The Struggle Bus

There are a lot of factors in life right now trying to get me down, trying to get me on the struggle bus.

A few of the struggles are:

• – I have a lot of friends right now preparing to go away for the summer and then leaving back to college at the end of the summer. Also, the friends around me are all in relationships. I love it and am happy for them but, it does make singleness (which I normally enjoy) a little lonelier.

• -Being in this limbo phase of work and school. Thinking about going back to school or not is difficult. Especially when everyone gives their opinion on the situation. I appreciate wisdom and direction for my future but at this point I’ve heard ALL the reasons why college is essential for anything in life, and all the reasons why it would be a waste of my time and money, so hearing multiple people telling me I’m wrong or that I need to hurry, is just stressful and disheartening, even though they mean well.

• -Also, its super hard living long distance from your best friend! We are on our third year being long distance friends and we get by great compared to most long-distance friendships. And in all honesty, it’s all her, she’s a fabulous friend and loves me so well and finds ways to speak life to me even though she’s not around me! BUT NONETHELESS I’ve had a hard time especially these past two years and its extremely hard not having her here with me. Even harder this past year/ months have not been the easiest for her as well. More than anything I long to be there with her laying hands praying over her and not just praying over the phone. I’d love to support her with my presence, sit there in the silence with her, and if and when she needs it let her cry on my shoulder in the hardest moments of life. I struggle not being able to support my friends in a tangible way.

You see, I’m trying real hard not to hop on that struggle bus regardless of If I must walk instead. Yep the easiest way to get through this would be to just hop on the bus. Walking is definitely more difficult, refusing to complain and accept that “life sucks” mentality is hard, WAY hard! But this way is more beneficial to my growth.

I was talking about this struggle bus situation on my Instagram story, and from that, a small voice came through my DM’s from my cousin Hailey. She said, “I can give you a ride if you want” (I’ll come back to this).

Taking the struggle bus (taking on that attitude of life sucks) is easy, comfortable and completely normal. I also like to think of it like coffee. Coffee is comfortable, it’s what I know. Coffee is a completely normal LIFESTYLE look around you, the coffee shop scene is growing! And for me coffee is most often the ‘easy’ way out. I’m a busy person, I like that, I hold tightly to the mentality that “I can sleep when I’m dead.” So, there are many times where coffee steps in and replaces some sleep because that’s just easier for me instead of managing my time more wisely (just being completely honest). But have you ever heard that coffee stunts your growth? I was told that a lot as a kid since I had already become an addict by age 12. Don’t blame my parents for not raising my right or something because this was all my fault, they hate coffee. My mom drank it once in college and decided it was nasty and never tried it again and my dad… who knows. Anyway, about coffee stunting your growth maybe that’s why I’m so short, or maybe not. I actually have no clue as to whether or not that statement is true, I’m not a scientist and science was the only class I failed, but what I do know is hopping on the struggle bus DOES stunt your growth. Now obviously I’m not talking about physical growth, I’m referring to spiritual growth. From that state of believing the negative, of believing that your life does suck and allowing these struggles to consume you, you will not grow. And in our walk with God if we aren’t growing, if we aren’t moving forward we are going backwards. We sit on top of our problems staring right at them and missing everything God has placed around us. Personally, I’m done missing out on the life that’s around me, just because I’m not wanting to let go of the death of a dream or future plan I had for myself, Jesus himself showed us how death can actually be a beautiful thing. How sad would it be if we were too focused on the death of Jesus that we missed the entire picture? What if we missed that his death represents the death of our old self and our sin, or we missed the next thing he was doing, we missed the entire resurrection. That is what enemy wants us to do in our struggle, he wants to distract us so much that we not only miss out on all the beauty that comes with death but also the next thing that God is trying to do in your life. I don’t know about you but I’m done missing out.

In these times when we choose to walk, sometimes alone God blesses that. Often that blessing comes just like that small voice saying, ” Hey I can give you a ride, my car might not be that nice and my A/C doesn’t always work, And I don’t have a radio so we’re going to have to talk or just sit in the silence but I can help you get where you’re going.” Together even if that community is small, or that person doesn’t know what to say but they help you get through that struggle, sometimes just by being willing to sit there with you in the silence. Realizing that life isn’t always pretty and sometimes we need to walk through or just sit with them.

We often overlook just how important community around us is, no matter how small it is, it impacts us spiritually, mentally, and emotionally. I’m not just talking about when we’re tempted to hop on the struggle bus. We need to start by building this community when we are living on the party bus, or walking in the spring air. Not as we’re standing there in the cold winter watching all of these struggle buses approach us. “Left to our own devices, we sometimes choose the most locked up, dark versions of the story, but what good friends do is turn on the lights, open the window, and remind us that there are a whole lot of ways to tell the same story.” (Bittersweet) We can’t just wait until the lights go out to find our community, because we’ll never find them wandering around in the dark. Once we have that community and are engaged in it what happens when the lights go out, or the struggle buses start showing up? I am so prone to in my wandering, in my struggle, in my grief, be blind to my community and choose isolation. In those scary yet tender moments are when I need most to humble whatever is left of my pride. Open my eyes and take one big look around, listening for that small voice offering me a much-needed ride, and the hardest part for me is to EXCEPT the invitation! Community is there to love you, support you, and not judge you as you walk through this but too often we assume it’s a burden to except that invitation, we think “oh they don’t mean it they were just being polite.” Some people are polite, community ISNT! My community will kick me in the shins when I need it, I’ve come to learn they aren’t just being polite they truly want to walk WITH me through this struggle and the next, as do I with them.

So, don’t hop on the struggle bus because it seems faster or easier, but walk with God allowing Him to take the wheel in your life (Just like Carrie Underwood). Let him help and comfort you and those times of struggle and lead you to those who he’s placed around you to give you a ride when your feet can’t walk no more.

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