Everyone has something, someone, or some way to find solitude in times of emotional discomfort. Whether it be turning to friends and family, a glass of wine, or a pint of ice-cream, we all have ways of coping with the uncomfortable situations that life always has a way of throwing at us. We all have a way to dull the sting of rejection or a certain routine we use to deal with a day that just doesn’t seem to be going right. Some people may be in a season where they have to fight more uphill battles than normal and there seems to be days where more of the bad outweighs the good. Some may feel like they are completely stuck at rock bottom with no way out. Searching for comfort during these times is only natural, after all you want to find a way to put your soul at ease. We all search for something to let ourselves feel secure, and to validate that we are going to be okay. I had always been told to be thankful for the discomfort because it’s during these valleys where we experience the most growth. But for me the discomfort of facing myself and my issues was something that sometimes was too much to handle. I found myself turning to new relationships, a bottle of wine, or distracting myself from whatever emotional mountain I was tackling, by pretending it wasn’t there and then constantly getting frustrated when I would end back up at square one. I knew something had to change, but what exactly was it that needed to change?
I had hit a roadblock in my emotional growth. I had accepted who I had become and while I wasn’t the best person, I also wasn’t the worst. I had become accustomed to a certain way of life and I figured that I was, who I was, and these were just the cards I was dealt with. I honestly didn’t ever think too much about changing the way I viewed life. I definitely didn’t ever think about taking control and changing my behaviours. I always just figured I would find a guy who would come in, sweep me off my feet, and fix whatever it was that I couldn’t fix myself. I didn’t feel like I needed to put any effort in, all I had to worry about was my own selfish motives and everything was going to be coming up daisies…. Eventually….
I had become someone who feared the unknown. I hated feeling discomfort in my emotions. I would use any avenue to dull the sting I felt deep down after a breakup, rejection, or when something didn’t end up going my way. I would turn to alcohol, junk food, another boy, TV, or the loving ear of a friend and family, all to try and dull the ache I was feeling deep inside. I would talk to my friends about the same issues over and over and constantly felt the need to seek the validation I was an okay human being for acting the way I did. I hated heartbreak, I hated rejection, and I hated loneliness. These are my weaknesses, and I used to do anything in my power to do what I thought I had to do to dull the sting of these emotions. But what I learned along the way was the longer I put off the feelings of discomfort I had to deal with that surrounded these emotions, the longer I was going to be stuck wandering in the wilderness.
Not everyone is going to have to deal with their issues this way. Some people tackle that mountain head on. Some people can deal with their emotions and still find comfort in the use of other band-aids. They are able to find that middle ground where healing derives from. For me I recognized that seeking outside validation didn’t help me heal who I was inside, it only helped me to keep going down the same path I had wandered down hundreds of times. I needed to learn to press into the discomfort. Press into the ugly emotions and tackle them head on. To really feel what I was feeling and see what was causing me to act certain ways. I realized that what people told me was true… beauty really does rise from the ashes. I found a new strength in myself. I battled through the darkness with the help of friends, my family, and mainly with the help of God. I have always had to be one to learn the lessons the hard way. I spent 27 years running from my emotions, running from the wounds I needed to heal, and running towards worldly things to gain my validation and find my place in the world.
I really had to press into my faith during these times. I still have days where I have to ask God to give me strength. I pray for solitude to learn His lesson through the dark times, to transform my heart and allow me to see the plan that He has for me. I stopped running from Him and asked him to show me His plan. I faced the discomfort head on. I took time to myself, away from all social media, away from all outside distraction and I took some time to really see who I was, who I wanted to be, and who I was called to be. I decided that I was no longer going to live my life based on what I had planned for it to be anymore and to fully submit to what God was trying to tell me. The discomfort sucked, like really sucked. I took myself through some really dark emotions, emotions I had always been scared of or ashamed to feel. There were times I just kept to myself because I knew that if I started to turn to someone else I would stunt my growth by falling back into the same known paths. I wanted to know what God wanted to teach me. I was tired of skirting the issues that I need to deal with to become exactly who God wants me to be.
God turned out to be my anchor. He guided me through every storm, through every emotional discomfort and through every day where I struggled to just make it through. Depression used to be such an ugly part of my life that I honestly thought I was going to be plagued with it forever. I used that time to seek out God and He slowly started to heal me. The farther I turned from worldly validation and the more I turned towards the guidance of the One who loves us the most, the more I started to learn about myself. Sometimes God allows us to go through the dark times over and over, at our own accord to force us to realize that we need Him. Gods love for us is always there, He is always there. But we have free will and sometimes He allows us to do it our way in order to bring us back to Him. I am sure He struggled watching me struggle as I tried to do everything my way. I am such a stubborn person, that I always thought I could do everything on my own. I felt the burden of my life and felt like such a weight was on my shoulder. Times were dark, I will not lie. I was drowning and had no way to know which way was up, until I was forced to readdress the choices I was making in my life. God was there. He was there the whole time. He never left me, I turned from Him. I struggled for so long all because I would not choose to live the life He had planned for me.
I still deal with valleys. I still have good days, and bad days. I still have days where I have no idea what I am supposed to be doing. I still struggle with issues and wounds that have been with me since I was a child. But now I see the beauty in the struggle because I know I am going to learn something about myself and come out on the other side stronger than ever. God doesn’t ever leave us. He will never give us emotions that are too hard for us to handle. He guides us through the discomfort. If we submit to Him and ask Him what we are supposed to learn during these difficult times He is always there to lessen the burden.
We all have our demons to deal with. Our struggles are all different, some are worse than others. But knowing that God has our back seriously was life-changing for me. There is beauty in the discomfort if we take the time to figure out what we need to learn. Every valley pushed me closer to Him. Every trial, He was there. Every hard night, He guided me and gave me comfort. So don’t ever give up, there is light at the end of the tunnel!