There are moments when walking away seems like the best option. Not from a fight and not from an argument, but from life itself. There are moments when loneliness outweighs all the joys in life and, in my case, there are many things to truly be grateful for. But some days, there are moments that feel like they could be my last.
I recently lost a friend who took her life after decades of struggling with mental illness. She loved Jesus and she really did love life. Her mental instability, however, overshadowed her joy on many occasions, especially toward the end. She reached out for help, sometimes feeling as if no one was listening. She felt like a burden to everyone, so she stopped coming around as often.
At the end of the day, all she really wanted was to be in community again. All she wanted was to reconnect. At the end of the day, all she really wanted was to feel like she mattered.
But even the stability of community, at times, can feel ineffective.
I’ve been journeying with another loved one in our community, sharing the truth of God over many meals, impromptu prayers and daily dissecting the Scriptures together. We’ve conversed practically everyday about life and God. He’s been part of our greater community of faith and has served along side of us on the streets.
Tremendous progress has been made over the past few weeks and things started to really look good for him. He’s recently, however, found himself without a place to live and all the previous work toward realizing God’s joy in the circumstances of life seemed to have come undone with a snap of the finger.
From rejoicing in God’s provision, to now turning into questioning where God truly is….From praising Him to blaming Him…And from standing firm on God’s foundation to sinking in the sands of life’s circumstances…he’s found himself at the end of his ropes.
I, of course, get the blunt end of the emotional stick where I feel as if the trauma piles on every time God gets the bad wrap. But I guess it comes with the role I have as shepherd to our community.
I know God has equipped me for this journey, but moments like these make me feel like closing up shop and walking away…walking away from ministry…walking away from responsibilities…walking away from life.