Not that long ago in a galaxy very, very near, I was having a rough day. It was nothing new and groundbreaking that was wrong, nothing fantastically large, and nothing that a thousand other people were likely dealing with that day. Everyone has those days. Somewhere around the age of eighteen, we start saying “adulting is hard!” and I’ve yet to meet a person willing to contradict that statement.

Adulting is hard. And that day, I was feeling the full weight of it. I was exhausted, I was sad, and on top of it all, I had absolutely no time to be either of those things. In the midst of unloading all this emotional baggage on my roommate, I also started bemoaning the fact that I had wanted to start work on new Thursday Thoughts and didn’t have the time to. In a moment of levity amidst sniffles, I told her:

“I’m almost tempted to just write ‘God good, life hard, keep going.’ and post that as the entire blog post for the week.”

We both laughed but then, after thinking about it for a moment, she turned to me and said, “Maybe you should.”

And we both realized the depth of her observation.

Which brings us to the fact that I’m even writing about this conversation at all. It would be the easiest thing in the world for me to deny that I had a bad day. Honestly, deep down, I’d really love to deny having a bad day. It sounds so much more appealing to show people the happy little, Instagram cropped version of our lives than to admit to a day where everything seemed against me and I was left feeling completely worn out by just going through the actions of the day.

But if your life is nothing more than a performance designed to make you come off in the best light, how will you showcase the ways God is moving to change your world in the bad times? If you only admit to the highest of times, how can anyone else be served by your lowest?

The reality of life is that a great deal of your time will not be spent living in those high points when absolutely everything is going your way. The phrase “adulting is hard” wouldn’t be so common if that weren’t the case. For most of us, there are going to be huge swaths of time when we feel we are having a never-ending bad day.

So what? Ignore it! Pretend everything is Instagram perfect! Maybe the tough stuff won’t find you! Why should you bother anyway?

Why bother? Because you never know who needs your honesty.

If you’re in the fight of your life, who are you going to look to to see you through? The person trying to ignore the danger by giving a fake laugh and “saying isn’t this all so great?”? Or the person nodding encouragingly at you and saying “This is tough, but I know we can make it.”? We’re much more apt to trust a person telling us we can overcome whatever it is we’re going through if we’re sure they know what they’re talking about. Similarly, if you want to be someone that helps others with their struggles and hardships, the catch is that you have to be honest with your own.

Then comes the second part of that conversation with my roommate, the fact that in the midst of the no good day the only words I had to write were “God good. Life Hard. Keep going.”. When she mentioned that I could just post that, she wasn’t just landing on the notion that it would be funny (although arguably it would have been). She was seeing through to an attitude necessary for carrying on the fight that is life.

You are going to get absolutely beat down by life at one point or another. If you’re there now, it might feel like that’s all you ever do. Wake up, life is tough. Eat lunch, life is tough. Go to work, life is tough. It’s not just a circle you go through, it’s a spiral. The longer you deal with all the hardship and difficulty of life, the more exhausted you feel. We get to these moments when even our thoughts are so exhausted they come out as my choppy caveman speak and it’s the only way we can manage to communicate anymore.

It’s ok if you’re in that place.

It’s ok to be tired. It’s ok to be sad. It’s ok to be hurt. It’s ok to be confused. It’s ok to be wounded. It’s ok to feel you’re out of energy. None of those things, in turn, make you a failure. To have something happen to us doesn’t say as much about us as what we do with it. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it a thousand times more: You don’t always control over what happens to you, but you always have control over how you react to it.

As Christians, our desire is to live a life that gives God the glory. It’s very right and honorable for us to praise him in our prosperity and give him all the credit he’s due, but I’ve always felt that we speak much louder when we praise him from our places of pain. Those are the moments that grab others attention and makes them ask: “What do you have that I don’t?”. If you use your moments of pain and exhaustion, the moments where you just want to either curl up or shake your fist at the sky, and prefix them by worshipping God he will be glorified in that attitude.

Do whatever you can to put one foot in front of the other in your walk despite the exhaustion. If  “God good. Life hard. Keep going.” is all you can manage to squeeze out of your tired, wheezing lungs. Do that. Say it. Show the world you’re still in the fight and you’re still giving God the glory. It’s enough. I promise you it’s enough. It is, after all, still a step forward. It doesn’t have to be a glamorous one. It just has to be a step. That’s all that’s needed for the people watching to know that you’re still moving. You’re still choosing to be part of the story. You’re still fighting. God’s still working.

And it bears repeating that God does not intend for us to be isolated and alone in our periods of exhaustion. That’s the “God good” part before admitting “Life hard”. He’s cheering you on to that next step. He’s proud when you take it. He feels your exhaustion acutely. He’s not without a plan. Chances are he’s already got big ideas for that next step you take, however shaky and tired it may be. So don’t stop. He’s got you.

God good. Life hard. Keep going.

Let’s find some joy,

A.R.