As I’ve matured and gained more life experiences, I’m beginning to realize how ashamed people are when they struggle. I get it.  It can be frightful to think that you are the only idiot that can’t shake your depression, anxiety, inferior feelings, whatever it is. But I believe that this is one of the ‘little’ lies that Satan rides in on to make us feel like we are the only one struggling (2 Corinthians 11:4; 1 Peter 5:8).

As I’ve mentioned, in my profession, I worked in schools.  I got to encounter various types of students and teachers as they were each navigating the demanding expectations in front of them.  As I gained more experiences in life, I began to realize how not only did each student I encounter struggle, but each of my peers, and even my family members.  Everyone I encountered had some way in which they struggled.

The sad part was the shame that seemed to come with these struggles that told us we were not enough, because we had a hurdle to overcome.  Even more sad, I realized that this shame drove us from each other.  In this endless fight to cover up our perceived inadequacies, we begin to isolate, which allows Satan to continue to build on our fears: “You’re the only idiot.” “You’ll never be able to get better.” “You’re just dragging your friends and family down.” “What can you offer to them?”  In this isolation, we forget to see the God in us.

Because what I also began to see is that, not only do each of us have hurdles that we are fighting to overcome, but we also all have these little gems that God has placed inside of us.  These little intricate pieces that make us shine a unique aspect of His light.  For some people, it is a smile that lights up a room regardless of the situation, for some it is a peaceful and calming presence that makes everyone feel at ease, and for some it is a demeaner that makes everyone want to sit up straighter and reach a little higher when they were around.  It does not matter what it is.  Everyone has it: a piece of God that makes them useful, meaningful, and full of purpose.

It seems that not only have we learned to hide our deficiencies, we’ve also been taught to hide our good so that we aren’t boastful or proud, or we’ve used our good to pretend that we are better than others.  But if we all have deficiencies, and we all have pieces of God, why don’t we use our strengths to help each other?  Why don’t we use our gems from God to build each other up, to make each other see the God in ourselves?

When God gives anything, He doesn’t want us to ‘hide it under a bushel (Matthew 5:13-16).  He wants us to continue to give (Acts 20:35), to share what He’s freely given (1 Corinthians 2:12), so that the world can see Him, but also so that we can be bound together in Him.  If you see someone struggling, look inside yourself to find what He’s given you to help them, and know that there will always be something.  He’s not left anyone out from receiving a piece of Him (Psalm 139:13-16).

If it is your time to struggle, don’t isolate yourself (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12). Don’t be ashamed or embarrassed (Proverbs 17:17).  Look for the people that God has placed in your life that can help you overcome.  Some days it may be a quick high-five, some days it may be a hug that seems to last forever while you weep on their shoulder, and some days, it may be that you need an hour or so of their time.  But do not isolate, and do not believe that you’re not worth it (Matthew 10:29-33).

I pray that you continue to shine His light for others and begin to turn your struggles over to God (Isaiah 41:10; James 4:7-8; 1 Peter 5:7) so that He can pair with you to find a solution.  No, we aren’t perfect, and yes, we all struggle, but God is with us and in us to support each other and carry us on when we fall.

— Written by Kati

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