Just. Hold. On.
“Keep on keeping on!” (as my Mother used to say.)
Endurance is hard. Holding up under pressure, stress, pain, injustice, and even slight discomfort is not easy. This life, which is “only a vapor,” can seem more like a windstorm that will not relent, stealing our breath and lashing at our very core. It does not help that the only way to learn perseverance is to have to persevere.
So, this post is not like the others. No word studies, definitions, explanations, instructions, or checklists. No stones to throw – not even a pebble. No extra burdens to carry, to ponder, or to think about. It’s just a note from me to you to say…
I’m sorry it’s hard and it hurts. I am sorry you’ve been praying for years and still don’t seem to have any relief. I am sad to think about how many tears you’ve cried, how many sighs you’ve sighed, how many days you’ve not wanted to move or even breathe.
I don’t know how long this will go on. I don’t know the answer to why this is the way it has to be. I wish I did.
I wish I could tell you what to do, or how to make it better. I wish I could stitch together what has been torn, find what has been lost, heal what has been infected, clean what has been soiled, and mend what has been broken. But, I can’t. And I realize that sometimes that reality makes us feel even more burdened…
Because we feel more isolated, alone, abandoned, forgotten…and at times, perhaps we feel worthless, despairing, and despondent.
Hopelessness is a burden no one should have to bear alone.
So I want you to know: I see you. I may not know you, and you may not know me, but I want you to know that someone out in this world is hurting simply because you are hurting. And “I have prayed for you” – literally, just now – “that your faith will not fail, and when you have returned, will strengthen others”.
You may not be able to believe that you will endure. I get it. I’ve been there…with all that same self-doubt, physical exhaustion, mental fatigue, and spiritual barrenness. I’ve prayed until I have run out of words and cried until I have run out of tears. I don’t even blame you for not believing that you will come through all of this. But, I can believe it for you – in these moments. And I do! I actually believe you will persevere.
I will wait in expectancy for the things God will do in you and through you. I will believe in those things until you have the strength to believe in these things again for yourself. And I will continue to believe that “Surely, I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living!” even as you wish that living wasn’t so painful, doubting that any good is left in this world (Psalm 27:13). I will believe that the day will come when you can take a breath without wincing, and you will feel hope again – even if it is only for a slowly, ever-growing moment.
God is still working.
Just. (breathe in) Hold. (hold it…) On. (breathe out)
God’s love always perseveres for you...just wait and see.
ARTWORK BY: Lauren Garner of Willow & Stone Designs.
To see more of her beautifully creative artwork, check her out on Instagram @willowandstonedesigns .