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  • Writer's pictureAshley Thomas

No Catchy Title.

"When You’re Between a Rock and a Hard Place. Don’t be afraid, I’ve redeemed you. I’ve called your name. You’re mine. When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there with you. When you’re in rough waters, you will not go down. When you’re between a rock and a hard place, it won’t be a dead end-because I am GOD, your personal GOD, the holy of Israel, your Savior. I paid a huge price for you: all of Egypt, with rich Cush and Seba thrown in! That’ s how much I love you! I’d sell off the whole world to get you back, trade the creation just for you.”

Isaiah 43:1-4

A lot of my friends are in hard places right now.

We all are searching for a way out. There’s a part of us that wants to discuss what’s happening while simultaneously wishing it wasn’t an issue and we could just move on. No one wants to be a burden. The broken record spinning attempting to play the once favorite song. The person who can’t fake a smile any longer.

Yet, we get together and a few drinks later - we focus on the things we work hard to put out there....the new outfit we got, our new haircut, the perfect family photo, the exotic vacation... new car...the list goes on. We focus on those so we don’t have to focus on our hearts. The parts of us that are vulnerable and real.

But what are we supposed to do? Walk around and be sad? Angry? Apathetic? Numb?

I don’t have the answer. I wish I did. I know in perfect Christianese...I could throw a couple verses together and promise people peace if they have just enough faith. I have faith....but right now it’s hard. Waking up is hard. Seeing a different perspective is hard. Change is hard. Curiosity about what’s next is hard.

Each of us is going through something. The key to relationships is being able to enter into where other people are at, while not losing yourself. In other words, empathy.

I’m in a hard place. I don’t know how to put it into words, so I can’t tell you what you can do to make it better or how you can support me. All I know is I’m tired of pretending everything is OK. I’m angry. Somehow that’s become my go to emotion. Eventually it turns to sad. Yet, I’m still able to be present. My will for life, forces me to continue to trust that there eventually will be something better. Even if that something means me.

Life can be hard sometimes. We don’t have to go through it alone.

What I’ve found time and time again, in the moments where we are willing to be most vulnerable with others - we open up opportunities for others to express where they are at too. We may find behind that filter, that snap, that trip or whatever other thing we so easily hide behind is a person, who desperately longs for it to be safe to just be real and up front about where they are at. Good, bad or indifferent.

Are we willing to be the type of people who want to enter into the mess as much as we want to celebrate the beauty?

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