"I don’t know if you’ve ever reached a place like this—the place where your whole life seems to have fallen apart. Maybe it was your doing, or something someone did to you. Maybe you went through a breakup like I did, or got rejected from a school you’d been dreaming about for years. Maybe you lost a family member or a friend or a job or your health. Or maybe all of the things you were hoping would make you happy finally cracked and fell apart. It’s these moments when even the best laid plans fall to pieces—when we realize that no matter how far in advance we plan or how tightly we try to control over our lives, we may not get to where we thought we were going." -The Lipstick Gospel
Sometimes, life unravels. Seemingly out of the blue, one by one the plans you have constructed and life you've built starts to crumble around you. Maybe it happens slowly, kicking you down right as you start to get back up, or maybe it happens all at once, and the dust just won't settle.
Whatever the situation, it's overwhelming.
Life is falling apart, slipping through your fingers, and you just can't keep up. If one more thing happens, no matter how minute, you might just drown.
Seasons in life like this are terrifying. Swamped with "what if's," "what next's," and "where are you, God?"
Every breath is difficult and step is heavy.
Here's what I've come to learn when life unravels me.
God doesn't always rescue us out of a painful season.
He doesn't always answer the prayers we pray, at least not in the way that we so desperately long for in those moments. It might be frustrating now but think back on all of the other 'unanswered' prayers we have prayed for in the past. (Praising God for not letting that perm happen I thought I needed in middle school). You see, God is after so much more than our happiness, more substantive than our health. When life is unraveling, God isn't done with us, He hasn't abandoned us. He is restoring and growing us, preparing our hearts for whatever season in life is coming next.
Like painting a room, healing a heart takes time and patience. There are steps to be taken when painting a room. First, you have to prime it. It's difficult to feel as if any progress is being made because often times, it looks as if nothing has changed. But it is a vital first step because it ensures better adhesion of paint on the surface of the wall and increases the durability. The first and second coat of paint must then be applied, all while taking special care to avoid dripping paint onto trim or outlets or the floor. It requires a steady hand and patient mind.
Painting, like mending a broken heart, takes time. It requires steps and mundane work. And though we'd rather do anything than sit and watch the paint dry, the time will eventually come when we step back and see a freshly painted room, ready for whatever new memories will happen in that room. And suddenly all of the repetitious and tedious work is worth it.
When life is unraveling, you have to remember that God isn't done yet. Let your heart break and allow yourself the time to sit patiently and God will heal you. When it's time to move on, you will know, because the paint will be dry and God will nudge you toward something new.