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How to Be OK When You’re in a Funk
My favorite jeans are starting to cut into my waist in an uncomfortable way. The grocery order keeps getting delayed when we’re already out of milk. The dog has gotten into the trash again. My kids carry individual sadnesses I can’t fix for them. It’s rainy and cold. My hip aches at night sometimes. People I thought were dependable turn out not to be. I’ve turned out to be not as dependable as I thought I was. My dad is sick. I suddenly need reading glasses for the fine print.
It’s impossible to predict which of these disappointments will have the power to push me into a full-on funk. I have days that feel so full of hope and possibility that I have the juice to face the big stuff with faith and trust. Other days start out already negative, so even good things feel bad. Funks and feelings don’t submit to the scientific method. They often multiply uncertainties and disappointments until the weight of dark clouds feels too heavy for my one set of shoulders to bear.
I have a feeling that the past twelve months have found even those of us with the sunniest dispositions in a funk or two that surprised us. Others of us dip into Funkland on a regular basis. What do you tell a friend who is struggling and can’t shake the dark clouds? What do you tell yourself when life just hurts? You can only go back to what you know. For me, that’s always been enough.
Truths that are rising to the top today:
I know fruit grows out of suffering and makes me a better version of myself. There is something on the other side of this trial I don’t want to miss and a new version of me I can’t afford to not become. James 1:2-4 says, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” (ESV).
I’ve survived 100 percent of my hard days so far. My track record is pretty good and helps me believe I can trust myself to be able to figure out tomorrow’s challenges when they come.
Join me at The Glorious Table today to read the rest of the "How to be OK in Funkland" list!
I had a recurring nightmare as a child. It woke me in the middle of the night and kept me awake worrying about whether it would fill my mind as soon as I closed my eyes. I thought I would outgrow it. I hoped my adult brain would be able to see things my child’s brain couldn’t and I would be free. Instead, a panicky fear of my Dad dying followed me into marriage and parenting. I’m 49 years old and until recently, the nightmare still showed up in various forms. This year my beloved Daddy died. I watched him take his last breath in front of me and imagined him arriving with the next in heaven. My whole life I’ve been clenched up around the fear that watching him die might break something inside of me and I couldn’t survive. It didn’t happen. I’m more okay than I ever thought possible. My dad isn’t living anymore, he’s not here on earth for me to talk to or touch and I’m sitting upright and in my right mind. Today I’m amazed at my okayness. Finally being free of this fear I’ve lived with
We ate steak at the fanciest place in town, me and my sister, our husbands, and our parents. Around the table, we joined Mom’s reminiscing. We retold our favorite stories of family vacations and holidays. We revealed some silly childhood secrets. And we listened to Mom’s stories from fifty years she and Dad spent together. One of our favorite stories is of the birthday Mom expected a diamond ring but went home from their swanky dinner with a shiny new set of hot rollers. Whenever Mom tells that story, instead of making fun of Dad for his slow-moving ways, she praises his serious, methodical decision making. She points to it as proof of his dependability. My mom told stories. I told stories. My sister told stories. Even our husbands had memories to share. We retold some of the stories Dad put on paper in his journal for us. The thing we missed most was Dad’s voice in the storytelling. Rather than telling the stories himself, he locked eyes on the teller and responded, “By golly, that ha
If you start looking for hacks to make your life simpler and happier in the wrong places, you will accomplish the exact opposite of what you hope. You will spin out on solutions to problems you don’t have. You will waste energy trying to feel good about accomplishments that don’t matter to you. You’ll quit because it didn’t work. Shortcuts are good for two things: finishing faster or having more fun. When we drive from Grand Rapids to Chicago for a fun weekend in the city we usually want to get there as quickly as possible so the fun can begin. Extra time spent wandering through Gary, Indiana in the car isn’t tempting when deep dish pizza and a show are waiting for us in Chicago. We want to shave time off the trip any way we can. We’re looking for a time-saving shortcut, an efficiency hack. You can only find a shortcut to an actual destination. Until we’ve set a course to Chicago, there’s no way to find a quicker path. Before I know I want to have a garden, it’s silly to figure out