If you’ve been following this blog since the beginning (or even if you’ve just read one post honestly, haha), you probably have a pretty good feel for where I’m at right now. It’s been a very hard few months. A year ago, I never would’ve imagined that I would be where I am right now. This season was very unexpected, and once things seemed to hit the fan and everything I felt sure of was being stripped from me, I was devastated, and I thought I would never recover. Seriously. I feel like I should be honest about where I was at for a while, for better understanding and for the sake of transparency.
A couple months ago, I experienced a lot of unwanted feelings that I had never experienced before and felt like I had absolutely no control over. I hated lying down to go to sleep because I knew my thoughts would run wild for hours before I’d finally get tired enough to forget about them. I hated waking up because of the immediate pit in my stomach that would be there every morning without fail. I hated having to go to class and do homework or anything that required my full attention because I wasn’t able to focus on anything else. I followed my mom around like a puppy for a couple weeks because I just wanted some feeling of comfort and I didn’t want to be alone. I couldn’t eat anything because of how sick I constantly felt. I couldn’t go anywhere or be on my phone or listen to music or watch anything on TV without being reminded of something that tore me down all over again. I hated that I couldn’t just will these things away — I was forced to feel them.
Sometimes I would panic thinking that the pain would never go away. The feelings were so strong and so continuous that I worried I would be stuck in that place of heartache forever. At times, feelings of anxiety or sadness would take my breath away and I’d have to sit still and force myself to turn my focus to something else until I could come down from the overwhelming emotions. The pain came in waves just like everyone told me it would, and in moments that I felt completely consumed with sadness and fear I would beg the Lord to give me the strength to push through.
I knew that I was doing the best I could, but I didn’t want to be in a place of having to tell myself it’s going to get better, because that thought never made anything better. I wanted to actually feel better. I wanted God to help me move forward. I remember praying and telling God, “I don’t even care what you’re doing right now. Please just help me get through this because it is too hard for me.”
Everything I’m saying probably makes the title of this post sound a little confusing.
Why would anyone be scared to move on from those kinds of feelings?
Honestly, it’s confusing for me too, but it’s something I’ve been dealing with. Despite how depressed I became in the days leading up to this season and how desperately I prayed for the Lord to take my pain away upon entering into it, I have been scared to move on. I struggle constantly between wanting to feel better and knowing that good things are in store for me at the end of this difficult season, and not wanting to let go of the way things were and embrace the new things I am experiencing now.
To clarify, even though it’s been hard and scary and nothing at all that I wanted to do, I have been moving forward, and I’m not in the same place I was in originally. Sometimes all we can do is keep living even though things are very hard, and I know I had to do that. I know that where I am is the best thing for me right now. No matter what would’ve happened with the situation I was in, I would be experiencing pain in some capacity — it was really just a matter of what was going to hurt the most in the long run. I know that the decisions I made provided the most hope either way, even though they seemed hardest to make. I know I will not be experiencing pain forever. I know these are good things, but for some reason there is still fear in my mind.
Because moving on means change. And change is really hard. It’s painful, it’s uncertain, and it can be very, very lonely. It’s been hard in this situation especially because I loved where I was. I felt safe, secure and loved. I felt happy. I felt like I was exactly where God wanted me, and I haven’t had many experiences like that — where I felt so sure that I was right where I should be. I think that’s what makes the thought of moving on from everything seem so scary.
If I move on, does that mean I wasn’t feeling the Lord like I thought I was?
If I move on, does that mean I’m okay with this?
If I move on, could God ever change the situation? Would that be me concluding that God can’t do it? Or, will God think I don’t want it anymore?
If I move on, will I ever experience genuine happiness and security and comfort like I had again?
The list goes on. I really wish I had some lesson to share through all of this — some kind of resolution that would make these thoughts go away. I wish I could talk about this in a past tense, but it’s still a struggle for me. However, while these are thoughts I still battle on a daily basis, one thing that is able to help me is speaking truth to myself. Because I know what’s true, and I know the fears and doubts that often flood my head are not.
I constantly have to remind myself that GOD KNOWS ME. He knows I am struggling. He knows exactly how I feel. He knows what I want. And he also knows that I’m scared. Moving on from a situation does not mean that you no longer want it, and God of all people knows that. It means that you’re giving the situation over to the Lord despite what you want, knowing that he is going to do what’s best. Moving on is surrender. For some silly reason, I’ve feared that if I move on from a situation, God might assume that I didn’t want it badly enough to restore it if that was his plan (writing this down makes me realize how absolutely ridiculous that sounds). I guess in a way, the thought of not moving on makes me feel like I’d have some level of control; as if God is not capable of restoring a situation unless I am holding onto it in some way. I’m actually rolling my eyes at myself right now.
Sometimes I just need to give myself a reality check. I know that God is completely capable of doing whatever he wants. Regardless of how I feel. Regardless of what I think will happen. Regardless of how anyone else feels or what they think will happen. It’s not up to me or anyone except the Lord. We might think we know what his plans for us are, but he is going to lay those out for us in his timing in whatever way he sees fit. Even if it’s what we want but in a completely different way than we expected. Even if it’s something that we never thought we wanted at all. But the bottom line is, whatever we do right now is going to have no effect on that plan if we are living in obedience to him. Which means, it is okay to move on. It makes no difference in how God’s plan is going to work out. Literally. It makes no difference. (Sometimes I go off while writing these posts because I’m preaching to myself as I’m typing — this is definitely one of those times.)
I also have to remind myself that if God chooses to restore a situation, he will do that regardless of where I’m at. In fact, he is more likely to restore a situation once we are at a place where our hearts are healed — when we are at a place where we can accept or walk away. But the good thing is, when we can reach that point we will feel okay with either outcome. That’s the point I am working towards. The Lord has been healing my heart slowly but tremendously, and even on the really hard days, I know I am still moving forward because of his strength in me. I know good things are coming, whether they are the things I’m hoping for or things that I can’t picture right now. I’m willing to receive whatever those things are, and I know I don’t need to be scared that my actions will affect anything as long as I am following him.
That’s true for everyone. Maybe someone reading this is in a place where they are scared to move forward, or they have been there before. If so, you’re not the only one. Sometimes the only way to calm those fears is by reminding ourselves of what’s true. God knows us completely, and he has a plan. Because of that, it is okay to move forward. God doesn’t need us to hold onto the things we want in order for him to be able to give them to us if that’s his will. He wants us to live while he is carrying out his plans for us. And we don’t need to be afraid to do that, because we can know that his plans for us are good no matter what.