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I grew up in a home where we were very open with our feelings. We’d go from all-out screaming wars to hugging and laughing hysterically with each other. It’s crazy, but I love it.
And while this dynamic of self-expression works with some, I know this isn’t normal for a lot of people. If there is a conflict, some are okay with taking a minute and revisiting the issue later. Not me. I want a quick resolution. I don’t like the yucky feelings of thinking someone doesn’t like me or is disappointed in me.
I want the reassurance that everything is okay. I want to charge ahead, resolve the issue, and move on with life.
Our culture trains us to expect this type of instant gratification. As Ariana Grande sings, “I see it, I like it; I want it, I got it.” Pleasure. Fun. Happiness. No hustle. No waiting.
But in our desire to rush through the uncomfortable, we do more harm to ourselves than good. Instead of learning from mistakes or difficult seasons, we push them down as if they didn’t happen. We numb ourselves with overindulgences. “Waiting is getting me nowhere,” we think.
Brené Brown describes the danger of trying to live up to this instant gratification age happening in today’s culture: The new cultural belief that everything should be fun, fast, and easy is inconsistent with hopeful thinking. It also sets us up for hopelessness. When we experience something that is difficult and requires significant time and effort, we are quick to think; This is supposed to be easy; it’s not worth the effort, or This should be easier: it’s only hard and slow because I’m not good at it. Hopeful self-talk sounds more like, This is tough, but I can do it, (Brown 2010).
The truth is, having it together all the time isn’t real. Life is full of setbacks and disappointments. One of your little ones gets sick during their birthday party. Maybe you just got laid off you’re your job. Perhaps your best friend is struggling with addiction and won’t get help. Or you just burnt dinner, and now everyone is “hangry.” Your intentions were good, you tried, but it still didn’t work out.
It’s natural to become impatient when things don’t go as planned. People see your struggle and tell you to give up; it’s too hard.
But you have the strength inside of you to persevere. You are known. You are chosen. The longings of your heart are heard. Even when you don’t have the words to articulate, stay hopeful, and patient. As the cliché says, “make lemonade out of lemons,” and wait for the harvest. Goodness is coming if we believe.
6:9, Galatians. n.d. Bible Gateway. Accessed 07 5, 2019. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=galatians+6%3A9&version=MSG.
Brown, Brene. 2010. "The Gifts of Imperfection." In The Gifts of Imperfection, by Brene Brown, 66. Center City, Minnesota: Hazelden Publishing.
8:26-28, Romans. 2019. July 2. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans+8%3A26&version=MSG.