Have you ever been in a place where everything in your life seems good and yet you’re struggling?
And because you feel like you shouldn’t be struggling, guilt creeps in and you might try and cover it up or hide it away.
Why is it that we struggle when circumstances are good? And how do we find the space to allow ourselves to address these struggles and find hope and healing?
The past few years my life has been relatively good. There have been no tragedies, traumas or major difficulties. My husband and I have built a little life for ourselves and from the outside, everything appears great.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m extremely grateful for all of the blessings and wonderful parts of our current life.
But I’ve struggled hard these past few years. And I’ve piled on guilt and shame and tried to convince myself that there is something wrong with me for feeling this way.
If I’m being honest, I’ve spent most of my time trying to push away any hint of struggle and fit in with the ease of life right now.
But, as with anything you box away, it comes back and it becomes even harder.
Most of my life, I’ve dealt with loss, trauma, and anxiety. And now that most of it seems under control, I desperately want to keep it that way.
But the old wounds and familiar struggles keep knocking at my door, forcing their way into my current life.
This is the reality of facing such struggles.
If you can relate to this in any way, I want to encourage you to check out this TED talk.
I don’t think I could explain any better why the trauma from our past tends to affect us even when our current life seems “good”.
To summarize: If you’ve been through trauma or tragedy, extreme stress or struggle, your brain may be hardwired for stress. And when you find yourself in a comfortable situation, it gets really uncomfortable.
So how do we cope with this change while not simply ignoring our hearts cry?
I want to share some of the ways that have helped me learn to find peace and hope in these struggles.
As you consider these ways, I really want to encourage you to allow yourself space and possibility. Don’t let guilt and shame keep you from finding this healing.
It’s okay to struggle and it’s okay that it takes time to find healing. In fact, it’s taken me years and years and I’m still in the process.
Lean into God during the healing process and trust His timing. I cannot wait to one day look back and fully understand the magnificent and beautiful wonder of God’s perfect timing in my life (no matter how it feels right now).
1. Seek Therapy
I cannot recommend therapy enough! Honestly, I believe everyone could benefit from therapy.
When I first sought help with my struggles many years ago, I began counseling. I went to 5+ counselors for varying amounts of time and although it was helpful with coping with my struggles, I never felt I was getting to the root.
About a year ago, I learned the difference between therapy and counseling. Counseling is “talk therapy” where you talk about what is going on in your life and learn to cope with your current struggles and symptoms.
Therapy, on the other hand, looks into patterns and the parts of your past that have had a role in your current struggles.
This is exactly what I needed. I needed to untangle the web of brokenness from my past in order to find lasting healing.
Whether counseling or therapy is right for you, I would encourage you to pray about it. Overall, they are both monumentally helpful in finding ways to cope with our struggles.
I think that it has been more beneficial going to therapy now that everything in life seems stable because my mind has room to process and to dig into everything, not just find coping mechanisms to survive it.
So when things seem good and you feel like you’re struggling, look into therapy or counseling. It may just be the tool God can use to bring you healing.
2. Pray, Even When You Want to Run
When struggles pop up when circumstances are good, all I want to do is run from them. And fortunately or unfortunately, it seems easy to do when life is going well.
But as I’ve learned time and time again, these struggles cannot be pushed down for long. And when I run from them, they tend to come up in a much more destructive way.
So it’s crucial for me to pray consistently about them, especially when I notice myself wanting to run.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I often will run before I recognize this. But trying to remember the power of prayer and finding the accountability in continually surrendering these things to God, even when things are good is so important.
I find it helpful to write out prayers in my prayer journal that I can turn to, even when I don’t feel like praying. I want to encourage you to spend time in prayer about your struggles, despite any feelings of guilt or shame. Just because life’s circumstances are good, doesn’t mean we should be any less diligent about prayer!
3. Find Support, Accountability, and Encouragement
Finding support in my struggles when everything in life appears to be good has been one of the hardest things for me.
It’s almost easier to find support when you have a tangible, outward struggle because it’s visible. But sharing your inner struggles when life seems good can be tough.
I’ve spent years looking for this support, accountability, and encouragement and to be honest, I’m only just finding it now.
One of the biggest obstacles for me was my ability to put on a smile no matter how I’m feeling. It’s hard to take down the walls and share the tough stuff when it’s unexpected.
And it’s even harder when you’ve experienced rejection in your vulnerability.
If there’s one thing I want to encourage you to do in this today, it would be to keep taking that risk (with God’s guidance). I know it hurts when you feel rejected or judged, but when you finally find those people that can walk alongside you, it’s worth it.
If you feel like you’re struggling when life circumstances seem good, it’s okay. It’s okay to allow yourself the space to struggle, to process, to grieve, to heal.
I have found that the majority of my healing has come when things finally calmed down and I had the space to open up the pain in my heart.
Don’t let Satan convince you that you “should” be okay in this time. Ask God to show you how to walk through this time in His way and with His healing touch.