Facebook can be cruel, right? Bringing up old memories and the good old days. The ones that we are trying to forget or maybe long to go back to.
It’s this cruel joke really. Reminding of what use to be. I don’t know about you, but some days those memories are hard.
- “I use to be skinnier.”
- “Look how much fun I had.”
- “I had so many friends.”
- “That was when things were good between us.”
- “Look how happy we were.”
Those memories maybe remind you that you are a long way from where you used to be or where you want to be now. Reminding you of what you used to have or are still waiting for.
Recently, because I didn’t want to sit alone in my pity party, I took a screen shot of a post from a year ago and sent it to one of my best friends.
I might have said something like… “last year was very different, huh, ugh, sigh!” Not really sure how I felt and not sure what kind of answer I was hoping to get or wanted to get.
This is how she replied. “It is very different. But oh friend, I am so encouraged and encourage you to be comforted with your words. “Everyday He shows his abundant love for me in ways I can’t even imagine” it’s cool to think, wow, he’s still doing that.”
What I wanted in that moment, was maybe someone to say that I was better off now. Or even to say, I am so sorry that you aren’t as happy! Or maybe even a snarky, cynical remark about how much Valentine’s day is stupid.
How dare she quote me to me!!
The truth….the pity party doesn’t work.
It feels good for a second. It feels good to draw someone else into your loneliness and bitterness. We long to have company in that. We want others to validate our outlook and make us feel comfortable in those feelings. And to quote Gilmore Girls…..
It is a vicious circle though. The pity party is one with deflated balloons, and left overs from someone’s wedding. It doesn’t provide encouragement or hope. In fact, it is the kind of party that you leave feeling worse than when you came.
We look to our circumstances to dictate how we feel about ourselves, the world, and God. Maybe we think our circumstances are a reflection about how God feels about us. Choosing to bless those he loves more than others, to answer their prayers.
It is easy when things are good to think God is good. It is easy to say, “Hallelujah” (praise hands emoji) to God when everything is peachy. But what about those days when the invites to pity parties are strong, when you can barely get out of bed, and your heart is heavy and hurting.
My words that I said a year ago mean just as much as the did on that day “Everyday he shows his abundant love for me in was I can’t even imagine.”
He is working out all things for the good of those whom he loves. And oh, how He loves you.
He loves you, not just because you have it all worked out. Because you can do at lot of great things for him. Not because you have all those spiritual disciplines down. Not because you have all those ducks in a row. Not because you can smile at strangers or keep a tidy house. Not because you don’t complain or are good with your money.
He loves you because he loves you because he loves you.
It might sound trite in your circumstances today. It might seem empty and lame to whatever you are walking through. But it is no less true. There is no other truth I want to lean into. And I long to have a faith that is quick to see His goodness even in the midst of hard days.
Our God is not one of empty promises or of accidents. He is not wondering what to do next in your life. He is not surprised by the things that happens. He is the God of Jacob and Moses. He comes through. He is faithful.
Because a pity party is really about ourselves, it is about us looking at our lives and thinking only of ourselves, the only thing that helps me make a quick exit, is remembering.
Remembering the one in whom I say I trust. Remembering the works that he has done in my life and those around me.
“I will remember the dead of the Lord, yes, I will remember your wonders of old. I will ponder all your work, and meditate on your mighty deeds.” -Psalm 77:11
Remembering His faithfulness. Remembering how he has answered my prayers and fulfilled desires in the past. Remembering how he hasn’t given up on me, even on my darkest days.
Our God is not like us, one that gives up on people, letting us just figured it out on our own or resigning to defeat. He is a God that works….sure it may not be how we hope he would work. It may not always wrap up in a neat little tidy bow. And it may not be in our timing. But He isn’t like us, thank goodness!
“When the waters saw you, O God, when the waters saw you, they were afraid; indeed, the deep trembled. The clouds poured out water; the skies gave forth thunder; your arrows flashed on every side. The crash of your thunder was in the whirlwind; your lightnings lighted up the world; the earth trembled and shook. Your way was through the sea, your path through the great waters; yet your footprints were unseen. You led your people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron.”
Friends, sometimes God’s way is through the sea, through great waters, where we cannot see his footprints. I pray that if you are in that spot that you would remember. Remember his works, his faithfulness, his goodness, his grace and love for you. He is trustworthy.