THE GROWING PAINS OF GROWING UP
What do we do when we mess up? I don’t mean cheat on our diet or forget someone’s birthday, I mean royally mess up and turn our lives completely upside down? I don’t have all the answers, and Lord knows I don’t have my life figured out, but I can say that there is a right way to go about fixing our mistakes, and a wrong way. Mistakes are painful, but God’s grace is more than enough even in the darkest days. When we find ourselves knocked down, torn up, and desperate, what do we do?
Give Up. No, that doesn’t mean go off the grid and accept the fact that your world feels like it’s crumbling to pieces. This means give up your fight, and hand it to God. Give up trying to fix things on your own. Give up your front of trying to pretend that you have it all together when you don’t. Fall on your knees and tell the Lord that you can’t do this without Him. Give up and give Him room to step up.
Tell Someone. For me, this is the hardest part of fixing a mistake. As the oldest in my family, I have always felt like I need to hold everything together, and genuinely feel guilty going to my parents or relatives when I get caught in my own mistakes. I convince myself that I can handle it on my own, and that it’s unfair to put my stress on my parents. That is the worst possible mindset anyone could ever have. Proverbs specifically tells us that the unwise will suffer alone, so don’t be alone. Own up to what you did and where you put yourself. Accept the loving correction and encouraging support from people around you. Maybe it’s your parents, maybe it’s your friends, maybe you feel like you have no-one and you need to walk into the nearest church and simply say, “I need help”. Be confident in knowing that God didn’t intend for us to handle life alone. If that’s what He wanted, He probably wouldn’t have had TWELVE disciples. Take advantage of the opportunity to let someone else come beside you, help you, and walk with you through your trial.
Press On. There is no doubt that when you’re in a valley, dark days overwhelm you. Guilt, fear, and tears take over at any given moment, and that’s okay. It would actually be concerning if you stood alone in your darkness and had no emotion towards the situation. However, that doesn’t mean you quit. Sitting around feeling sorry is not going to remedy your mistake. Pour yourself a cup of coffee, pull your pants up (even if they’re yogas) and face the day head on.
“My grace is sufficient for you, my power is made perfect in weakness…” 2 Corinthians 12:9
Is that not the sweetest promise? Our failures become the parts of our testimony that document God showing up and showing off. It doesn’t mean it will happen tomorrow. It doesn’t mean it will be easy. But He is the ultimate author of your story. His strength speaks through your weakness. His love for you isn’t heightened by accomplishments or taken back by disappointments. He is behind you, helping you up in the darkness, beside you holding your hand, and ahead of you waiting in the light at the end of the tunnel. No matter where you have been, no matter what you have done, it is not the end. Keep going. There are brighter days ahead.