I hate it when my life is messed up. Kids. Work. Spouse. Finances. Cancer. Grief. At some point in my journey, each of these has messed up the perfect life I had planned for myself. And I didn’t like it. Neither do you.
The biggest obstacle keeping you from living a full life is the picture in your head of how things are supposed to be. You’re stuck. Trapped in the frame of a faulty picture.
- The wedding rocked. The baby is beautiful. Your husband’s affair blindsided you—not how things are supposed to be.
- Your daughter has a drug addiction. And has a baby. Now you’re raising your grandchild because Mom is in a rehab center—not how things are supposed to be.
- You lost your job. Bills are piling up. You feel like you’re sinking—not how things are supposed to be.
- Your child is 30. Still unmarried. Doesn’t even want to have kids if she does marry. No grandchildren in your future—not how things are supposed to be.
- You pictured travel during retirement. Gardening. Fishing. Finances haven’t provided retirement—not how things are supposed to be.
All of us get stuck in some kind of unrealistic picture in our head at some point in life. Some can’t climb out of the picture frame.
What to do when life is messed up
- Acknowledge that the picture in your head is faulty. Simply because it isn’t reality.
- Pour your pain, anger, worries, frustrations, fears, and complaints out to God (see Psalm 142:1-7). Be real. Don’t think you have to be polite. Let it rip. God can handle it.
- Leave the unfulfilled dreams with Jesus. He’ll know what to do with them. He’s better at this sort of thing than you are. He’s raised more kids than you have. He’s rescued more people than you ever will. He knows how to provide better than you do. Let Jesus do his job. Get out of his way. Really.
- Now. Get God’s perspective on your situation (see Jeremiah 29:11). He has plans for you. They obviously aren’t what you had planned. They’re better plans. Because God planned them. Find out what they are.
- Ask God to open doors you didn’t know were there. Look for opportunities to serve, laugh, and celebrate the life you do have. Somewhere in the midst of living purposefully you’ll hear a voice behind you saying, “This is the way. Walk in it” (see Isaiah 30:21).
- Finally, do this today: Do one small thing that serves others. Do one simple self-care activity. Do one thing to that connects you with God. Rinse and repeat—daily.
And yes, I know I touched on this last week in Get Real About Fairytale Endings: Tinkerbell Has to Die. I’m spinning it a little differently so the message will connect. It’s a tactic of counseling. *evil grin*
Let me know if the tactic worked. And have a great weekend,
“Jesus likes it when we share.” -Adelaide, age 3: Pass this along to everybody and their brother. OK, maybe not everybody’s brother, but you know . . . all of your friends would be nice.