Like every year, 2016 has came and gone in a blink of an eye, and as New Year’s Day rolls around, it is causing me to reflect on the past year. It has been a good year full of great memories. I started my junior year of college, and I have become closer to my friends. My brother got married in 2016, and not only did I gain a new sister, but also a niece and nephew.
I would be lying if I told you that 2016 wasn’t also a year of hardships. I cannot begin to describe to you the conversations I have had with God throughout the year. I have often went to him in tears, sometimes begging for his forgiveness or asking him to help me understand his will.
As I reflect on 2016, one thing God has continually reminded me that it is okay to not be okay. For as long as I can remember, I have been the best at putting on a mask of the “perfect Christian”. I had this idea that because I’m a Christian, I had to have everything figured out. That because I believe Jesus is my salvation and I trust him with my life, my life has to be perfect. I shouldn’t be struggling with anything. I should always be happy and perfect.
And my life is the opposite of perfect and okay. I struggle with temptation, and so many times I fall into that pit of guilt and shame. Sometimes I wake up and immediately want to go back to bed. There are times when I avoid mirrors because I cannot stand to look at the person looking back at me. Sometimes I feel like I have this weight in my chest and no matter how hard I try, I cannot be happy. There are days when I am not okay.
In 2016, God has taught me that the idea that Christians are perfect, that they are always happy and never struggle with anything, is one of the biggest lies from Satan. It is one of the lies Satan uses to call us away from the hope we find in Jesus. God has reminded me that I can do nothing without him, and the mask, the pretending to be okay when I’m not does nothing but hurt me.
God understands that we are broken and sinful people. There are days where I am going to struggle with sin, and he knows that there are times when I am going to fall into that sin. God knows that there are days when I am going to wake up and not be happy, not be okay. The power of the Gospel is God wants a relationship with me anyways. I do not have to have it all together whenever I go to him. There are days when I feel so broken that I have to crawl to him because it is all that I can do. And you know what? He listens and he speaks, even in the middle of the days I am not okay.
This was a hard lesson for me to learn, and it is something I am still learning. It’s okay to not be okay. If you are struggling with anything, I pray that you learn to go to God with it, and do not fall into Satan’s lie that you have to have it all together. Remove your mask. You can go to God angry, doubtful, depressed, or grieving, and he is going to listen and be there for you. He is going to call you closer to him in the midst of it all. I pray that you find hope in Jesus even when you do not feel okay.
I’m a complete and utter mess, but praise Jesus, he loves me anyway. Praise Jesus, he is with me when I’m not okay.
The Righteous cry out, and the LORD hears, and delivers them from all their troubles. The LORD is near the brokenhearted; He saves those crushed in spirit.” — Psalm 34:17-18