I don't want to hear something impressive. I want to hear something real; especially in a world of one-sided friendships, perfectly edited posts, and everyone trying to keep it together. You need it for you. I need it for me. We need it for us. The shallow end has very little to offer us in the long run. One day at a time, little things and small words will add up to big victories and greater progress.
You will get there and I will too.
Lately, I can't stop thinking how God wants me to stop running and start living; even in the here and now. Even in the uncertainty of this season. Even in the pain. Even in unexpected circumstances and timing of my life.
It is in the here and now that He is working and using things—hard things—to change me and you. Situations can cause my life to truly begin now or make me quit. The choosing is up to me.
There are little victories in life that we hardly stop to notice. Progress is happening every single day. You got up. You called a friend. You reached out to someone. You were gentle with yourself. You ate well and took good care of your body. You replaced your negative thoughts with positive ones. You prayed and read when you'd rather sleep more. You said no and you said yes to things. You asked for help when you needed it. You did what you've been putting off. You showed up. You gave it your best. You didn't do everything, but you did something. Don't give in to the thought that you can't or admit defeat. Keep going and celebrating. Just keep going.
Keep going when the nights are dark and long, make you believe all sorts of lies.
Keep going when you think you'll never recover from that heartbreak or forget him.
Keep going when your person is no longer your person, and you've had to move on without a piece of yourself.
Keep going when others don't support or celebrate you like they should.
Keep going when you lose that precious friend or family member to cancer, suicide, or illness.
Keep going when you don't want to trust anyone anymore and you find yourself not even knowing how to.
Keep going when your expectations go unmet and hope seems only like a glimmer.
Keep going when you have failed and your dreams have been broken into tiny, shattered pieces.
Keep going even when you don't want to acknowledge the pain surrounding you.
Keep going when you're struggling to stay or see beauty in your tomorrow.
Write down your daily victories and watch as you begin to be able to look back at all the progress you have made. Everyday that you are living and fighting is worth celebrating. I've started to write small hope notes too—reminders to keep alive and hold onto even when we don't feel like it.
1: I hope you know this is not the end. There is more to life than what you know now. Light is on the other side of this; sometimes you just have to fight to see it.
2: Even if it is just a glimmer you see of hope each day, hold onto it. You need it for yourself. You need help to go on when you think there is no way you can. You can and you will just you wait and see.
3: Stay and keep choosing to stay; even when happiness looks far away and your world is a dark, thick fog. Or when everything seems to be big, unclear, moving fast, and you are full of fear. You will not be left behind. Staying is hard, but worth it, because diamonds come from pressure.
4: Wherever you're at, know that this is not where your story ends. You're on a page and maybe feel stuck in a particular chapter, but not for good. Not everything lasts forever; in fact, very few things actually do. Keep putting one foot in front of the other and do the next thing. Before you know it, you will be turning the page to another chapter. There can be another ending besides the one you know by heart.
5: What others say of you, think of you, and even what they do to you doesn't change the masterpiece that you are. Not everyone will see you for who you really are, but those that do will see a heart of gold.
Remember, you and I will make it—one victory at a time. Keep hope alive for yourself and the person next to you. Let's be real, honest, and present for each other in doing the thing this year!