When It Feels... Hard.

As I looked in the rear view mirror at the flashing red and blue lights behind me my first thought was, that's it, last straw, I'm done. 

I know this isn't the reaction that you want to hear from a young woman who travels the world to minister the gospel and love of Jesus Christ, but I've always said if I choose to share at all, I'm going to share honestly. 

My first week home from Congo was great. I spent quality time with close friends, I took hot showers, drank A LOT of coffee, enjoyed sleeping in my bed, and was gearing up for projects, fundraisers, other trips, speaking engagements, etc. that were coming around the corner. I couldn't have asked for an easier first week back and I thought I was well on the way to some of the easiest transitioning ever. 

This morning with tears in my eyes I looked at a computer screen with Skype video pulled up talking to a dear friend as I briefly pondered how to answer the question she just asked, "So... are you having a hard time emotionally lately, do you feel lonely?"

Hard? I'm not sure if the adjective "hard" does justice to what I've felt stirring inside of me off and on for the past two weeks. Hard seems to water down the intensity of what I've felt and yet compared to so much that I've seen around the world, using the word hard seems gravely unfair. 

The second week home brought on a whole new flood of issues, emotions, and struggles that I wasn't expecting. There were things that stopped working, unforeseen expenses, adjusting to life back in the states, battling physically and emotionally, missing Congo, rewriting expectations, even trying to adjust spiritually and more. 

"In this life you will have tribulation, but take heart, I have overcome the world" (John 16:33) 

As I drove home from having my car repaired today, I was talking to Jesus about ALL that was going on and He reminded me of this verse. The enemy will use whatever tactics possible to steal things God has implanted in us. He'll use anything to distract you from the revelation you've been given. Satan likes to use sickness, finances, relationships and people, lies, emotions, thought patterns, anything and everything possible, it's all fair game to keep you from walking in the fullness of what God has for you and is doing in you. 

It's not shocking that as I return home from a mission trip to DR-Congo where I experienced not only extreme tragedy but an incredible depth of Jesus' awesome presence that there would be transition, change, and attacks. 

As the police officer returned to his car and I looked at the ticket in my hand for not wearing my seat belt on my two mile drive from the park I run at to my house, I was ready to scream, cry, fall to the ground, and probably a combination of all three. 

After my first thought of, "I QUIT!" I tried immediately to think of what scripture I wanted to cling to in this moment. John 16:33? 2 Cor. 1:4? Ps. 27:13? 1 Peter 5:7? Prov. 3:5? All of these have been sources of comfort that I've ran to in times of trial, but today none of them seemed to be hitting me right. 

That's when I heard the voice of the One I love. 
"Am I still enough for you? I love you" 

I've told the Lord for years as many of you have, God. You. Are. Enough. Rain or shine, mountain tops or valleys, life or death, rich or poor, highs or lows, failures or victories, no matter what may come in this life you will always be enough for me. If all is taken away from me and everyone else walks out, You are still enough. 

Life can be.... hard.
But hard or easy, rough or smooth, testing, trials, attacks, and anything else God is still good. He is still enough, always enough, always more than enough. Nothing else will ever be enough, no other person, no other amount of blessing, nothing in this world will ever be enough and He will always be. 

The truth is I've talked to kids who have seen their parents murdered before their eyes, been around kids who have been child soldiers, held kids that I wasn't sure how long they'd live, talked with people who were dying of cancer, and more things that make our "trials" seem trivial, however... I've learned that no matter how small or big the trials, God cares. 

No matter what you're circumstances are or what you're going through you matter to Him and He cares. 
No matter how big they are or how big they feel, He's always enough. 

You can utilize the many things God gave us to help us through trials. First and foremost obviously we have Him, our awesome Holy Spirit, Counselor, and Friend. We have the Word that brings comfort and stability when life is shaking. Prayer and worship to bring things into perspective. Community that God has given you to love you well, affirm you and encourage you. 
For me it came in the form of intimate worship, a long talk with my spiritual daughter, and a friend coming to the house just to check on me. 

And I'l leave you with words spoken to me years ago by one of my greatest friends. 
"Hard isn't bad, it's just hard" 

Be Blessed, 
J. Tate