This month marks a year since I found myself in the most desperate of places, so I have been doing a lot of reflecting. In a way, it seems like that season is so far from where I find myself these days, and in another, it still feels fresh and close. This post is part celebration, part memorial, and part hopeful solace.
Desperate: reckless or dangerous because of despair, hopelessness, or urgency; having an urgent need or desire; leaving little or no hope; extreme or excessive; making a final ultimate effort; giving all.
We all know what desperate looks like. Maybe it's a mother that has a child with cancer and is desperate for a cure. Maybe it's a son that is an addict desperately wishing to be free from the drugs that have destroyed him and crushed the ones that love him most. Perhaps it's a desperate woman that just longs to feel the love of a man so that she can finally feel like she has value. Or it's a family that has run out of money again, and things have become so desperate that they find themselves without food or without a home. Desperate is an ugly animal.
It is even hard for us to look at desperate people sometimes. What do you say? It's as if sometimes there's not much you can do except hurt with them or look away.
That's not how God feels about desperation though. He looks at our cavern of hopelessness as a huge space to fill with his love and grace. If you have ever found yourself in a desperate place, you know that it removes a lot of the inhibitions that you usually have. You hurl yourself completely into the direction where there is the tiniest speck of hope without reservation. When your situation drives you recklessly into the arms of Jesus, there is nothing more beautiful. The kind of longing that is fueled by desperation is God's love language, when we excessively desire him. I woke up in the middle of the night the other night with this thought: desperation aimed in God's direction is simply an acknowledgement of our purpose.
Ephesians 1:11-12 It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone.
I'm not saying that God loves to see us struggle or in pain. He is for us! He wants good things for us, but I do believe he allows things to happen that push us to rely on and acknowledge him. Nothing does that quite like a desperate heart.
It was a year ago that I found myself in such a situation, looking divorce in the face with two babies. I was heartbroken, terrified, and completely confused. The experience left a gaping hole in my soul, the kind that nothing or no one could fill. The truth is that the hole had been there for quite some time, but before this happened, it was a "manageable" void. One that I covered and numbed with plenty of distractions. Then this happened, and this little hole became a giant crater right in the middle of my being, crumbling more every time I tried to fix it myself. When I tried to point this desperation towards others, all I got was pity or the averting of the eyes. That wasn't going to help me. That's when I took this fractured, crumpled desperate heart and handed it to the Creator. He showed me love so much deeper than my pain. He gave peace that my situation couldn't even fathom. The more I needed, the more he gave. The more I looked for him, the more I goodness, mercy, and grace I found!
In this way, I think that desperation can be beautiful. It can be the avenue that leads us to our destiny. If God's presence is relational to our need, and that need is great, then how much more awesome is that presence! My abysmal, desperate times have brought me to some of the profound places I could imagine in God, where it was as if his loving arms were literally wrapped around me calming all of my fears. The things that I have gained have covered my losses many times over. The people I share my life with these days bring such fullness and vitality! There are still struggles, hard days, and mental battles, but I no longer face them alone. Everyday, God is healing my heart a little more than the day before, covering my anxieties with a little more peace, and filling my life with a whole lot of joy! I wouldn't be here without that desperation!
So, if you are in a desperate place, I want to tell you a few things: I urge to to point all of your desperation to him, the only one that won't look away. Let him cover your brokenness, your suffering, and your despair with his wholeness, his blessings, and his hope. He does it so effortlessly and skillfully! Know that in a year, with with a little hard work and a whole lot of Jesus, you can completely change the projection of your life. Know that the pain will lessen, even though you don't think so now, and you will laugh again. And though the actual situation may not change, you will, and that it will be a beautiful transformation!
Always keep your heart desperate,
Hey! My name is Andrea. I'm a teacher by day in a small Texas town, but in every other aspect of my life, I consider myself a learner. This blog is about life: learning through experiences, sharing through stories, and growing through faith.