Worse Before It Gets Better

It’s gonna get worse before it gets better.

Don’t you love that nugget of advice? Doesn’t it make you want to paint on your biggest smile and whistle a happy tune?

Of course not.

Getting worse is not the news we want to hear when we’re looking for the silver lining. We want to know that breakthrough is on the way and fast,  yesterday if possible.

Pregnancy is one of those scenarios. Think about what a woman’s body endures during that almost ten month period. Even if she has a relatively ‘easy’ pregnancy, she will become so uncomfortable during that nine month that she will do nearly anything to relieve her discomfort. She can’t accept that things will stay the way they are. They must change regardless of her fear of the pain required to move on. It gets worse before it gets better.

We can talk about wanting things to change until we’re blue in the face, but for most of us there comes a time when the discomfort of our current situation must exceed the pain of what is required to change. If you’re around children, you know this is true. How many of them volunteer to clean up their toys out of the goodness of their little hearts from the start? Ok, you may have that one freakish child who did that, but I didn’t. Why, why, why???

In the process of getting our house ready to sell we’ve re-painted, de-cluttered, removed quite a bit of our stuff, moved furniture around and packed away family pictures to the point that it no longer even looks like our home. I purchased an inexpensive piece of art to hang in the living room that I would never have considered hanging before. It’s SO not me. The time of feeling sad that we’re going to move to a different home for all of us has become an urgent demand–GET US OUT OF HERE! It gets worse before it gets better.

Maybe, like me, you’re smack in the middle of a hard season of ‘worse’ and you’re not even sure if you’ll make it to ‘gets better’. Getting to the point of no return discomfort is not ideal, but sometimes it’s necessary to be able to push through the pain so that relief can come. Relief is coming. God has not abandoned you. He never takes his eyes off of you. He loves you and wants what’s absolutely best for you. Unfortunately what’s best is rarely easy. He’s making something beautiful out of your season of ‘worse’. It’s going to be so much better than you can even imagine.

For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent, for Jerusalem’s sake I will not remain quiet, till her righteousness shines like the dawn [until you shimmer], her salvation like a blazing torch.

The nations will see your righteousness, and all kings your glory [your beauty]; you will be called by a new name that the mouth of the Lord will bestow.

You will be a crown of splendor in the Lord’s hand [the crown of creation], a royal diadem in the hand of your God.

No longer will they call you Deserted, or name your land Desolate.

But you will be called Hephzibah [my delight is in her], and your land Beulah [married]; for the Lord will take delight in you, and your land will be married.

As a young man marries a maiden [he pursues her, romances her]…as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride [you are lovely], so will your God rejoice over you. (Isaiah 62:1-5 emphasis added, taken from the book Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge)

These are powerful ancient words and they’re just as true today as they were thousands of years ago. He’s getting you ready for something more wonderful than you ever thought possible. He’s making you new.

 

Grace to Start Fresh

Have you ever wanted to run away from your life?

Before completing the mentoring program at House of Hope depression overwhelmed me and made it nearly impossible to focus on anything other than myself. Shame told me that if anyone knew about my depression, I would be rejected and alone. The best way to prevent being rejected was to get out of town. I wanted to move in the worst way and told my husband so nearly every day. He’d ask me where I wanted to move and my answer was always the same, “Wyoming”. I didn’t know anyone there. It seemed like a safe state for us to move. Of course, the industry that he works in didn’t have any employment opportunities in Wyoming, but I didn’t care. I wanted to start over.

A few months later we bought a house a couple of blocks away from the apartment we had lived in for almost five years. So much for starting over.

The morning we went to pick up our U-Haul truck I noticed the state on the side of the rig my husband was walking toward. Wyoming. I couldn’t help but laugh and wipe away the tears. The Lord made it very clear that he had heard my request but instead of allowing me to run away, he was giving me the grace to start fresh right where I was.

God can do a new thing with the old you right where you are.

Keep your eyes open for God,

watch for his works;

be alert for signs of his presence. Psalm 105:4 The Message

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