These emotions have come in waves the last few days. In a season where everything seemed to be going so well, the bottom fell out. Over the weekend, I found myself crying in the middle of an episode of The West Wing that wasn’t even a sad moment. We’re never really prepared for hard seasons in life. In each of our lives, these situations look different, but we all face difficult situations.
What do you do when the bottom falls out? In other words, when life comes at you and you’re faced with a difficulty, how do you handle it? Here are a few things that have been helpful to me in challenging seasons:
- Pray. While this may seem cliché or obvious, just pray. Sometimes, I have to literally get on my face before the Lord. If you’re not comfortable doing that, pray in whatever posture you feel led. Something as simple as getting on our knees before the Lord shows our submission and reverence towards him. As you pray, confess your sins to God. If you’ve been hurt, pray for those who have hurt you. Talk to God just like you were talking to a friend. Sometimes, we don’t know how to pray, but the Holy Spirit intercedes for us (Romans 8:26).
- Get in the Word. Spend time in Scripture and Bible study. If you don’t know where to start or how to understand, check out this post. Ask the Lord what He’s trying to teach you during this difficulty. When the bottom was falling out last week my brother said, “Mary Margaret, get in the Word and pray. It’s all you can do.” I honestly wanted to sit in my bed and cry (which happened for a little while), but then I got out my Bible. God’s Word never returns void. Never. (Isaiah 40:8; 55:11)
- Surround yourself with other believers. Sunday morning, I really didn’t want to get out of bed and go to church, but I’m so glad that I did. The sermon hit home, and the Lord spoke so clearly to the situation I’m in right now. While this doesn’t always happen so specifically, it’s important to be in fellowship with other believers. We are called to “bear one another’s burdens,” and Galatians 6:1-10 speaks directly to this subject.
- Seek wise counsel. In different seasons of my life, I’ve sought help for dealing with challenging life circumstances. I’ve seen Christian counselors, and had women who have been wise counsel pour into my life in a very intentional way. I’m so grateful for the truths that God showed because I sought help. Don’t let pride or shame keep you from seeking needed help. (Proverbs 11:14; James 1:5-6)
- Recognize that you’re not alone. If I’ve learned one thing as an adult, it’s that everyone has something going on. If you think someone’s got it all together or doesn’t have problems, you don’t know them well enough (or they’re not being honest)! While it’s not our job to air out everyone else’s problems, gossip, or put words in other people’s mouths, we need people to talk to. Use discretion as you talk, but don’t go at it alone. (Psalm 56:1-4)
Earlier this spring at one of the Living Proof Live events, Beth Moore said, “There is not a single secret or darkness in our life that God can’t transform.” This is powerful truth, sister! We have to allow the Lord to come in and do his transforming work. Sometimes, we’re the one at fault. Other times, we’re on the receiving end of the consequences of someone else’s actions. Wherever you find yourself, know that God loves you and cares about your needs.
Run to Him when the bottom falls out.
“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23
Mary Margaret is an Event Project Coordinator on the Church Education Ministry team at Lifeway. She works alongside Chris Adams and coordinates training events for women’s ministry leaders like YOU Lead and the Women’s Ministry Forum. Mary Margaret has served several churches in the area of Girls Ministry and she recently completed a Master of Arts in Christian Education at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. In her spare time, she writes for Story of My Life – her personal blog.