Have you ever been 100% sure that you were the only one who was failing at __________?
The only one to have have your particular problem?
The only one who can’t “do it all”?
The only one who feels alone in the struggle?
I’ve felt that way quite often, especially in the most stressful times of life, which has been lately. Yet, as it often does, the valley is where the life lessons take shape, formed by the grueling climb out of the depths.
Two weeks ago, I did extremely poorly on a graduate school exam. The worst I’ve ever done on a test. It was after a hard week in which my study time was crammed in between my commute to clinical in another town (where I’m living most of this fall) and between nine to ten hour days working in the hospital — yet I felt this full schedule was no excuse for my poor performance — I could have, should have done better. I was surely the only one. The dumb one. The one who shouldn’t be in graduate school.
Three days after this grade made me question my whole life path, I walked into a classroom filled with thirty-six other graduate students, all of them took that test, and all of them were vehemently discussing how poorly they did and how hard it was. It turned out the average was failing. The average!
And instantly — I wasn’t alone. I wasn’t a failure. I wasn’t dumb.
This past Saturday, I took our puppy child to his weekly training class. The at home work on his obedience training has been severely lacking due to my travel and Russell’s work schedule. So I prepared myself for a terrible class (yes, great attitude, I know! 🙂 ) where he would embarrass me and himself with his crazy enthusiasm for everything but following his learned commands.
And you know what? We arrived to fifteen other dogs who were just as enthusiastic and imperfect as Dallas and owners who were just as human as me.
And again, I wasn’t alone. I belonged to a group. I felt the camaraderie with the owners beside me when their dogs fell out of line because mine had done the same, just moments before.
Perhaps these are trivial examples in comparison to whatever you are going through right now. As tragedy and heartache abounds in our personal lives, in the United States, and in our world everyday, it’s easy to feel completely alone. Completely isolated. And the only one who isn’t doing this life well.
But I want to encourage you today to refute that lie with the truth —
We are all human.
We all fail.
We all mess up.
We all miss the mark.
We all struggle to make sense of this unpredictable life.
We all wonder if we are alone in our suffering, in our shame…yet hear this today —
You are not alone.
There’s a Savior in heaven who is orchestrating our lives, the timing of our circumstances, and the seemingly coincidental meetings — He sees our hearts, our aches, our pain, our loneliness and He gives us glimpses like the moments for me above to show us
He’s always there.
He’s never not aware of our circumstances.
And we are never alone.
I wrote this post before the senseless tragedy that happened this past Sunday night in Las Vegas. As we all struggle to (and probably will never) understand why this heartbreaking event occured, we remember that this world is not our home, we know the end of the story, and we pray to the Lord to come quickly and to comfort those who have suffered such enormous loss.