Talia Biel is a member at Crossroads Church. She is a sincere Jesus follower with a gift for connecting her faith to real life, and for sharing that through her writing. Check out her blog “Holding On To Faith.
“Beyond the trees, there’s always light… Sometimes, I just wonder why we were put on this earth in the first place, just so that we can suffer? I’m just so emotionally drained and tired of fighting to get by.”
This was the text message a friend of mine said to me last night. As I read it, part of me hoped I could come up with some deep reasoning that would provide some answers which would leave her with some sort of comfort such as encouraging words like “hang on, it gets better, keep going”. Part of me also knew exactly what she meant. Even though her and I face two completely different struggles at the moment and we both can’t say we truly understand what the other person is going through, it all comes down to us both needing the same thing, hope. Needing a beacon of light to shine through the darkness. I knew at that moment, telling her to hang on, it gets better, keep going, would not be the words she needed so desperately to hear.
When you are hurting, you don’t need someone to sugar coat the pain, or tell you that it’s going to be okay, because no matter how much you say you understand what they are going through, you don’t. Everyone deals with pain and life in general differently. Sometimes, a friend just needs not answers, but to be loved. Some of us have just perfected covering the pain up, and are accustomed to throwing on a smile while lying to the world that we are okay.
How are you staying so strong? – was the second text that quickly followed after.
I felt a pang of guilt as I read this one. I felt like I had no choice to be anything but strong, but as I thought about it some more. I thought, what are you talking about? Here I am wanting to pull my hair out because I can’t seem to stay on top of things from work, to homework, to school, to tending to my family members that are sick. I’m the one falling apart, holding on tightly and grasping whatever hope that still beams inside me.
Have I thrown on a smile pretending to get by these last few days? Or do I have hope, a beacon of light instilled in my soul that reminds me that I am not alone?
Even when I feel just that, completely alone.
Someone always has it better, and someone always has it way worse. But when it comes to others suffering, and holding onto hope, why does any of that matter? Why do we feel the need to compare our struggles to one another? We ALL struggle, and we ALL need hope. We thrive on hope. It’s what gets us out of bed and fight through what may be thrown out at us. Hope is the heart of Jesus, why He came. I had no answers for my friend on why we were put on earth. I mean, I probably should have had some considering we just finished a sermon series on “why you are here”.
All I could come up was this,
– To be a beacon of light in the darkness.
Sometimes, we are faced with impossible circumstance and we want nothing more to rewind or hold time still, to have just one more day with the people we love. We can feel anger, and profound sadness as life tends to get more difficult, and choices have to be made, but it’s also about a flicker or hope that comes from the realization that in times of difficulties, God is closer than our our own skin. Sometimes, it’s about being real and showing up in the pain.
It’s about contrasts. Feeling so utterly alone, yet somehow being connected to a larger community, and the entire world. Being filled with grace, while fighting off creeping bitterness. Needing people, more than you ever realized. It’s about knowing we are survivors not because of anything in our own strength, but because of who He is. When life storms take us in uncertainty, unwanted directions, facing the loss of broken down relationships, health, dreams, that we hold onto the beacon of light, even if it’s just a glimpse to get by, trusting that He will guide us back to safety.
It’s about opening up our hearts to the light, when all you see is darkness. Hope whispers.
Soft as the voice of an angel,
Breathing a lesson unheard,
Hope with a gentle persuasion
Whispers her comforting word:
Wait till the darkness is over,
Wait till the tempest is done,
Hope for the sunshine tomorrow,
After the shower is gone
Whispering hope, oh how welcome thy voice,
Making my heart in its sorrow rejoice