“Everything will be okay in the end; if it’s not okay, it’s not the end.”
This used to be my mantra: the words I kept telling myself in the hard places.
The words I kept on telling others in hundreds of ways every day. Living in this “hope” was my way of coping.
I kept telling myself, “Tomorrow will be better.” Tomorrow the situation will change, other people will change into what I want them to be, or I will change and then I will be happy.
But more often than not, today’s problems sneak into tomorrow which will usher in her own new troubles. And somewhere, while placing my hope in tomorrow, I’m procrastinating today’s grief and allowing small frustrations and anger to accumulate.
Waking up day after day only to realize that not much came of yesterday’s hopes can get really discouraging over a long period. And at some point, you come to ask: have to wake up to the reality:
What if everything is not going to be okay tomorrow (or,as I expect things to be)?
What if it’s okay for everything not to feel okay today?
What if it’s okay to allow myself to go through these emotions?
Emotions are not a reflection of the true state of the world but simply indicators of what’s going on in our own hearts and minds.
And sometimes we find ourselves in seasons of loss, loneliness, and hardship. Everything will certainly not be okay at all times in this life. The truth is that we sometimes need to cry and allow ourselves to grieve all that is lost and broken and hard to bear…to let the tears come down…like clouds releasing rain when they become too heavy…to relieve the tension. We need to cry out to God and admit that we need Him. We need Him like we need air to breathe and fresh water to sustain our lives. We need Him to be our strength today and not the granter of our wishes tomorrow.
It’s okay not to feel okay. It’s okay to have a rainy day. And it’s okay if you finally have the courage to admit that ‘everything is not okay’, only to discover that the last thing on earth you need to hear in that moment is “everything is going to be okay” and that “the sun will shine again tomorrow” even though it will.
To know God is to know that He is good and His goodness doesn’t depend on our feelings. He never promised that we will never go through the shadows of the valleys of death, only that He will be with us.
In the same way we simply need to be there for each other, to be “safe places” for others where they can receive comfort through the “not-okay-days” and find an oasis void of words to “detox” the emotional overload.
“Rejoice with those that rejoice and weep with those that weep.”
There is a hope that is better than thinking everything is going to be “okay” tomorrow. It’s the grace of God that keeps showing up in the middle of today’s mess, guiding us through life storms, and creating a safe place and a holy space where tears can freely fall and water the soil of our souls.
And this place is where we learn to let go of all our distorted expectations that will make tomorrow “okay”. This is where we simply learn to pray: “Not my will but Your’s be done.”
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”