I CAN’T DO THIS ANYMORE
Have you ever felt being treated like a golf ball? When they see you, they hit you, and when they find you, hit you again and again. I’ve been there where I felt out of control of my own life, times I wanted to give up, because there was no hope, no answers, no way forward. During these times nothing made sense and I just kept on digging myself deeper and deeper in a hole, not knowing how to stop. I was then when I cried out: “I can’t do this anymore.”
If there is one thing we can be absolutely sure about, is it that life will happen to us! We can’t escape it. War, unhealthy relationships, divorce, unemployment, financial stress, illness, death, etc. is part of life. But there are other times that life will happen to us as a result of the poor decisions we’ve made. This can make us lose hope, or even break us. From a faith perspective it can make us feel as if God has abandoned us and that our prayers are not being answered. We then cry out once again: “Lord, how much longer? I can’t do this anymore.”
TIME FOR A SOMETHING NEW
We were not created to constantly have to say: “I can’t do this anymore,” constantly have to ask: “What is the purpose of all the suffering and therefore the point of life?” We were created to live purposeful, meaningful and fulfilling lives, lives where we live in victory despite the suffering.
What then need to change to go from failure to victory? Maybe we need to start thinking differently about life. Maybe we need to see ourselves as victors and not as victims. Maybe we need to see setbacks as steppingstones for comebacks. Maybe it is time to see life not as something that is done to us, but as an opportunity for growth. Maybe it is time for healing, time to get up, learn, grow and move on, time for something new, for a spiritual and emotional makeover. Spiritual and emotional healing is not something that happens by itself. It cannot be achieved by just following a few easy steps. It’s a process of getting up, of making decisions, of reaching out and acknowledging that I cannot do it all by ourselves.
CHANGE THE WAY YOU THINK – YOU ARE WHAT YOU THINK
There is a very important principle that will determine the results and success of a spiritual and emotional makeover, of getting up, of wanting to not just to bounce back, but being able to bounce forward. Sometimes it is our though processes that are our biggest enemy and stumbling block in living a victorious life. Hence it is time to change the way we think.
There is a Biblical principle that says: “Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts” (Prov 4:23). The principle here is that God wants us to enjoy life, to seize the moment and celebrate life, but how do we do this? How do we get to the point where we can live again? By keeping guard and watch over our hearts and thoughts more than anything else that needs to be taken care of. Why? Because from the heart is the origin of life. In ancient times the heart was seen as the centre of our thoughts. In other words, we need to guard what occupies our minds and what we think off: “We are what we think.” What goes on in our hearts, what we think off, determines our whole life. With this in mind, there is only one of two ways something new, a makeover can go: It can go from bad to worse, or from failure to victory.
FROM BAD TO WORSE
We have all seen makeover shows. Some had great results but then there were the botched-up ones where it went from bad to worse. We often try so hard to dig ourselves out of the hole only to find out that we have dug ourselves deeper into the hole. We try so hard to come up with our own solutions, only to find out that the mess is getting bigger. We will miss living a life of wholeness and significance if we tackle this makeover the wrong way. What then will make life to go from bad to worse?
- By doing nothing – The worst decision you can make is to make no decision and do nothing. Happiness is a choice and by doing nothing will make you go from bad to worse. You need to make the choice to get up and move forward.
- Blaming God and others – The easiest thing to do when life has turned on you and things keep on going wrong, is to blame God and others. Maybe others have made life difficult for you, but to blame then will only result in stealing your own joy and keep you right where you are in the hole. It is time to stand up, stop blaming and do something about it.
- Unforgiveness – There is nothing that will suck life and happiness out of you more than unforgiveness. You steal your own joy by not forgiving and you will gain nothing from it, except misery. To forgive will bring back life because forgiveness is something you do to yourself.
- Not leaving the past in the past – Joy is stolen if you keep on carrying your past with you like a trailer, filled with issues, hatred, self-pity, etc. You had a bad experience, but by clinging on to the past will ensure that you miss the life that was intended for you, a life of abundance and happiness, a life of hope. May I ask: “How does it serve you to hold on to your past?” Scars will always be there, but let the wounds heal first. It’s a choice.
FROM FAILURE TO VICTORY
There is however another choice you can make that will lead you from failure to victory. It’s a makeover that will help you with spiritual and emotional recovery and will give you a life of abundance and celebration.
If you allow God, the Great Physician, to perform your makeover, you will start living again. God does not use crack fillers and just fill up the holes. He does not just bandage up your wounds. With Him there are no failed attempts, because when He takes you by the hand, He recreates and does what needs to be done. He takes you from failure to victory, a place where you can be the best you can be, a place where you can live your purpose and experience the fullness of life. There are a few things you need to do:
- Accept the situation you are in – Accept that change is a part of live. Embrace it and growth through it. Accept the new circumstances because it is what it is. Acknowledge the emotions you experience and work through them but be aware of your thoughts because energy follows focus. Persevere therefore because this too shall pass.
- Remember the power of resilience – Resilience is a powerful process of adapting in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats and significant sources of stress. It is the art of bouncing forward from a difficult experience. Resilience is ordinary, not extraordinary. Life will happen, but resilience will help you to stand up, learn and move on.
- Give control of your life back to God – God’s timing for everything is perfect. He has a wonderful master plan for your life. He never makes mistakes, not even when it comes to His timing! So give the control of your life back to Him. Allow Him to heal your wounds and to give you a new heart. Sometimes all you need to do is to just become quiet and let all the noise around and within you fade away. Let the healing power of God flow over you.
- Remember the father-heart of God – When you return the control of your live back to God, you will experience the Father-heart of God. Unfortunately, we often have a distorted picture of the Father-heart of God, a picture that makes us believe that God will not forgive or help, or that He is an angry and going to punish us for our wrong-doings. The truth is that when God looks at you, all He sees is an object of his love. His heart swells with pride when He thinks about you. Just give Him a chance to show you how much He loves you.
- Get excited about the possibilities that awaits you – To go from failure to victory, you need to believe that all things work together and for good to those who love God. If you are going through a crisis and you look back, you will see that God has a purpose for it, that He is preparing you for something great, or that He is protecting you from possible failures. So get excited about the possibilities that lie ahead. Get excited to see how He will bring an outcome in your situation. Believe that He will deliver. Remember, the glass is not half empty, but half full.
YOU NOW DECIDE
There is always hope, solutions and answers. The choice is yours whether you are going to live in failure and thus missing the fullness of life that God intended for you, or whether you are going to get up and start celebrating the fullness of life that God has prepared for you. You decide. May I quote from Isaiah 43:18-19? Listen with your heart to this promise: “But do not just think of the past and dwell on the past. Behold, I’m going to do something new, it’s about to happen, you can already see it coming; I make a way in the wilderness, I cause rivers to spring up in the dry world.”
The choice is yours! Problems will always be there. Trials will never stop, but the choice is yours whether you will use it as an opportunity to grow, or whether you will sit in sackcloth and ashes. Do not let circumstances steal your joy! Become a winner in your crises and start growing from failure to victory!