“Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me your rod and staff, they comfort me” (Psalm 23:4, NIV)
Life isn’t always a cake made of rainbows and smiles (that’s a Mean Girls reference for anyone who didn’t get it and now thinks I’m weird). Life is hard. I would love to say that I have everything together, but to be honest, my life is messy right now.
My whole life has been a battle with perfection. Even in kindergarten, I was obsessed with being perfect. I went the entire school year without getting in trouble, all so that I would be perceived as the perfect child. As I have grown up, the way perfectionism has manifested itself has changed. For me, my biggest desire is to measure up to the standards of beauty. However, that is also accompanied by a desire to perfect everything else in my life from grades to relationships. The problem is, I don’t measure up. I am not perfect.
Throughout the last year I have dealt with anxiety and depression over my imperfection. After much encouragement from my twin sister, Emily, (shameless plug: she also wrote for this site. Look for the girl that looks like me) I started seeing a counselor and doctors. God has used these two things to start the healing process in my life. So, let me say, to anyone who is struggling, it’s ok to get help!!! There is no shame in it, and God can use it for amazing things.
While God has begun to heal my heart, I am very much still in my storm. I have good days and bad days. Days where I know I am good enough, and days where I can barely grasp that truth. So, what do we do in the midst of life’s trials?
The main thing I have been learning is to hold onto Jesus with every ounce of my being. I like to pretend I’m strong, but I need Jesus. He is the only one capable to handle all of my stuff. And the best part is, it doesn’t freak him out or send him running. He is more than able to help me. God says, “Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he, who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you” (Isaiah 46:4, NIV). Even in the midst of all my stuff, God is enough. He sees everything I am going through, and he will help me today and for the rest of my life, until I’m old (and hopefully a cool grandma).
While working through trials, I have noticed that sometimes, it’s easy to feel alone and hopeless. “No on else can possibly be struggling like me” or “this is never getting better. They had victory over their stuff, but not me- I’m the exception.” If you can relate to this, know that it’s NOT true. You are not alone, and it’s completely possible to have victory. God sees everything you are going through, and “in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28, NIV).
Can I be super cheesy for a second? It takes work to make flowers grow. You have to pull the weeds and water the plants, but in the end, you get something beautiful. We are the same way. God has to prune us to bring our best for us. So, while trials are hard and painful, we can trust that God has good things ahead for us. I know that sounds overly optimistic, but if we don’t trust that God only has good for us, then it’s going to be impossible to get through life’s hard moments.
As a 40 year-old mom stuck in a 20 year-old’s body, I love to walk and drive around to my favorite Christian music. Call me weird, but Hillsong gets me more pumped for class than Beyoncé (can I say that?). One of my favorite songs, “Anchor” says:
I have this hope
As an anchor for my soul
Through every storm
I will hold to You
With endless love
All my fear is swept away
I will trust in You
There is hope in the promise of the cross
You gave everything to save the world You love
And this hope is an anchor for my soul
Our God will stand
There is so much in this song. I could go on for days. But my favorite word is the word “unshakeable.” There is nothing that can shake God. While I may be imperfect, I am held, known, and loved by a perfect God. He sees us, he loves us, he fights for us, and I have hope that victory is in my future.God even tells us that we will be victorious. “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us” (Romans 8:37). We are more than conquerors! As I walk through my storm, I am going to believe in victory for me and for you.
If you relate to Sarah's story and feel like seeing a counselor might be a good step for you to take then check out our counseling service page.