have, and pray that He will carry you through this conversation with His grace and peace. Even a prayer in a split second can make the biggest difference.
Pray, trust, and don’t be afraid of people asking questions.
This has been such a vivid season for me recently. Sometimes we expect these wonderful showers of blessings to continually rain down on us when we feel like we are on top of the world, and then sometimes, the shower seems to slow down and life seems to become a little more… normal.
We go from living from hi to hi and we get used to the thrills of new seasons and exciting opportunities. And then once all of that settles, you look around and realize you are in a new place that you never expected to be and you’re not quite sure how to find your purpose. Maybe you thought your life mural would be filled with blues and greens and organic shapes and then you look up and there’s lots of red and orange splattered across the canvas. Has this ever happened to you?
Honestly, I wish I had the answer to figuring out how to manage these uncertainties in life. I wish I had a 1, 2, 3 step-by-step list of ways to walk through these times. But all I can say is that when a part of your life looks nothing like you pictured it to be, keep reaching towards your goals and taking steps and pretty soon, one way or another, you will realize the mural of your life is that much richer. No matter what colors, shapes, or brushstrokes appear on your canvas, know that they each tell a story and have shaped you into your own unique masterpiece.
So friends, have you ever felt this way? And if so, what did you do to keep moving and keep walking through your season?
There are certain seasons of life that bring more changes, uncertainties and unknowns than we ever would have expected. Have you ever walked through a stage such as this? Chances are you either have walked through this stage, are currently in this season or are about to walk into this season. Wherever you are on this spectrum- there is one thing that helps me keep my world from spinning out of control. And that is to seek something stable in your life. Search out one thing that has not changed amongst everything else in your life and focus on the constant nature it holds.
So what is the stability in your life? Is it a parent, sibling, a friend or a loved one? Maybe it could be something as simple as coming home to your apartment or house that you have created with love every single day… sometimes that is the most comforting thing to me. Maybe it is an activity, workout routine or class you find solace in. Whatever that person, place, or thing may be- seek it out daily in your life. Amongst constant change, confusion and lack of sameness, avidly pursue what you can rely on.
And as a bit of encouragement, let me remind you, the one thing that is truly constant, is the Lord. The only person in our lives who will remain unchanging, the only place we can go to seek genuine healing and comfort, is the Lord. Sometimes it may feel like God is the farthest away from where we are, but He desires to fill that space in your life, so are you allowing Him to?
When you need something stable… seek it with intentional persistence and allow it to carry you through the most difficult or challenging seasons of life.
“The Lord gives his people strength. The Lord blesses them with peace.” – Psalm 29:11
“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” Isaiah 41:10