If you’re a Christian, perhaps you feel guilty when life gets you down. I know I do. When life starts to get the better of me, it’s easy to wonder if something is wrong with my Christian walk or if I’m lacking faith. I tell myself that I have nothing to complain about, that there are people out there with “real” problems and I need to pull myself up by my bootstraps and count my blessings.
A few weeks ago, I was really in a blue funk. In fact, I was in a funk for a while. If you’re a regular reader, I’m sure you could tell. I’m feeling better now, but one day not too long ago a friend made an innocent comment, and I promptly burst into tears. Of course she asked me what was wrong. I just shook my head. I couldn’t think of a single thing in my life that is “wrong”. I said hopelessly, “I don’t know. I have everything I ever wanted.”
That comment spawned an interesting conversation that has continued via email after the fact. Why do we sometimes feel down even when “nothing’s wrong”? Maybe we just need to get our priorities straight. Are we placing our hope in the things of this world instead of the things of God? Have we allowed health and security to become idols in our lives? Are we looking to those those things, rather than to God for our ultimate fulfillment?
Those are all valid questions that deserve some reflection, but you know what? Life is hard. We live in a fallen world. Even if we aren’t dealing with health issues or financial difficulties or grief, the day-to-day grind is full of toil and strife. Knowing the saving grace of Christ doesn’t make us immune to the ills of hormones and seasonal mood fluctuations and bickering children. Just because we’re not always overflowing with joy doesn’t mean we don’t have our trust firmly planted in the Lord.
I know where my hope lies, but sometimes life is just tedious. I get so tired of the whining, the nagging, the bickering, the clutter, the dirty dishes and dirty clothes that seem to multiply exponentially. In addition to all that, I’m getting old. The grays are proliferating, my skin looks tired, my metabolism has dried up and died. Stop the ride! I’m ready to get off.
Fortunately spring DOES come, both literally and figuratively. But I’ve decided that it’s okay if things aren’t always sunshine and roses. They aren’t supposed to be. I mean, they actually ARE supposed to be, or they WERE before the Fall, but I promise not to get all theological on you. The point is, in this imperfect world sometimes we will get burned out, feel lackluster, struggle to find the joy. And maybe that’s okay.
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DISCLAIMER: I don’t mean to suggest that there isn’t a time or a place for medical intervention. If you have a serious long-term issue, or you feel that you may be clinically depressed, seeking medical help is in no way a copout. Also, ladies, if you’re having trouble with lack of energy or inexplicable weight gain (not to be confused, of course, with a winter of overindulgence and wearing sweatpants too often, ahem) getting a thorough blood workup could reveal a thyroid issue or something else that can be easily treated.
22 thoughts on “Maybe It’s Okay”
I always go through a blue mood after the holidays. I think there’s so much going on, and everyone is always in such a good mood, that after it’s over everyone’s good mood is used up and it depresses me.
I know what you mean about feeling guilty about it too. I have nothing to complain of, but it happens here and there.
I’m glad your mood has improved and that you’re feeling not-so-blue any longer!
Amen. I work to keep my suffering in perspective, without diminishing it. Comparatively speaking, there is nothing to complain about in my life. But there are things that are hard to deal with, there are days and weeks where it feels like toil with no respite, and that is legitimate. Our cross is our cross, regardless of the size and weight and hurt compared to others. To deny it would be to endorse a theology that is not real. There are no promises of earthly ease and riches and happiness for Christians. The promise comes at the end, after we have toiled on earth. I know that, but some days it is hard to remember.
Thanks for sharing Jo-Lynne!
I am glad you mentioned the blood work up. About ten years ago I was in my doctor’s office crying because it took all my energy to walk across the room. I was weeping because I used to be a hard worker, and had become weak and lazy in my own mind. I have a great doctor, who while could do a better job with explanations, did well for me and did the blood work up right away. Not all women receive that kind of care.
Synthroid is no panacea that makes the weight magically drop off. I still have weight gain issues, though the pills put my t cells at appropriate levels. My doctor does not want to overdo the meds and give me new problems….
My energy level isn’t what it was in my youth, but whose is? I can do more than merely walk across a room before collapsing, and I haven’t wept in my doctor’s office for a very long time. 🙂
My apologies for the long comment. I guess just wanted to add an AMEN to your last sentence.
Wow! What a “coincidence” for this week. I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism on Wed…and I am only 29! I was so glad there was something actually wrong with me, and that it is easily fixed. I thought I was crazy for going to the dr because I was tired, as I have a 5 month old and a 4 year old. But something just did not feel “right”. Get checked, girls, cause you never know, and the Lord gave us our instincts for a reason.
