When I opened my email this morning, I clicked on a note from one of my favorite stores. They have super cute clothes, a little out of the ordinary, and I love their stuff. Shopping there is like an affordable little boutique treasure hunt.
It’s funny how something so small as an email can awaken the cynicism hiding in your soul. Because this morning, I read words like “spring” and “new” and “darling” and “sunny days” and all I thought to myself was, “WHATEVER.”
It’s cold outside. Snow. No leaves or flowers in my backyard. Lots of grey days that wear on me after awhile. These winter days are the ones that shake the melancholy part of me to the surface. It hovers over me, and it almost mocks me with its lack of hope.
I’m reading a new Bible study guide, prepping for a small group study that I’ll launch in the next few weeks. And I’m reading words like “amazing” and “strength” and “warrior” and “overcomer” and those words make me feel tired.
Because as much as I want to believe them, as much as I will emphatically tell you to believe them, they’re hard for me to grasp. I love the idea of them. I love what they represent. I love the picture they bring to my imagination. I even love the thought that they might be coming soon, just like “spring” and “sunny days.”
But in reality, I often wake up to the grey clouds of depression and bare trees that signal everything isn’t as it’s meant to be. And those sunny days feel just out of reach, like they’re mocking me with their hopefulness. Taunting me with their yet unfulfilled promises. Hemming me in with their invisible boundaries that I can’t quite seem to cross with both feet firmly planted on the other side.
And so I whisper to myself, “WHATEVER.”
“Discovering who God made us to be is a lifelong process, and every step of the way we’ll be tempted to be like someone else. Why? Because the enemy of our souls wants us to be like anyone but Jesus. We are closest to and most like Jesus when we are fully being who he created us to be.” (You’re Already Amazing, Holley Gerth)
It’s definitely a journey, and embracing that journey doesn’t mean the struggle stops. If anything, it intensifies as you learn to identify it. It becomes a little more prominent when you name it, and I have found that my struggles refuse to back down just because I throw a little “sunny days” at them now and then.
It takes intentional, soul-searching, gut-wrenching time with Jesus to embrace this life with all its goodness. It takes willingness to go on a little boutique treasure hunt. To search through the nooks and crannies of my seemingly small self to find the stuff that’s out of the ordinary. The stuff that makes my heart smile. The stuff that makes it worth the trip.
I’m ready to go shopping. Again. And this time, I hope to come away with something I love.