A sweet friend sent me a message on Snapchat. The image was her darkened living room, with curtains drawn, and I knew immediately that this dear soul had fallen into a deep malaise.
Over the top of the pictures were words that she’d typed: “I am trying to pull myself together. But I just can’t.”
I clicked on the reply button, my fingers hovering over the letters as I searched for the right words to encourage my friend.
Because of the way I’m wired and because I’m a product of the culture in which I’ve been raised, I immediately thought of all the ways I myself have tried to “pull myself together.” A few action steps, mixed in with some positive “you got this” affirmations, came to mind.
But then I remembered the truth I need to know, and maybe you need to know it too:
You actually DON’T have to “pull yourself together” on a hard day.
In fact, sometimes you CAN’T.
Sometimes, all you can do is lift your chin to the sky and say to God, “Send help.”
And that is enough.
We tend to put a ton of pressure on ourselves to slap on a pretend smile and march forward, even amidst the pain we didn’t cause, the heartbreak we didn’t see coming, or the grief that we can’t quite move past.
You don’t have to do that.
You are allowed to break down.
You are allowed to weep.
You are allowed to cancel plans.
You are allowed to take a nap.
You are allowed to simply “be.”
The truth is, you don’t “got this.” Only God does.
Through Scripture, God reminds us that we don’t have to rely on our own strength to pull ourselves out of a funk. Instead, God repeatedly offers comfort along these lines: “I’ll sit with you in the funk.”
One of the Scriptures that assures me of this is Psalm 34.
These words were written by David, and it is traditionally believed that he wrote them while he was in a cave – a very dark place not unlike my friend’s room. During that time, David was fleeing from King Saul, who was pursuing him out of jealousy and a desire to kill him.
The psalm reflects David’s trust in God’s protection and deliverance even in the midst of difficult circumstances.
In Psalm 34, David repeatedly draws our attention to God’s comfort and provision.
Right now, if you’re in a dark “cave” of your own, imagine David Snapchatting you the following words from his own dark cave:
“The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their cry” (Psalm 34:15).
“The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles” (Psalm 34:17).
“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18).
Not once does David say to pull yourself together. All of the “pulling” comes from God, as well as all of the comfort.
Indeed, God’s got this, not you.
So, when I sent a message back to my friend, that’s exactly what I told her. She could simply … be.
The same is true for you.
If you can’t pull yourself out of the dark place you’re in right now, maybe you actually don’t need to do that today. Try this instead: Invite Jesus to come into the room WITH you — and let Him just hold you.
If you’re currently in a dark place, desperate to experience God’s presence, Stuff I’d Only Tell God, is for you. It’s a journal that gives you space and permission to be right where you are, in your healing.