We’ve all been there: You travel all the way to work only to discover that you have left your laptop at home. Or you realise that you’ve left your wallet at home only once you get to the cashier. Maybe you’ve locked yourself in or out of your house. Sometimes it’s just as simple as that you have to wake up early because the weekend is over. And the day suddenly becomes a ‘blue Monday’.
It can be something big or small, but it completely throws us off of our game.
I experienced this recently. I was having such a good stretch – you know the kind, where you get into a routine and everything runs smoothly. I was on a high, hoping it could last indefinitely.
But then Monday came…literally.
I have nothing against Mondays. I enjoy them! I love going to work, finding out what all my co-workers did over the weekend and being productive. Sure, my Mondays are jam-packed with meetings and are therefore often quite chaotic, but the highlight of my Mondays is planning my week in my bullet journal (it’s like a free-style diary). Jotting down my weekly goals and setting my daily tasks to accomplish these goals. My bullet journal provides me with focus and a sense of achievement as I set out on the week-long journey to tick off all my daily tasks.
But this Monday started off differently.
My first task for my week sent me reeling and from there every little hiccup threw me more and more off balance. I sat down at my desk with a cup of coffee, determined to get this blogging thing on the road. The last task remaining was to buy the template I had spent the last few weeks setting up. A few dollars a month – that’s manageable even with the rand not being at its best.
1. Click the “Buy now” button.
2. Proceed to cart.
3. Drop my coffee.
OK, not really (thank goodness!) but, mentally, I dropped the coffee cup. What I thought was a monthly subscription fee turned out to be a once-off yearly amount – an amount that exceeded what I had budgeted because I hadn’t read the fine print correctly. I immediately logged into my bank account app and did the calculations. I couldn’t afford this subscription as well as my monthly train pass. Trying not to panic, I logged out of my banking app, removed the item from my cart and attempted to distract myself with work and the rest of my tasks that I needed to complete that day.
A shock. A little bit of bad news. That was all it took to derail my week. I was struggling to comprehend, why, if God had specifically called me to blog, would I face so many obstacles? I have already had to work through my perceived inadequacy regarding my ability to write – having had to deal with the fear of putting my writing out there for the world to read and criticise – and now this as well? It seemed like everything was conspiring against me.
“It’s only one bad day”, I consoled myself.
Tuesday morning, at 5:30, my alarm went off and it took every ounce of me not to hit the snooze button. Instead, I tried to encourage my heavy eyelids to stay open by scrolling through Facebook. Bad idea. Comparison hit me hard. And with that came a tsunami wave of feeling inadequate. Now I really didn’t want to get out of bed. Rather, I wanted to crawl deeper under the covers.
Occasionally, life wins and we get a bit battered and bruised in the process. This is just one recent example and I am sure it won’t be the last one. But, I don’t want to get too caught up in all the things that can get us down and shake up our lives, because the truth is that Jesus tells us in John 16:33: “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” [emphasis own]
We will have trouble. Satan will target our weaknesses, especially when we are following the will of the Lord. Targeting his attacks to the most vulnerable areas in our lives is satan's attempt at derailing us, or, at the very least, distracting us for a while. So, maybe instead of being distracted by life’s troubles, which are guaranteed to happen at some point, we should shift our focus off of our troubles and take heart!
Oftentimes, when I find myself in these slumps, I find I don’t have enough strength to read and interpret the Word. This is why it is important to be faithful in the little things, because it’s in these dreary and dark times that you need that head knowledge to be the heart knowledge motivating you to keep going. For this reason, instead of reading the Word during my terrible week, I clung to the truths I knew: “He is my refuge…in whom I trust” (Ps 91:2); “He will fight for me” (Ex 14:14); “He rejoices over me…and quiets me with his love” (Zeph 3:17).
It’s during these blue times that knowing your identity in Christ is important. You're the daughter/son of Christ, adopted into His family. You were not rejected or abandoned, you are unconditionally accepted and loved. You’re are holy, righteous, and made in His image. You are royalty. It is this knowledge that will prevent satan’s attacks from swaying you.
Not only will staying steadfast in your identity keep you steady, but it will also help you to shift your focus off of your surroundings, circumstances and, most importantly, your emotions. Instead, your steadfastness will work to shift your focus onto God and towards the end goal. The easiest way that I have found to shift my focus back to God, is to adopt a heart of worship. I do this by actively immersing almost every moment of my day in worship songs. Allowing my heart to just cry out with every melody. Using the lyrics of the song to praise God when words failed me. Letting the song uplift my burdened heart.
This song in particular encouraged me greatly throughout my blue week:
Steady by For King & Country
“You keep me steady when the sky is falling
And I’ll keep steady after You
I’ll carry on when my strength is failing
Take heart ‘cause you’re with me
So let the stars drop
Whatever comes, I’ll be ready”
I would love to hear from you:
How has your week been? How do you cope with the troubles life can throw your
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