Hello, November! It may seem strange to you, but I cannot believe that we’ve found ourselves this close to celebrating my favourite time of the year, Christmas. I’ve recently realised that in everything that 2020 has brought me, I can be found spending most of my time complaining. I’d somehow managed to fool myself into thinking that my vocalisation of my inner musings was in the pursuit of growth. As to be expected, I’m wrong!
So, what if you’re not okay?
I’ve done nothing that I set out to do last month to focus on my spiritual and mental health. I’ve spent all my time wrapped up in trying to rationalise the things in the future that bring me anxiety today. The world (and some people of faith) have little care for the things that leave your spirit uneasy.
“And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?” (Matthew chapter 6, verse 27)
I love this passage of scripture in Matthew chapter 6, not because it makes me feel valuable, but because it reminds me that, as real as my anxiety is, it does not add another moment to my life. This doesn’t invalidate any fears, anxiety or any other challenges you may face, but reminds us of how fleeting life is, so we should have faith and live it. The world does not get to define who we are or how we feel.
Life is a series of lessons. In these lessons and in trying to process and understand what may only be mysteries, I’ve been lacking gratitude for the things that have been good. Building a habit that thinks before igniting strife, considers before responding and learns to pause in chaos is not easy.
"Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." (1 Thessalonians chapter 5, verse 18)
Expressing gratitude is an active choice we make. No matter what your circumstance may be, or how negative your outlook is, being grateful and appreciative is the place to start. Start small, but make a start.
It’s okay to not be okay
There’s no guarantee that life would be easy. Every person has a choice, and we either choose to be better, or become consumed. It’s ok to not be okay. It’s okay to seek help and it’s entirely okay to moderate the people in your immediate circle.
“But you are God’s chosen treasure [—priests who are kings, a spiritual “nation” set apart as God’s devoted ones. He called you out of darkness to experience his marvellous light, and now he claims you as his very own. He did this so that you would broadcast his glorious wonders throughout the world.” (1 Peter chapter 2, verse 9).
Having people that speak to your spirit, encourage your mind and be honest when you bare your soul is crucial to finding something to be thankful for. A part of stepping into His light is that we have to take the step to experience it, whether that means we are more adamant in how we seek His nature or how tenacious we are in finding His wonders to share.
My advice is simple - see the wonder in the people that lift you up when you’re at your weakest and show love and appreciation even when you just don’t feel like it. You may not be okay, but you’re not alone.
Hailing from South Africa, Crystelda is an avid nerd and an unapologetic dreamer. With a BSc. Biological Sciences and BCom Hons in marketing, she has launched the Christian lifestyle blog - Selah Blogger and is the joint winner of the 2019 International Theology Award. The blog can be found at https://selahblogger.wordpress.com/ and her previous articles may be viewed at https://www.pressserviceinternational.org/crystelda-naidoo.html