Over the past couple months I have felt my life slowly coming unraveled. I have watch my dad’s health rapidly deteriorate, my mom has been sick, my oldest son is getting ready to leave for college, the attendance at the Church I serve has been way down, ministries are struggling and a dozen other little things have gone wrong.
As a result I can feel myself getting more and more negative. The glass is half empty and it is because someone is too lazy to fill it full or someone has simply taken the rest from me. I am daily battling anger, loneliness, depression and apathy. My basic instincts are to withdrawal and quit. Throwing in the towel is often the quickest and easiest solution.
With these feelings growing inside of me I am trying to make an intentional effort to stay positive. I am going to try to refocus my life on some of the good things. I admit this is a daily struggle and I wanted to share what I am trying to do to stay positive.
1. Focus On God
I think one of the biggest reasons I struggle is because I take my eyes off of Jesus. When the mountains seem big, I have to remember that my God is bigger. His ways are not my ways and his plans are different from my plans. For me this is a matter of worship. I need to be more focused during Sunday worship, I need to listen to more worship songs and I need to quiet my soul from all of the technological distractions.
I know this is the Sunday School answer to everything, but it is usually the right answer. Give your problems to God and allow him to take the negatives and turn them into positives.
3. Remember the Blessings of God
While things can seem difficult at times I am reminded of all the good things God has given me. My life is filled with loving parents, a beautiful wife, four great boys, great Church leadership, financial resources and I live in a country of plenty. Sometimes we just need to count our blessings.
4. Flip Everything Over
Every negative experience often has a positive on the other side, we just need to flip over our thinking. My dad may be failing but I am thankful that he has lived 81 years and always been a part of my life. His sickness has brought me closer to my mother. God has been teaching me compassion and a love for senior citizens. The glass may just be half full.
5. Connect with People
As an introvert I tend to enjoy my privacy. When I struggle I feel like pulling away from people even more. I would rather suffer in silence alone than bother anybody. God is teaching me to open up and bring people into my life rather than push them away. Other people can be a source of joy and support.
While I am sure the dark clouds of life will remain over my life for a little while longer, I am also sure that God can take this rain and grow some beautiful flowers. I can either take this time to help them grow or I allow it to ruin my life. I am asking God to teach me and use me during this time. If you are struggling, I pray God does the same for you.