Day 1: Checking Out - How to Move from Coping to Hoping
Day 1: Checking Out
“Yet I still dare to hope
when I remember this:
The faithful love of the LORD never ends.
His mercies never cease.”
When our hearts are heavy, unhealed, and filled with hurt it can be so hard not to lose hope. It’s easy to compare everyone else’s “perfect” lives on social media and feel like our life is unfair, that God hasn’t provided for us at all, and to hyper-focus on what we think God should’ve already done for us. When we don’t know what else to try and we’re frustrated by the season we find ourselves in, we all run to specific coping strategies to help us deal. Some cope by checking out. Others deal with frustration with indifference.
In my own long season of feeling tired of trying, checking out felt like an old comfortable pattern I could easily fall back into. This method guarded my heart from the deep pain bubbling just beneath the surface. I was sure that if I didn’t care and I didn’t say the things that bothered me, then my consuming pain would be kept at bay.
As I chose to cope by checking out, God suddenly interrupted me. It was the day after Christmas and my five-year-old son looked up from his piles of toys all around him and asked, “When am I going to get that other toy I wanted?” I was shocked. Clearly, I needed to teach him gratitude. He was surrounded by so many gifts, some he hadn’t even enjoyed yet, and all he was concerned about was what he didn’t have.
As I began to give him my best five-year-old parental lecture, I felt God whispering to my heart, “This is just like you, Ash.” I knew exactly what He meant. I had been so focused on what God hadn’t done that I was willing to be done with him. However, he had already given me so much. What if, while I was waiting for him to answer me, I purposely focused on all I was already blessed with? This shift in my perspective changed everything.
When we feel tempted to check out as a way to protect ourselves, that is the perfect opportunity to remember the ways God has been faithful.
Lord, help me to trust you even when it feels like the pain of this season has taken all the strength I have. While I wait, help me focus on what you have already done and remind me of your faithfulness. Thank you that no matter what I am facing, your compassion never fails.