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When Your World Caves In (What to Do and Not Do!)

When Your World Caves In (What To Do And Not Do!)

This is not going to be one of those blogs that tells you how to turn lemons into lemonade. (I hate that cliché.) I’m not going to give you 10 steps to overcoming your struggles and finding victory. You won’t find any secrets or keys or any mysteries revealed here either.

I suggest you go read something from Tony Robbins if you’re looking for blue skies and rainbows.

Of course there’s nothing wrong with having a positive attitude; it’s always better than the alternative. But I’ve grown a little weary of the abundant and overused sappy or religious platitudes.

Sometimes life sucks.

You hurt.

You ache.

And from somewhere deep within you, there is a groan and a sorrow that seem unquenchable.

  • Your marriage ends.
  • You get diagnosed with cancer.
  • You find out your kid is on drugs (again).
  • You go to court expecting a fair and just outcome that doesn’t happen.
  • You pour your life and every dime you have into a business that goes bankrupt.
  • You find yourself saying goodbye to a parent on the edge of eternity.

You see what I mean?

When you’re in the thralls of devastation and despair, when a dream dies or your hope gets crushed, the last thing you want or need is for somebody to slap you on the back and say, “It could be worse! Hang in there, buddy.”

Why do some well-meaning Christians forget that it’s OK to grieve with those who grieve? Why do some feel the need to slap a happy sticker on everything? Why are we afraid to embrace one another in the valley of the shadow of death?

I love these words of Ann Voskamp in The Broken Way: “There is no fear in letting tears come. Sadness is a gift to avoid the nothingness of numbness, and all hard places need water.”

Pain is often a present reality. On this side of eternity, there is no avoiding it. Of course there are good times. Certainly there is much to be thankful for in this life. By no means am I suggesting we become a Debbie Downer or just throw in the towel (another cliché I hate).

So, what can you do? When your world caves in and all seems lost, what can be done?

Just take the next step.

That’s it.

Just determine to do one more thing, to take one more breath, and to go one step farther down life’s road.

There is very little you can do about what was or is to come.

As Jerry Sittser writes in his book A Grace Revealed, “The future is as unknowable and uncontrollable as the past is unchangeable.” In other words, you and I have absolutely no idea what is coming, and there is nothing we can do about what has been done.

However, right now, because this moment is the only thing you can control, you can choose to take one more step.

“Bubna, what in blazes does that mean?”

It means you don’t give up.

It means you get out of bed.

It means you put one foot in front of the other even though there are no guarantees that anything is going to change or get better tomorrow.

It means you just keep moving forward even when (especially when) you don’t have a clue.

Why? Why not just quit?

Because giving up never ends well, but taking one more step might.

This article originally appeared here.