It's okay not to be okay. It's okay to have struggles and it's okay to have hardships. It's okay to be weak and it's okay not to have everything figured out. Better yet, it's more than okay. There used to be so many times where I personally would make my struggles seem okay by ending my gloomy conversations with "everything is okay though".
But reality is, growth doesn't happen if you half-ass the truth. There is so much beauty in suffering and pain- especially when you're honest in it; for through it you can see the process Abba already has laid out.
So, if your relationship with your significant other isn't going well and there seems to be no growth in it, share that with your community. And don't end your conversation with "but it's okay". Growth happens when you are honest with your significant other and your community- when you admit it's not going well or how you expected.
If you have an addiction you can't seem to get rid of- that seems to haunt you at night when you least expect it, admit to your community that it sucks and that you feel defeated.
If your anxiety is trying to lay its bed and continues to wake your restless heart, don't deny it. Don't sugar coat it. Share your pain and suffering.
Painful situations only become more painful when you try to hide them in the dark pits of shame. But, when you expose it to others and bring it to the light, no longer does it have a place to hide; no longer can pain and shame have a hold of you.
What I am trying to say through all of this is that growing is a process- one that you are not called to do alone. It's a beautiful, uncomfortable process that shapes you, molds you, and forces you to find comfort in the Comforter alone. This growth can't happen if you can't admit that the struggles and hardships in your life are actual struggles and hardships. There is so much strength in admitting that you are weak, for God created the body of Christ to be there for one another and carry each others' burdens. The first steps of growing are going to the Lord and going to the people He has placed in your life.
God did not create man to be alone (Genesis 2:18) and that is such a beautiful thing. We're all growing, so let's grow together in this messy, uncomfortable, hard, yet beautiful thing we call life.
Photos by: Bradley Scurei