Friday, November 28, 2014

"This is the good life."

  Guys, I started writing this post over 3 weeks ago. THREE WEEKS! That's how ridiculously crazy my life has been this semester. Thank the Lord I'm on thanksgiving break (though I should be doing homework, but I digress. *sigh*)

 I've been a bit of a hot mess this semester. Okay, hot mess is a bit of an understatement.

   This semester has just been the worst. I freaking HATE admitting that, because I'm finally in classes I love and feel like I'm 100% doing what I'm supposed to be doing. I've loved my classes, and my middle school practicum was my favorite thing ever.
   And yet, I have never been this overwhelmed, stressed out, or exhausted in my life. I don't think I've ever been stretched so thin in school. It's been one of those semesters where EVERY THING is due at the same time, so it's been a constant going, going, going since practically August.
   Then October rolled around, which I'm pretty sure was the month literally sent from Hell to drive me to a breaking point. Somehow I dredged through, barely.
 
My life. Via the lovely Glennon (Momastery)
  Along came November, with a much needed week break of sorts. The 1st week of the month I had nothing major due (a rare feat!) and I was able to miss classes and practicum twice that week for two different purposes: an elementary school writing workshop, and Q Women Conference.

(This post would've made so much more sense if I'd written it 3 weeks ago, right after the conference, but again, life got the best of me. Sigh).

  ANYWAY. The conference was wonderful and was exactly the charge I needed to get through the semester. All the speakers were great, but one particular caught my attention.
  I'd heard Annie Downs' name before (one of the few names I knew from the conference) because I'd heard of her book Let's All Be Brave (which was in the conference swag bags, wooo!). I'd heard of the book through a blogger of some sort, and had put it on my to-read list (I've since read it, but that's an entirely different post for another day).

 She said many awesome things at the conference, but it was this that caught me in the gut:

I don't want to live in a passive state of waiting; I want to live in a chronic state of, "this is the good life."

Yep. Right. in. the. gut.

   Part of me scoffed and thought, "how in the living HELL can this to be the good life?"
Let me break it down for you:
~I am the most stressed I've ever been in my life (18 hours plus a school practicum does this to ya)
Thanks Glennon (again) :)
~My body and brain have decided to revolt against me because of the stress
~Insomnia and exhaustion have completely take over my life
~As much as I love what I'm doing in this season of life, it has been overshadowed by a pit of depression so deep I somedays don't know how the hell I'm gonna get back out.

   So... yeah. Not exactly a chronic state of living the good life right now. I want to wallow and mope in it, but honestly-- that's (obviously) not helping me much. I've been sitting around waiting for the next season of life to pull me out of this mess. It's not working.

   The other part of me, upon hearing Annie's words, wanted so badly to live in that chronic state of the good life. I NEED to be living in that right now. I want to believe that in my worst of worsts, living in that good life mindset is possible. But how? HOW?!?! How, in the middle of the hellish mess I've dug myself in, can I even begin to live as though this is good?!

(if you think I'm gonna be ending this post with a solution or anecdote of some sort, you are sadly mistaken. I wish).

    I think right now, the most important thing for me to realize is that I'm currently NOT in a place where I can confidently say, "this is the good life." I want to be there, but I'm just not. Admitting that is huge for me; I want it all to be perfect when in reality somedays it feels like life is crashing down on every side of me. My world is just spinning too hard right now, and as much as I want and need to live in a "this is the good life" mentality, I just can't right this second.

   But I can start. I can start taking baby steps to get me to this good life place. The key, for me, is in the waiting; I've been stuck waiting this semester out, hoping it would get better or easier, or maybe just disappear from existence (ok there have been good things I promise but the sucky outweighs the good). I have to remember that yes, life is hard; some days are blah, some days are wonderful, and some days feel straight outta hell, but whichever kind of day the Lord gives me- He's given me for a reason. And hopefully, He'll give me the next day too, whatever kind of day it is.
   I saw this on twitter and thought it spoke volumes into my life right now: "Today was a hard day. Reminding myself that hard days are days the Lord has made too (via Sammy Rhodes)." This is the day the Lord has made. Every day is a day He has made- good, bad, amazing, or ugly. And I should rejoice and be glad in it. It doesn't say to rejoice only on the good days; every day, no matter the day's outcomes or unravelings, is a day God has given me. It is a day I have been graciously given, so I should rejoice, be glad, and do my best to remain in that, despite the circumstances the day gives me. That's freaking hard, y'all, especially when the sucky days outweigh  the good ones.

A good life, I've finally begun to realize, doesn't mean all of my days will be good. Far from it. To me, it means that I'm trying to simply live out my life's work each day, in spite  what life throws my way. It means to step out and be brave, in the midst of my mess, and truly live- even when it's the last thing I want to do.

  It's gonna take all of the bravery and courage and strength I have to live this right now, especially on the pit days where I don't have the strength to get out of bed. But guys, I HAVE to--I NEED to. I need a reason to feel something other than numbness right now. I'm ready to feel His goodness moving in my life again, even if some days don't seem all that good. I need to live like it's the good life, or to fake it til I make it to that point where it genuinely is good. I don't know when that'll be right now, but I know God promises me that He will work everything out for those that love Him. That he takes my brokenness and mess and makes beautiful things from it. That's all I've got right now, but that's something pretty good to cling on to in this pit, I think.

So no, this post doesn't have a happy ending right now. I'm not magically in a place where the good life is my constant right now, nor am I in a place to rejoice and be glad, despite my utmost want and need to be. It's a work in progress that I someday soon hope to fully live out every day, despite the circumstances of my day. This is going to be the good life, even if the every day isn't. And that's a start, friends.
Ellie Holcomb-My Portion and My Strength (but really, go listen to her whole album. It's helped me so much).


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