I don’t know if you’ll understand because I feel like you never have a bad day.”
I nearly spit out my coke. I’m sorry, come again?
“I mean, you have it all together and you’re always happy. Your life is literally perfect.”
This was a conversation I had with someone a couple weeks ago and it really bothered me. I just couldn’t believe that someone actually thought that about my life. Like honey, are you feeling OK? Are you sure you didn’t get me mixed up with somebody else? I’ve always been a big believer in being real and honest. A lot of times, this looks like talking about bowel movements or telling awkward stories because, well, what you see is what you get. But really, vulnerability is what brings people together. It’s what sets people free. Ultimately, it’s a sign of strength to say “I’m not OK,” or “I’ve really been struggling with this.”
I never want to give off the impression that I have it all together, because truthfully I don’t, y’all. You can ask my roommates. I’m a hot mess. I forget about important homework assignments, I oversleep and miss class, I spill something on my shirt almost every time I eat, and that cup from Taco Bell has been in my car for the past two weeks. I drink way too many cokes and am way overdue on getting my hair done. Now that I think about it, I’m a disaster.
Still not convinced? Lately, I have allowed myself to slide into a bit of an anxiety slump. You may not know this about me, but this is something I’ve struggled with for about three years. If you’ve struggled too, then you know that it feels like a war is going on in your head. I’ve been a slave to fear, untrue thoughts, and ultimately the enemy’s scheme to pull me away from Christ. When I’m not spending time with the Lord or when my focus is on myself, that anxiety creeps back into my life and sucks the joy right out of me.
But even when I stray, I’m so thankful for the way Jesus always pulls me back in. I’m reminded of Matthew 18:12, “What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray?”
It’s so easy to get wrapped up in Instagram world where everyone handpicks the moments that make us seem like we have it all together, yet we all feel alone. So in the words of Julia Michaels, I got issues. When it comes to bad days, I’ve had as many as the next girl. But I know that even when things aren’t OK, they are, because of the hope I have in Christ. Every single one of us is fighting a battle of some sort. Let’s be unafraid of being open and real about what we’re facing because you never know who may be facing that same battle.
To the girl who is struggling, know that I hear you.
The pain, the shame, I know, because I struggle too.
Maybe we grapple in different ways, but I have struggles of my own.
To the girl who is struggling, please know you’re not alone.
See everyone is fighting a battle,
In public or within their soul,
We’re all a little broken and need to be made whole.
But we put on these masks, a facade, a show.
Afraid of what would happen if we just let someone know,
That we don’t have it together,
We’re messed up and flawed,
And sometimes we don’t feel all that close to God.
Sometimes we’re depressed but what a shame it would be
If somebody knew that I’m not always happy,
Sometimes we feel alone, but we’re afraid to say it,
And we hear God’s Word, but can’t seem to obey it,
We put up these walls, won’t let people in
Because we think they would run if they knew about our sin.
But to the girl who is struggling, I say take heart.
You haven’t been open, but maybe it’s time to start
Letting people in, breaking down the walls,
With just a stone in your hand, your giants will fall
Jesus is fighting for you, He’s in the battle in your place,
And the war was already won when He arose from that grave,
We still struggle, but the victory is ours,
Not on our own, but because of His power
He knows it all and He still wants our hearts,
He still wants our messes, and he wants our broken parts.
Yes, he wants our scars, he wants our tears.
He wants our failures, he wants our fears.
Surrender them to Jesus and be amazed at what He’ll do,
I pray one day you understand how just much He loves you.
McKenna Best is a Carolina girl currently residing in the Instagram influencer capital of the world. She believes in Jesus, dancing in the kitchen, and slow mornings. McKenna is an assistant youth director and spends her afternoons working with middle schoolers in West Nashville. In her free time, you can find her eating Chipotle, making an excessive amount of Spotify playlists, writing in a coffee shop, watching The Office, or spontaneously buying a plane ticket somewhere. She is passionate about equipping youth to unlock their potential and be all that God has called them to be, whether that be through teaching Bible lessons, or writing articles for a variety of online platforms