2019 was a hard year. Probably one of the hardest, if not the most. The reason it was difficult was partially my fault, but not all of it. But no matter who is to blame for how that year went, God continually showed me how deep His love and grace go, even through that time. And yet I know His love is far deeper than I still even realize. He has brought me literally to my knees, crying out of sorrow, repentance, joy, loneliness, comfort, anxiety, and trust. He has shown me time and again that He is all I need and that He will never leave me, even when it feels like I’m alone.
I will not be going into specific details into what happened at the end of 2019, but I would love to share what I learned through that time. I want to share this in order to glorify God for His goodness but also to help you learn vital lessons without having to go through what I did. I am not playing the victim here. I am not asking for attention. I am sharing how I felt during that time and what God did in and through me to show me His goodness. I don’t know what else I can do but share that experience here.
During the end of 2019, my situation seemed so bleak. I knew things would be better in the future, but what about right then? Why was this happening? Why was I brought so low? To the point where I’ve questioned my sanity, my faith, and myself? What was the point if I didn’t even know who I was? What was the point? Why? These questions constantly circled through my mind, but I couldn’t find any answers. Looking back now, I’m able to at least get an idea of the purpose.
Growing up, I was always taught that man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever. That is the point. That is why we exist. This is what I’m supposed to do. But I had no idea what that really meant. I didn’t know what it meant to live my life in a way that glorifies God, besides obeying His law (which I failed to do every single day). What I didn’t realize was that there are more ways to glorify God than just by keeping His word. When I sat in my room in 2019 at the lowest point I’d ever been, I was able to glorify God by still trusting Him, by still knowing He loved me, even when I doubted. I could glorify Him by knowing Him and His goodness. I could glorify Him by praying to Him and asking Him why and what His purpose was. I could glorify Him by thanking Him that my situation still wasn’t even close to what I deserve as a sinner because of His grace and mercy. That time was so incredibly dark for me, but God showed Himself there. He was with me. Even though I was at my lowest point, I still had a peace within myself that I can’t even describe. It did not come from me. It was all God. I knew God loved me. I knew I would be okay. I knew He would help me, whenever that would be. I knew I loved God. There was an amazing comfort that came with that knowledge, and I’m still trying every day to remember that. It’s hard. I have bad days, just like everyone else. I get anxiety talking and writing about these things. So many different areas of my life are affected by everything that happened specifically in these past few years. But God was there. He is here. There is no other explanation as to why I can write about this today. It was not my own strength. It was not some will I conjured up in myself to desperately survive a tough situation. It was all God, and therefore He deserves all the glory.
I hope you know that and are able to experience and understand His goodness, even if it takes time. That’s okay. There is purpose. God is here. Whatever it is you may be dealing with, big or small, I pray that you will be able to grow from it and praise God through it all, even when it’s hard. Even when you can’t seem to breathe. Even when you don’t know how you can move forward. Even when you haven’t healed. Even when there is so much pain in the world and within yourself. Praising God in hard times does not mean you’re ignoring your pain. Praising God does not mean the pain isn’t there. Praising God does not mean you can’t be sad, that you can’t cry, or question God, or doubt yourself and Him. Praising God means knowing that, no matter what happens, He is still good and He is still there, and that you are His.