How, in a year that’s emphatically being labeled as bad, can I possibly be talking about a life that’s good?
Valid question—I get it.
Because the truth is it’s mid-October, and I’m only now finding words on the other side of my own personal pit.
I should start by saying aloud (via my keyboard) that I have been in a pit. And the crazy thing was that I didn’t even know it for the majority of the time I was in it.
I think I can trace its start to mid-summer when fear and discouragement dug its heels in.
Looking back, I liken my downward spiral to being pulled out to sea.
I was so focused on the waves repeatedly crashing over me –
waves of discouragement,
waves of lies,
waves of fear,
waves of uncertainty,
waves of unbelief,
and waves of all-consuming anxiety
that I couldn’t look up to see how far I’d drifted or how in over my head I truly was. Coming up for air proved difficult when the waves kept coming in.
I got so accustomed to fighting the lies and battling the daily onset of anxiety that I couldn’t recognize my soul’s current state. Mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually, I was in a serious funk.
It wasn’t until God threw me a life-line (in the form of lunch with a friend) that my eyes were opened to the reality of where I was.
Right after my wake-up call, without knowing the present condition of my soul, my mentor texted me out of the blue:
“I thought you’d like this. Today I listened to a message in which the teacher said God allows angst, worry, (etc.) ‘to overtake me until I can’t take any more of myself. Then He gives me more of Himself.’”
And a light went off—that was it.
God allowed discouragement, fear, anxiety, and stress to overtake me until I couldn’t take any more of myself. And then, in what has felt like an extra measure of grace, He continues to give me more of Himself.
And that, my friend, is why I’m writing you.
Although I know I can’t peer into your life through the computer screen and I couldn’t possibly begin to understand the pits you’ve been crawling through, I hope you believe that The Good Life is still possible. Right here, right now.
I’ve convinced of it now more than ever.
Even in a pandemic. Even if we’re living in a world gone mad.
This life is not, nor ever will it be, void of trouble or trials.
But, over and over, I keep being reminded that The Good Life is not about the circumstances of this world. The Good Life is entirely otherly. It’s found in a reality that exists beyond time and space through a living, breathing relationship with Jesus.
Instead, You direct me on the path that leads to a beautiful life. As I walk with You, the pleasures are never-ending, and I know true joy and contentment. Psalm 16:11 (VOICE)
My life has been radically changed by experiencing the deep satisfaction of knowing and walking with Jesus. He has made known to me the path that leads to a beautiful life—The Good Life. It’s a path paved by His Word and walked one baby step of faith at a time. And He has filled me with joy in His presence, even when life isn’t going the way I’ve wanted, or my circumstances have seemed out of control. With Him, I know true peace and contentment.
The Good Life is possible, friends.
There is hope in this world gone mad.
His name is Jesus.
I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of buying into the familiar narrative of the day that tells us that life is horrible, and we all need to throw in the towel on 2020. We get it! This world is broken. It always has been; this shouldn’t be big news. But life? Life is still a gift. God is still present, and He is always good.
So I’m flipping the script on 2020, sticking my flag in the ground, and declaring The Good Life. Right here, right now. And I want YOU to join me!
If you know this life that I’m speaking of and are a wearer of t-shirts (like me!), I have a little something for you. My friend and I designed this simple t-shirt that stakes our claim to The Good Life.
“Bonum Vitae” is The Good Life in Latin. It’s just a little nod to the three years of Latin I took in high school. “Sixteen eleven” stands for Psalm 16:11: Our secret to The Good Life.
You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. (Psalm 16:11 NIV)
We made this shirt for two reasons:
- To remind ourselves of truth. So much of our faith relies on us remembering. Remembering whose we are—remembering the freedom that is ours in Jesus—remembering that the battle has already been won—remembering that God will never leave or forsake us …. (the list could go on and on). Wearing a t-shirt is a simple way to remind ourselves that Jesus offers us The Good Life with Him, right here, right now.
- To share our hope with others. Everywhere we go, we are surrounded by people desperate for the hope, joy, confidence, and peace we have in Jesus. A t-shirt is a simple way to share big truths with those around us.
If you’re ready to take your stand and be a part of a movement that speaks life into this very dark season we’re in, join us! Grab a shirt. In your own spaces and places, share your story of what The Good Life means to you. And above all, cling to the One who is altogether good.
If you relate to the struggle I wrote about above and believe The Good Life exists but currently feel stuck, I get it. Sometimes it’s hard to find our way out of the dark. If this is you, I’m working on a follow-up post to share some of the little things I’ve been doing to get back on my feet again. So, hang in there with me, will you? I’ll be in touch!