In today’s world, especially in Christian culture, I have experienced a hesitancy towards revealing ourselves as still being in process. Often, I feel encapsulated by a pressure to give the impression that my life is a “flip the switch” story. What do I mean by that? Here are some examples:
“Oh I really used to struggle with gambling, but after attending a weekend self-help seminar, I’m not tempted at all by it!”
“One time years ago, I finally woke up and said ‘Enough is enough.’ I’ve been to the gym 5 times a week since! All I needed was motivation.”
“In college, I drank and partied everyday. Once I finally got my degree, I realized it was time to mature and sober up. I haven’t touched a drop since!”
In each of these examples, there is a transition or “flip the switch” moment where the individual simply decided to be done with whatever they were struggling with. They had a problem. They got tired of the problem. They moved on from the problem. Another thing one will notice is that the problem is always talked about in the past tense, revealing to the audience that this is no longer a present struggle in their life. These “flip the switch” stories can easily turn into motivational testimonies to give hope and encouragement to others struggling. If this is your story, I’m grateful you’re here and envious of your journey.
Because I’ll be honest. Every time I hear a story like this, my first two knee jerk reactions are this.
- I call bullshit. I just can’t believe it.
- What’s wrong with me then?
My story couldn’t be further from these examples. I have false starts, double back on my own promises to do better, and question my worthiness of a life that is full of meaning and joy. One day, I believe my struggle will produce good in this world, but I have no idea at all what that good might be. And I’m convinced that there are many others whose stories are like mine.
So this place is for those who find themselves stuck in the midst of trial, tribulation, struggle and/or heartache with no clear vision of what’s to come next. Perhaps like me, you have hope that it will all work out for good. Maybe that hope comes from God. Maybe that hope comes from family, friends, or other avenues. But just like me, you’ve wrestled with being able to materialize what that hope looks like today. If this resonates with you, perhaps we can help each other.
Here, you’ll see me write my story as a(n)…
missionary rebuilding his life after getting fired from his position and graduating from a 3 month rehab facility.
addict learning to live a life of recovery.
man in the process of understanding how God’s vision of masculinity matches/rubs up against with the world’s definition.
person who is fighting to live free of the illness of depression
an image bearer who is yearning to internalize God’s given purpose for himself in this world.
What these trials and challenges mean for my undoing, God will use for my good. What that good is? I have no idea, so right now I’m living in the comma; the space between the trials and future’s hope.
“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” Genesis 50:20