As far as I know, everyone faces discouragement sometimes. Hopefully, it’s not something that is encountered often, and hopefully it’s not something that we allow ourselves to wallow in, but discouragement does happen. For me, I feel like I am in a season in my life where I have felt discouraged a little more often than what I consider normal.
In the spring of this year, I took a leap of faith and decided to apply for the assistant principal pool in my school district. I did get into the pool which is an accomplishment in itself, and I praised God for that! I was well aware that I was not the only person in the pool of candidates. I also knew that there weren’t many positions available, and the odds were not in my favor. However, I also knew/know that I serve an Awesome God, and as a really great woman once told me, “favor ain’t fair”. So I felt like anything was possible.
In the event that I didn’t get a job as an AP, I did want to put myself in a position where I could learn more toward accomplishing that goal. In an effort to do that, I sought out educational positions that would give me a wider range of experiences. I even considered changing grade levels. Throughout the summer break I’ve been standing on my faith that a door would open for me to move into one of those roles. I felt in my heart of hearts that God had a different place for me, and it just didn’t happen. Not only did I not get a door to go through, I didn’t even get a window, and it’s really hard not to feel discouraged about that.
(Please note that discouragement and ungratefulness are not synonymous. I hope you understand that I am in no way ungrateful for my current position.)
Another thing that I have mentioned before is the weight issue. I’ve expressed how I’m currently at a weight where I don’t feel comfortable in my own skin. Obviously that is not a feeling that I’d like to stick around. With that said, my partner in crime (my mom) and I came up with a plan. We decided that we would get back to into a running routine (something that we both love). A year ago we were both in really great shape while we were running regularly, and were both happy with the progress we’d made with our weight and health during that time. So about seven weeks ago, we began running using the couch to 5k app to get us back on track (we’re actually in our last week now and are close to running 30 solid minutes non-stop). We also began tracking our food using an app called MyFitnessPal, which I’m sure everyone in the world has heard of and probably used before.
As I mentioned in my post, All About That Bass, I made a commitment not to weigh myself. The scale is a beast of it’s own, and I didn’t want to give it the power to make me feel any type of way. I didn’t want to put work into becoming more healthy and not see the evidence of my hard work in the numbers on the scale (which was really the best plan for me). However, after seven weeks of running and over two weeks of tracking my food, I did want to see what kind of progress I was making toward achieving my weight loss goals. So Monday I decided to weigh myself. Well what did I do that for? I actually weighed MORE than what I weighed before we started running seven weeks ago and tracking our food. When I saw the number on the scale, so many words passed through my head: waste of time, pointless, hopeless, ridiculous, the list goes on. Only I could cut way back on my calorie intake and increase my activity level only to gain weight. After weighing myself I didn’t actually feel any motivation whatsoever to continue doing anything I’ve been doing. I am literally the heaviest I have ever been. Ever. The majority of my clothes don’t fit. And I’m getting married in 80 days. I spent the majority of Monday sulking about it (seriously, ask anyone), and I feel like discouraged is the understatement of the century, but since that is what I am blogging about, that’s what we’ll go with.
So what now? As a christian, am I allowed to feel discouraged? It almost feels like I’m not. It feels like by admitting that I face discouragement or disappointment, I’m announcing that my faith is wavering or I’m admitting that I can’t rest in God’s truths… and maybe I am doing both of those things, but it doesn’t feel that way. Let me explain… Let’ say you tell a child that you are taking him to a water park “tomorrow.” Tomorrow approaches, but it’s not a beautiful day like you thought it would be, instead it’s pouring rain and you can’t go to the water park after all. You tell the child not to worry, you can’t go today, but you will make it to the water park before the end of the week. Now, even though the child knows he’ll still be able to go to the water park later, he is still disappointed that he can’t go to the park today as he expected. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t trust your judgement to keep him in from the rain, or doesn’t believe he’ll get to go later, he is just feeling temporarily disappointed about something that he was looking forward to, and I feel like that’s okay.
Even in my discouragement/disappointment, I am still fully aware that God is in control, He knows what’s best, and that He does have a plan for me. I know my “water park” day is coming, but sometimes I still feel the rain, and I feel like that’s okay.