I have gastroparesis, which means, left to its own devices, my stomach’s processing power hits a dead stop. I cannot digest anything, like, I’ll vomit a liquid diet. With medication and a specific diet, I’ve gotten it under control. However, inexplicably, I had a flare-up this week and haven’t been able to eat for the past few days.
Why am I telling you this?
Because when we experience hardship, it is easy to feel alone and misunderstood and this is simply not true. You are not the only one in the world who has ever struggled with whatever trial you are facing.
“For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.” Hebrews 4:15.
Christ also felt weak and was tempted. We feel alone; He was alone on the cross.
But if this sense of loneliness isn’t true, then why do we feel this way? In the words of Luna Lovegood, “Well, if I were You-Know-Who, I’d want you to feel cut off from everyone else. Because if it’s just you alone, you’re not as much of a threat.”
Heck! I want to be a threat!
When we feel isolated, we withdraw further into ourselves and throw a pity party and this distracts us from what really matters in life. Whether your struggles are physical, interpersonal, mental, or situational, don’t let them defeat you. Awake and see the reality that you are not alone. Be of good courage and fight, knowing that someone else fights with you.
On a similar, though lighter vein, I was reminded recently of an underappreciated song in the Disney canon. Soon after the attempt on Snow White’s life, she flees into the woods, where her traumatized mind invents dangers and villains where there are none, and her whole world becomes scary and dark. When she comes to herself, she notices the forest creatures are friendly, the spring day is beautiful and safe, and she sings this song:
Life is just a bright sunny day
Your cares fade away
And your heart is young
All the world seems to waken anew
Rejoicing with you
As the song is sung
There’s no use in grumbling
When the raindrops come tumbling
Remember, you’re the one
Who can fill the world with sunshine
When you smile and you sing
Everything is in tune and it’s spring
And life flows along
With a smile and a song
Most of us have been or are going through some kind of trauma (hopefully not involving murderous huntsmen), but that doesn’t mean we need to allow it to taint the good in our lives or invent for ourselves evil where there is none. See the forest for what it is. Are there villains, poison, pitfalls? Yes, but there is also life, beauty, and sunshine.
How do I attempt this today? Well, sure, I feel weak and dizzy, but considering what terrible shape I usually am in without food, I am doin’ pretty alright. That’s amazing! I choose not to create more darkness than there already is and am thankful I can think enough to write.
Here’s to the sunniest we can make today!
*Drumroll!!! The winner of the Grousy Mousy watercolor giveaway is Shelley Harden!
**Cover art by my husband, Lynn Hopkins. You can follow him on Instagram at: https://www.instagram.com/lynn.hopkins/