Monday, 15 June 2015

What to do when you feel like giving up

Tough day? Tough week maybe? Heck right now it may feel like a tough life.

Sometimes we feel like this little guy
Image by Sachin Sandhu. Used under CC licence.

We've all been there at one point or another. Mental health professionals are quick to tell us that highs and lows are a normal point of life. And it's true, Jesus didn't promise us an easy ride.

"I have told you these things so that you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble..." (John 16: 33a). So what do you do when you feel like giving up? 

First, take a breath. Just breathe. Breathe in, hold . . . . . breathe out.

The short, shallow breaths caused by stressful situations can make it harder to think. Our brain starts to think that we're in real danger and our "fight/flight" response starts pumping us full of adrenalin, which is great if we need to run for our lives but less helpful if we need to think critically. There's a good summary here, with all the fun technical terms. 

Ok so that probably hasn't made the problem go away but now your brain is enjoying some much needed oxygen and you may be feeling calmer and able to think more clearly.

This image seemed appropriate.
Image by dasroofless. Used under CC licence

*Sarcasm powers activate*

I find I have something of a flair for drama. No don't laugh, I'm serious. I can turn anything into a world class melodrama in five seconds flat. I should win an Oscar, I'm telling ya. It's me and Merly Streep all the way.

*Sarcasm powers deactiviate* 

The truth is, if you're still reading at this point then we can safely assume you are not dead and thus still able to take action. And maybe you wish you were dead but please keep breathing darling.

You are here for a reason. Your life is not shaped by this problem. And you can overcome it.

Don't tell me you "can't " because when you say that you are not only calling me a liar, you're calling Jesus a liar. 

"God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?" (Numbers 23: 19)

So when Jesus, the Son of God says: 

"But take heart! I have overcome the world," (John 16: 33b) and that, "...we are more than conquerors through [Christ]" (Romans 8: 37).

Then how is it that you cannot overcome? How is it that you are the exception to the rule, God's rule, that He will never leave us nor forsake us? 

God does not lie. Jesus does not lie. So if Jesus says you can overcome this he is telling you the truth. Maybe the way out isn't obvious right now but he is never ever going to let you go.

Image by brett jordan.
Used under 
CC licence.

I know it's hard right now but you're still here. And you are here for a reason. You are precious and you are loved. Don't give up because God isn't giving up on you.

Sometimes, when the Rejection Monster comes to visit, I worry that secretly everybody hates me. Oh I know it sounds ridiculous but the feeling can be very, very strong. That's just it though: it's only a feeling. The truth, the evidence is friends and family who love me dearly and a Saviour who died for me.

Remember: God does not lie. Period. 

God bless and have a wonderful week. Let me know in the comment what you do when you feel like giving up. For example, a friend of a friend has a shower because it feels like she's starting the day again :)