My dear friend is going through a really tough time right now. I had sent her something and she texted me she had just received it. She thanked me for my continued encouragement. She said she has been putting on a brave face on these days as she doesn't want everyone to think she is a Debbie Downer all of the time. She said I know her well enough to see her heartbreak and grief even on her good days when she smiles and says "I'm good." She said God is faithful and shows her His love through friends like me.
I replied to her I was so glad she enjoyed what I sent her. 'Yes, I know you are going through a tough time right now. I'm sure it is overwhelming at times. You are very strong and courageous. And in the moments when you don't feel it, He will hold you. Rely on Him. Cry out to Him. You will experience His comfort in a way you never have before. And this experience with God is going to change you for the better. I promise. Your suffering is not wasted in His hands. He is refining you as silver so that you will reflect the image you are created in.
I, like everyone else, am having a hard time with this pandemic. I miss going out. I miss hugs. I miss people. I miss their smiles. I know the pandemic coming at this time in your life is making it worse for you. Isolating for you. Remember though that you are not alone. We are all feeling the same thing to some degree. We are all Debbie Downers right now to some degree. We will get through this together. It will be over. A time of great rejoicing is coming! Until then we rely on Him.'
I laid down for my weekly Sunday nap and I thought about her. She is going through gut-wrenching emotional pain right now. The kind that only comes into your life a couple or a few times. The deep dark scary pit kind of pain. And to add onto it the pandemic and the health and financial fears on top of that. And to add on she is living by herself right now. It has to be heavy. I hoped what I said to her was encouraging. I hope she felt lifted up. I hope she knows I'm here for her.
My thoughts ran to 2001 when I was in the same terrifying pit. Three things happened to me. Devastating horrible things. I was reeling. And then 9-11 happened. It had the effect of burying me. Remember how you felt when 9-11 occurred? Well I was already in the mire then. I sunk into a deep depression. I was a Debbie Downer. It was then I cried out to God. I literally told Him if He saved me that I was His. Completely. Entirely. I told Him I was putting Him as Savior and Lord over my life. And it changed. I didn't climb out of that pit overnight. But I did start having miracles occur. God lifting me up level by level. Day by day. But most importantly, I felt Him. I experienced Him. It changed me.
God placed me on the proverbial rock.
I wish I had known Scripture at that time in my life. It would have helped lift me up faster. Scripture encourages. I know my friend knows Scripture. That will help her as she walks through this difficult time in her life.
I then thought about her term of "Debbie Downer." How many of us go through life with a smile on our face acting like everything is just going dandy in our lives when the reality is it is all unraveling? Right now is such a difficult time for us all. It's hard not to be a Debbie Downer. I hope you have people in your life though that let you be down with them. To be genuine with them. People who really know what is going on with you. People who are there for you - even in the hard times.
But us Christians. We are to be the hands and feet of our Lord. God uses us to help others. To hold them up. To encourage them. You all know someone right now who needs you to be there for them. Someone who needs encouragement right now. Someone who feels alone right now. You need to make time for them. You need to think of some way to encourage them. It is what we Christians are called to do. Hold each other up. Bear each others burdens.