I agree. Life is not always going to be perfection…actually things will NEVER be perfect.
Good to remember that just because we are having a hard day, week, month or year doesn’t mean we don’t put our trust in our God.
Jo-Lynne, you are so right. I understand that funk completely, and I also know what you mean about questioning if your faith is in line when the funk parks itself for a while. You’re also really right about going to see a doctor if the funk continues for more than a month or two. At the end of this blog post, I talk a bit about my atypical depression diagnosis. http://life-artist-48.blogspot.com/2009/01/2008-top-12.html It mimics several other conditions, including hypothyroidism. I need to do a longer post about the specifics, so maybe I can help others who may be dealing with it.
Ah, this one really speaks to me. I have been in a funk for a while. Loneliness and possibly depression are most likely the cause. Like you I really have nothing to complain about but for some reason there are days when I can’t stop complaining about all the little things.
In looking back at my life and the times when I felt happiest I’m finding that it has less to do with what I own than how I am interacting with the world around me. I feel best when I form connections with others and when I feel like I’m part of something bigger than myself. Somewhere along the way my world has become very “micro”. I need to go back to recognizing my place in the macro world. Spiritually and connecting with people are part of that.
As for hypothyroidism … I have it and it can really zap the energy right out of you. For the woman who was just diagnosed please make sure you monitor your hormone levels a few times a year to make sure you don’t have any changes.
Rachel Balducci at Testosterhome wrote some similar thoughts. Just thought I’d share.
Yes, about the funk, and yes, about feeling guilty. When things feel tough, it reminds me to long for heaven, where everything IS perfect. And I know God wants me to long for heaven.
I love it! The Valleys Help me enjoy the Mountains! And even on my worst days.. I know that God is ALWAYS.. Good! Amen Sister!!! I hear your message Loud and Clear!!!
Seriously, great post. We all need to hear that sometimes. AMEN!
I go through phases like this too and always feel horrible that I’m not *content* with my life.
One thing I’ve notices is that if I’ve allowed myself to get distracted by my selfish desires and haven’t been spending enough time with Jesus, it’s worse.
And I was listening to a radio program the other day and they made a comment about how the Bible says that Christians will be persecuted (I can’t remember the verse they quoted) and they were talking about everyday “persecution” not the type of persecution we think of. It kind of struck a chord with me. Jesus never promised that our lives were going to be easy because we were Christians and sometimes I loose sight of that fact. I expect that everything is going to be hunky-dory perfect because I’m a Christian – and it’s just not like that.
It kind of gave me a different, live able, perspective.
Thanks for this post. I like your perspective – very thoughtful. I believe you’re right – maybe it IS okay.
Thank you for the thoughtful post. I like your idea that we need to remember we live in a fallen world–maybe we’re not supposed to get too comfortable down here.
I am being treated for depression/anxiety issues; I’m much better now, but I do still have down days or weeks in which I need to remind myself that I need to count my blessings. Now that I’ve gotten the proper treatment, it is possible to do.
Praise the Lord for giving us glimpse of His goodness that is in store for us in heaven! Praise Him!
I sometimes feel the same way. Like I am just going through the motions and feeling down. I try to remind myself that God is in control in our good times and bad. I think everyone goes through phases like this though. Hope you feel better!
This post touched me as well, and I appreciate the affirmation that we all feel down at times and it’s ok. 🙂 Just what I needed to read – thanks!
It was so good to read this — and I really appreciate your honesty. I’ve been in a bit of a funk lately, as well. Everything you read says, “Enjoy the journey!” but, honestly, I haven’t been enjoying the journey lately. And because I’m not enjoying it, I start to think something’s wrong with me. Then I start to blame myself for not being the Christian/wife/mother I really want to be.
It’s exactly like you wrote — it’s not that anything is horribly wrong with my life. I have everything I want, but it IS the tediousness of it. You do get sick of the bickering, the nagging, the whining. You do get tired of the cleaning and the messes and the errands.
Your last two sentences were such a comfort to me. It was like a release from all the guilt I’ve had lately. You spoke exactly to where I’ve been.
It is not only ok, it is also how learn and grow to better ourselves. JMHO
Wow. You are singing my song, sister. I have nothing to add except, AMEN!
As a dear friend sometimes said …”Life isn’t always like the pages of your Creative Memories books.” Sometimes it just………is. And that’s ok.
Great post. You put it so well…so down-to-earth. Literally and figuratively! Yes, the Fall permeates every aspect of this world. Thank God we can rejoice in His grace and look forward to going Home!!