When You Don't Know What To Do...
Surrender. That is the answer in a nutshell on what to do, but let me explain a little further. Within the past month you may have heard that two prominent people in the fashion and entertainment industry, both committed suicide within the same week. Standing on the outside, it is easy to judge and wonder what could bring someone take their life. After all, they seem to have it made with money and notoriety. What people fail to realize is that when life shows up, it doesn’t care who you are or what you have accomplished. It just shows up at your doorstep, sometimes unannounced, and drags you into a pit of darkness. What I have come to learn is that everybody can’t handle everything. The circumstances you had to endure may cause someone else to swallow a bottle of pills. What someone else had to overcome may leave you in a mental hospital. Not everyone processes their emotions the same, hence we hear of tragic stories like these. Though I’ve never contemplated suicide myself, I do understand how events in life can bring you to the point of giving up. Sometimes life can get so messy that you no longer know how to live, you just exist.
Ask me how I know
For me, it was the sudden death of my marriage that shook my entire world and turned it upside down. For months I learned to function because I needed to, but I had stopped living. I did not know which way to turn so I isolated myself and suffered alone. I made up in my mind that it was better for me to keep everything I was going through to myself. I mean how could I explain what was going on when I didn’t understand it. If you are not careful, this is exactly where the enemy wants you; alone, broken, and lost. If he can get you here without a fight, you can become a casualty to alcoholism, drug addiction and depression among other issues. It is so easy to succumb to the shame of your situation that the enemy can ease in and strip you of your sense of self without you realizing it. You become so engrossed in trying to survive that you forget to live. Before you know it, your mental state has shifted and you are no longer the person you once recognized. The devil will feed you lies until you no longer understand the truth. With your life crumbling before your eyes, you find yourself not knowing where to turn, who to trust, or what to do. So what do you do, when you don’t know what to do?
You seek God until you find Him
If you were anything like me, no matter how many times you have heard that said, you may ask “What does it mean to seek God?” Here I was a long time Christian who went to church regularly, lived morally right, professed to love God, but still not truly knowing what that statement entailed. When you feel like giving up because you are overwhelmed with the vicissitudes of life, God is waiting for you to invite Him to take over. The thing is, God is always present no matter the circumstance, but He will not force himself on us. To seek Him, you must first acknowledge that you need Him. He has left us a guide that would assist us through the best and worst of times; His living Word, the Bible.
Now to be honest, when you are in the thick of it, you may not know what to read or where to start. My advice to you is just open up the Book and begin anywhere. You can also look up scriptures based on your situation. It may not make sense to you at first, and that is okay. However, the more you continue to open it up and read, God will begin speaking to your situation. The words will begin the jump out at you from the pages. Think about being in school. We didn’t come to class understanding everything that was in the textbook. The teacher had to breakdown the lesson each day and we had to study on our own. Sometimes we had to get a tutor to assist us in gaining the knowledge that lies within the textbook. This is no different when it comes to understanding God’s word. You may be confused about what to read and get frustrated because you still don’t feel Him near, but don’t give up. It is when you are at your lowest that He is within close reach.
I’m here to encourage you that God knows your struggle. He feels your pain, sees your tears and is ready to fight for you, but you must be willing to surrender. Give Him everything that concerns you. Tell Him what it is you need and even if you can’t formulate the words to speak, just say “Lord help me!” and let God figure out the rest. When you can’t find peace, pray. If you lie awake at night because you have so much on your mind, talk to God just as you would a friend. Even during the times when you can’t find you way, ask God to lead you. You are not in this alone. God is the One who can handle you at your worst and love you back to your best. He can also use other people as a catalyst for your healing:whether it be family, a therapist, or even a stranger on the street or on the internet. You can’t put His infinite power in a box. So in the meantime, trust the process, even if you don’t understand the plan.
In Relentless Pursuit,
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed. Psalm 34:18 (NLT)