Abusive, Addicted, Aggressive, Angry, Anxious, Bipolar, Chemically Unbalanced, Depressed, Disturbed, Restless, Stressed, Overweight, Over-Worked, Sleep Deprived, Suicidal, Unhappy, Unsatisfied, Unstable.

These are just some of the words used to describe our world as we know it. Apparently, life seems to be a bit overwhelming for society at large. Sadly enough, these words hardly do justice to some of the things we’ve witnessed recently throughout popular culture. Due to our overwhelming lifestyles, whether they’re hidden or put on display; emotions seem to be getting the best of us–and it shows.

Why? Death, tragedy, accidents. Haven’t they always been around? My only conclusion is that the way in which we’ve been taught to cope is skewed. You don’t have to be a brain surgeon to figure this one out. We may have been taught how to be successful in life, and how to achieve, but we’ve failed to learn how to take a hit. We learn that one plus two equals three. But when you throw an unexpected variable in the mix, we’re thrown off and fail to react properly.

Emotions are not the issue; they are merely evidence that something is wrong. They are the blood that proves the underlying wound. At times, these wounds will never be realized completely because they’ve been hidden behind a lifestyle of addiction, or emotional imbalance. Emotions are like weeds, they are easily cut off, ignored, trampled, or hidden. But, without addressing the root, they will continue to resurface.

Eventually, after dealing with pain the same way for so long, our coping mechanisms become a part of a character and personality. Almost by default, it looks like this is what’s happened to a lot of hurting people.

We live in the land of the free, the home of the brave, where the “American dream” is tangible. Where everything is accessible, and possibilities are endless. Yet, it seems that suicide is normality, and escapism is the fast-track to an enjoyable life. Some of us were taught to treat the wounds, to rejoice in suffering, and press onward. While others, were taught to cover it up, and cope as the ones before them did.

Our society isn’t taught to rip of the old blanket, and examine the wound. Instead, we’ve adorned our band-aids; decorating them, and making them a mere accessory. We have learned to live with them, and even worse, it’s become popular to show them off. Turning what used to be ugly, into a fad. Emotional pain has been covered up with drugs, sex, alcohol, prescriptions, depression, and recklessness. All to be dubbed as “just what you do” or “common”.

I love learning from Job, if anyone has the right to talk about hardship it’s definitely him. It seems as though Job’s life proves Murphy’s law; “Everything that can go wrong, will go wrong.” The only way I could picture it being worse is if it was it was blasted across the tabloids and national television for society to examine and scrutinize. I wonder what our judgment would have been.

Job was in a place I often find myself in. Confused, frustrated, and wondering what I’ve done wrong to deserve circumstances. It’s sad how easily we embrace blessings, without even a second thought of gratitude, while we immediately reject hardship and calamity; the complaints and blame seem to come easily. If you haven’t read from the book of Job in the Bible, I highly suggest it. Just make sure you get through the whole thing; without God’s sovereignty at the end, it would be a lost cause and an entirely depressing story. Instead of turning to suicide, or indulgences, Job turns to God.

God doesn’t expect us to be perfect, but He does want us to learn to lean on Him. Oftentimes He uses our low points to show us Himself in ways we might not see when life feels okay. Our job is not to miss those growth lessons. No matter what God allows you to experience, He wants to deepen your faith in Him. The journey often carries pain. That’s growth. Don’t waste the pain, but let Him sift and refine your character.

“Your struggles will either reveal ugliness or develop character. Fight Him, and watch ugliness fester. Or lean into Him, and let Him develop godliness in you.” – Erin Keeley Marshall (Currently reading her book =])

I refuse to let my wounds fester while running to my escape of choice. Conflicts, hardships, troubles, and everyday stresses are at times unavoidable, but throughout them, we must choose to draw near to God instead of away from Him. He is the only answer, and the only One with the power and authority to address the real issue; the heart of the problem; the root of emotional pain.  He doesn’t run out, give up, leave you, or cause heartache.

My heart will turn to the Lord, and I know He will respond.

Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits-”- Psalm 103:1-2

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