“…weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.” Psalm 30:5
You feel you should be father along than you are now. You hadn’t planned to be in this place and yet here you are. Despite all your efforts, you feel you’ve moved backwards instead of ahead. You’re tempted to be angry, depressed, disillusioned, and in your darkest moments, maybe suicidal or at least tempted to escape in an unhealthy way. Everything about where you are makes you feel like a failure.
I’ve been there.
You may feel too messed up to want to read your Bible. You think you already know what God has to say, and you just don’t want to hear it right now. My Friend, this is the best time to read. I don’t understand how it works, but dark times have a way of illuminating a truth you would never have seen otherwise. The Bible is a living book written by the living God and both of them want to meet you where you are in real life today. Reading may be through a blur of guilty tears or through teeth and jaws taut with anger, but read anyway. Stay at it and don’t let go until He blesses you. I’ve found this exercise opens spiritual valves I never knew were there. It’s not comfortable or fun—-it’s survival. A setback can become a permanent rut if you allow your negative emotions to spin a deeper pit. It can also be a place where your view of God deepens. You don’t like the you that you see in this setback, but it’s still the person He loves; the person He wants to grow and strengthen.
Be patient with yourself and God. Grieve the loss of what isn’t and dare your eyes to look up with hope that what you call a setback may just be a set-up for a brighter future and a stronger relationship with your Creator.