NOTHING CHANGES IF NOTHING CHANGES

June 17, 2018

It’s been a couple weeks since I’ve chosen to take the time to sit down and focus on my feelings long enough to write about them. When I first started this blog, writing was one of the best ways for me to cope with the pain I was experiencing. It still really helps when I’m struggling, but lately I’ve noticed myself wanting to push my feelings aside for a little while. I felt like continuing to post here so frequently would just keep the feelings on my mind that I’ve been trying hard to move past. I’ve gone back and forth so many times trying to figure out what the best steps for me to take would be. I think I just needed to take a step back for a minute.

A couple weeks ago, I was feeling really discouraged. I felt stuck — like everything I was doing to help myself during this season was just not working anymore and that I reached a place where I was as “healed” as I would ever be. I stopped noticing progress in myself. I still felt anxious and sad every morning. I still found myself thinking about my situation more often than not. I still had hardly any motivation to do the things I needed to do. I just felt stuck in the same place despite everything I was doing to help myself. I was in the Word every day, I was journaling, I was praying, I was reaching out to friends when I needed encouragement/prayer. For some reason, I just could not shake my negative feelings, and I really started to believe they would always be a part of me.

I was spending a lot of time in bed because I didn’t want to do much else, so I really didn’t do much besides stare at my phone. When I was scrolling through Pinterest one day, I saw a quote (one that I’ve seen tons of times before and I’m sure everyone else has too) that said “nothing changes if nothing changes.” It’s honestly probably the simplest quote I’ve ever heard and I would’ve thought nothing of it on a normal day, but that day it stuck with me. I read over it a few times and really thought about it.

Nothing will change if I don’t make a change. 

My attitude. My outlook. My situation. Nothing will change and nothing will get better if I continue to stay in a cycle of grief without action.

I started to realize that while I had been praying and being in the Word and taking all of the steps I felt like I needed to be taking in order to heal from my heartache, I was essentially just waiting for God to drop something great in my lap or snap his fingers and make me better. And I don’t want to make it seem like there is ANYTHING wrong with trusting and waiting on the Lord in any given situation, because I think sometimes that’s all you can do, and it may be all God wants you to do for a little while. But I think there comes a time in every period of grief where the Lord wants to pick us up and lead us out of our low place. I had spent a decent amount of time grieving (“decent” might be an understatement there), and I truly believe that my feelings of being stuck were the Lord showing me that it was time to start taking steps to exit that period of grief.

So, I started doing that. I haven’t posted here in a hot minute, and I’ve spent that time doing things I haven’t done in a awhile. I met new people. I got out of the house more. I hung out with old friends. I let myself have fun without feeling like I wasn’t okay enough to have fun yet (yeah, that’s actually a thought I’ve had). It’s been so good for me to have distractions and to be around people. I think I’ve been needing that for awhile.

After the past couple weeks, I decided to make a goal for myself to be more intentional in my healing process. Along with trusting God and coming to him like I have been, I also want to recognize where I have control in my life and do what I can to keep moving forward. I think that’s a little easier said than done, because honestly, moving forward is a really tough process. It’s especially hard if you don’t like change (aka, if you’re me), because moving forward requires a lot of that. But, I’m learning that it’s something you have to choose every day. There are still days when I wake up wanting to just stay in bed, but I have to remind myself that one day things won’t be so hard anymore and I have to get out of bed to keep working towards that. If I chose to give in to the feelings that try to convince me to stay in bed on the hard days, I wouldn’t be able to make the progress I need to make. Nothing changes if nothing changes.

I think I had pretty high expectations for “getting out there” more. I assumed that meeting new people and doing new things would immediately make me feel better and make me stop thinking about what I’ve been dealing with. Obviously, that hasn’t been the case. I’ve realized that staying busy isn’t going to heal a wounded heart and new people can still let you down, but I know it’s still so important to take those steps towards healing regardless. It’s better to risk being let down in a different way than to risk staying stuck in the same place of pain.

I know that what I’ve been doing over the past couple weeks has been good for me, but I also know that this process is still going to take some time. It can be very discouraging when it seems like the steps you’re taking to better yourself aren’t really getting you anywhere. When it feels like things are looking up while you’re out distracting yourself, but at the end of the day those same feelings come creeping back into your mind again, reminding you that they never really left. When you try to put yourself out there in hopes of meeting people who are going to genuinely care about you, and it just doesn’t happen right away. When you think, maybe the next person who comes into my life will stick around, and they don’t, and you’re left wondering why it hasn’t happened yet.

All of it is hard, but it’s all okay. It’s a part of the process. The process of growth, of healing. I’ve been discouraged wondering when God is going to lead me out of this season and when he is going to bring the people to me who are meant to stay. But, I’ve been finding peace in knowing that God is still working in this situation even though I don’t know the “when” of everything he is planning. I know that I have a responsibility to continue taking things day by day and continue making positive changes knowing that the Lord has his hand in all of it. It’s an act of trust to move forward when you’re unsure of what will happen, but I know that making the bold decision to do it is what’s going to elicit change and allow God to fulfill his plans when the time comes. That’s my motivation to keep moving, to keep taking risks, to keep living despite how difficult it can feel. If you’re where I am, let that be your motivation, too.

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