Disappointed.

Devastated.

Heartbroken.

These emotions have come in waves the last few days. In a season where everything seemed to be going so well, the bottom fell out. Over the weekend, I found myself crying in the middle of an episode of The West Wing that wasn’t even a sad moment. We’re never really prepared for hard seasons in life. In each of our lives, these situations look different, but we all face difficult situations.

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What do you do when the bottom falls out? In other words, when life comes at you and you’re faced with a difficulty, how do you handle it? Here are a few things that have been helpful to me in challenging seasons:

  1. Pray. While this may seem cliché or obvious, just pray. Sometimes, I have to literally get on my face before the Lord. If you’re not comfortable doing that, pray in whatever posture you feel led. Something as simple as getting on our knees before the Lord shows our submission and reverence towards him. As you pray, confess your sins to God. If you’ve been hurt, pray for those who have hurt you. Talk to God just like you were talking to a friend. Sometimes, we don’t know how to pray, but the Holy Spirit intercedes for us (Romans 8:26).
  2. Get in the Word. Spend time in Scripture and Bible study. If you don’t know where to start or how to understand, check out this post. Ask the Lord what He’s trying to teach you during this difficulty. When the bottom was falling out last week my brother said, “Mary Margaret, get in the Word and pray. It’s all you can do.” I honestly wanted to sit in my bed and cry (which happened for a little while), but then I got out my Bible. God’s Word never returns void. Never. (Isaiah 40:8; 55:11)
  3. Surround yourself with other believers. Sunday morning, I really didn’t want to get out of bed and go to church, but I’m so glad that I did. The sermon hit home, and the Lord spoke so clearly to the situation I’m in right now. While this doesn’t always happen so specifically, it’s important to be in fellowship with other believers. We are called to “bear one another’s burdens,” and Galatians 6:1-10 speaks directly to this subject.
  4. Seek wise counsel. In different seasons of my life, I’ve sought help for dealing with challenging life circumstances. I’ve seen Christian counselors, and had women who have been wise counsel pour into my life in a very intentional way. I’m so grateful for the truths that God showed because I sought help. Don’t let pride or shame keep you from seeking needed help. (Proverbs 11:14; James 1:5-6)
  5. Recognize that you’re not alone. If I’ve learned one thing as an adult, it’s that everyone has something going on. If you think someone’s got it all together or doesn’t have problems, you don’t know them well enough (or they’re not being honest)! While it’s not our job to air out everyone else’s problems, gossip, or put words in other people’s mouths, we need people to talk to. Use discretion as you talk, but don’t go at it alone. (Psalm 56:1-4)

Earlier this spring at one of the Living Proof Live events, Beth Moore said, “There is not a single secret or darkness in our life that God can’t transform.” This is powerful truth, sister! We have to allow the Lord to come in and do his transforming work. Sometimes, we’re the one at fault. Other times, we’re on the receiving end of the consequences of someone else’s actions. Wherever you find yourself, know that God loves you and cares about your needs.

Run to Him when the bottom falls out.

“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23

Mary Margaret headshotMary Margaret is an Event Project Coordinator on the Church Education Ministry team at LifeWay. She works alongside Chris Adams and coordinates training events for women’s ministry leaders like YOU Lead and the Women’s Ministry Forum. Mary Margaret has served several churches in the area of Girls Ministry and she recently completed a Master of Arts in Christian Education at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. In her spare time, she writes for Story of My Life – her personal blog.

Comments

  1. Thanks for this message it was something I really needed as I have been consumed with a problem in my life right now and I need daily (hourly) reminders that my Lord has it all under control.

    • Mary Margaret Collingsworth says:

      Debbie, I’m so glad it was helpful. Put Scripture in front of you and stand firm on the truth of God’s Word when you have those moments. I’m praying for you right now!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for your words. The rug was pulled out from under me this weekend. My heart is broken and I’ve been kicked in the gut so hard it’s difficult to breath. I am frozen and have no one to talk to that would begin to understand my circumstances. I want to crawl in a whole and fade away. But even in all this pain, the Lord comforts me. He assures me He is with me and will not leave me. He will bring beauty from ashes. I will rise stronger. He is my rock and my God. I’m so grateful that he knows me intimately and I can say that I know Him as well. We’ve been through a lot together and will continue. I will praise Him in the good times and bad. May I glorify my Father by completing the work He has given me to do.

    • Mary Margaret Collingsworth says:

      I’m praying for you right now. I hope that you’ll find someone you can talk to who can walk with you through this… it’s so hard to go through hard seasons alone. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other, and trust that the Lord is working for your good and for His glory. Keep your eyes fixed on HIm!

      • Anonymous from 6-18-2013 Post says:

        Mary Margaret,
        I came across the email confirmation of the post I made on June 18, 2013, and wanted to update you. Unfortunately, after that day, things actually got worse and most of July was devistating. What I want to tell you is that without my relationship with the Lord, I would never have made it through that time. Please continue to advise women that they must persue God with all their heart , know his word inside and out and communicate with him intimately daily. He is such an amazing God and loves us so deeply. He walked with me every step of the way through this time in my life and I stand in awe of Him when I look back. He has brought me beauty for ashes and it is still unfolding. I have such hope and am looking forward to what He has in store for 2014. No matter what happens in my life, I am solid on his foundation and I know He will never leave me! God bless you and your ministry. He is clearly working through you to reach and comfort others. I don’t know you, but I love your heart. ~A Sister in Christ

  3. I ran across your site while clicking on someone else . I have no clue how I got here but the title attracted me. I needed to know that God has my back and all that I am and all that I do. I have been faced with many challenges over the past four years, losing a twin brother, a wife to a divorce, and a struggling life coaching business. I know that I will come through this if I give myself to Christ completely and believe in the word. I will continue to follow this site . Thank you .

  4. esther burroughs says:

    Excellent article for all of life. thanks

    • Mary Margaret Collingsworth says:

      Esther, thank you! That means so much coming from you. We can’t wait to hear from you at the Women’s Forum!

  5. Oh gosh, where was my head last April when I needed this reminder? Mary Margaret, I’m in the middle of the Beth Moore study on Esther…talk about TIMING! I had the bottom drop out of my life last April and can agree with you on my face before GOD, that in HIM is the only way ahead. In my heart of hearts I keep revisiting the passage, ‘…for such a time as this…’and pray that I will have the tools to follow God’s destiny. I know that there are thousands upon thousands of women in the world who have walked this path before me, and many who will come behind me. Sin is rampant and I allowed Satan a toe into the door of my life. He pushed it wide open. I thank God for His mercy and grace, and forgiveness. Thank YOU for sharing!

    • Mary Margaret Collingsworth says:

      Becki, I’m so glad it was helpful and timely! Keep your eyes fixed on him… He is walking with you through whatever you’re going through! I’m praying for you today.

  6. Gerri Williamson says:

    Thanks for sharing such godly insight Margaret…I know many women who can relate to this. Keep up the good work and may the Lord continue to use you for His glory and power.

  7. Thank you so much for this reminder going through some dark spots and I am praying for my family. Thank you again!

    • Mary Margaret Collingsworth says:

      Maureen, I’m so glad it was an encouragement to you! Lean into the Lord – he won’t fail you!

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