Work, marriage, parenting, and every other sphere of our lives will be discouraging without support.
My life is busy like yours. In the past 15 years, I’ve started two churches four businesses, while being married, and raising three girls. Each one of those privileges is a potential area for loneliness and discouragement.
I think about the beginnings of my churches and businesses. Each launched with great enthusiasm. There was an initial idea and call that just wouldn’t go away that I had to act on. As the structures of each came to place, my hopes rose, and the thrill of the first few interested parties was like their own drug to me.
Getting married and having children were the same. Initially, my excitement was immeasurable. The joys were greater than anything I could describe.
But of course, there are challenging, lonely moments. Church attendance declines. Sales in the businesses dry up. Marriage and parenting are hard. Left to myself, it is tempting to think that no one was interested in me, my mission, or my products. Doubt crept in, and temptations to give up were frequent.
Thankfully, with good mentors and a supportive spouse, I’ve been able to persevere through those moments. Some of my efforts have been successful, others not so much. Even more so, the reminders of God’s grace and the never-ending love of my Savior, Jesus, keep me grounded.
The key, I’ve learned in the midst of the ups and downs is to remain focused on my goals. For the churches, I knew we were doing good and honoring God. I knew we were helping people. I needed to focus on that. For the businesses, I knew we were providing solid products and helpful services. Educating my customers about those products and services, while tightening my procedures, were key.
What about you? Do you ever struggle with the loneliness of your responsibilities, of ownership, or leadership? What do you do to remind yourself to persevere? I encourage you to do a few of the things mentioned above. Remind yourself of your faithful Savior and loving God. Remind yourself of the good that you are doing. Double up your efforts to help others. Pursue Bible studies of your identity in Christ and God’s promises of faithfulness.
No matter what, don’t attempt any of the above alone. Speak to your pastor or church leader. Find a mentor or consultant. Entrust your thoughts to an honest, supportive friend.
No matter what you do, just don’t go it alone.
Gospel Rich BooksAdditionally, Gospel Rich Books offers a host of resources to encourage you. We have:
Come on Back – $.99 devotionals covering the book of Joel focusing on the people of God returning to vibrant worship.
Joy in Trials – Our bestseller focusing on the book of Ruth with a focus on enduring trials.
God Creates Joy – Finding joy in the book of Psalm 32