To say this past spring was stressful, would be an understatement! For our family, it was one of those taxing seasons of life where we had several major life stressors hit us all at once. It felt like my life was caught up in a demanding whirlwind and although I tried to hold things together, I was not sure how I would get through it all.
Have you ever been there?
Have you ever been at your breaking point with everything going on in your life? Have you ever thought you might not survive it?
During this stressful season of life, I worked late one Friday night and picked up a chicken sandwich on the way to Ellie’s soccer game. This restaurant has THE BEST BBQ sauce, so I asked for a side of it to put on my sandwich.
Yeah, that was a BIG mistake!
When I got to the field, the game had just started. I was super hungry and could hardly wait to enjoy my delicious chicken sandwich! I sat down, unwrapped my sandwich and opened the container of BBQ sauce. At that exact moment, out of nowhere, a soccer ball came flying off the field. It must have been traveling at lightning speed as it headed straight for me.
The soccer ball hit the BBQ sauce container and then it hit me upside the head, sending sticky gooey BBQ sauce all over me! To make things even more entertaining for all those standing nearby, I was wearing a white shirt!
It was not a pretty sight!
I was covered in BBQ sauce. It was in my hair, on my neck, dripping down my arms and all over my white shirt! To make things even more fabulous, there are no bathrooms at this soccer field, only a couple of porta potties each with their own hand sanitizer dispenser inside.
Are you kidding me?? Hand sanitizer is useless when it comes to cleaning up BBQ sauce!
So, as the BBQ sauce is dripping down my body, There are no paper towels anywhere in sight and NO RUNNING WATER!
It…was….totally ….awesome (insert sarcasm)!
Normally if this kind of thing happens to me, I can laugh it off and roll with the punches. Not this time.
Remember, this happened at a time when I was already mentally and emotionally drained. I did not have a positive, “can-do” attitude. Instead, I was feeling very low and overwhelmed with life.
Being hit in the head with a soccer ball and bathed with BBQ sauce did not improve my emotional stability!
I really don’t know how, but I managed to hold it together through the BBQ sauce immersion. People around me tried to hide their laughter because they felt so sorry for me. I remained calm but if you could have peered into my soul, you would have seen that I desperately wanted to cry.
Sticky and gooey, I watched the game, but near the end of the game, it started pouring rain like something I would imagine happened during the days of Noah and the flood. We quickly packed up our chairs and ran as fast as we could to the car, but by the time we got there, we were drenched!
I looked like something out of a horror movie. The rain caused my black mascara to run down my face, there was mud all over my legs from running in the rain and don’t forget that my white shirt was stained with dark red BBQ sauce.
It was not one of my finer moments.
We made it home safely in the torrential rainstorm and when I walked in the door, I could not hold it together any longer.
I fell completely apart.
I found a place to be alone and I cried like a baby. At that moment, for me, life felt too hard. It was too much. I felt like I was going to break!
It has been a couple of months since the BBQ sauce incident and do you know what happened?
I did not break. Instead, I survived.
Eventually, the stressors of that season of life settled down and life slipped back on track.
As I write to you tonight, I want to share with you a few things God reminded me of as I think back to this spring:
First: Life is stressful and there will be seasons of life that make you feel overwhelmed. Feeling overwhelmed does not make you a bad Christian. It does not mean your faith is weak. It means you’re human.
When those tough seasons come, you and I need to run towards God, not away from Him. We need to remind ourselves of who HE is, soak up His Word and stand firm on His promises. He is always with us. He will strengthen us! He will never leave us!
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
Second: When life feels too hard, it’s ok to cry. Throughout God’s Word, Godly people cried out, expressing their emotions of sadness and despair. Faithful men like King David who poured out his heart to God when life was hard. Blameless men like Job who grieved and mourned over his life’s tragedy. Even our Lord Jesus who, in the Garden of Gethsemane, cried out to the Father as He felt overwhelming sadness and anguish.
My friend, you and I both know that life is not always rainbows and sunshine. Life is hard and sometimes it feels overwhelmingly hard, but our God is good all the time! God wants us to lean on Him and trust Him at all times (and that includes the hard times).
“Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.”
Third: Never EVER bring a side of BBQ sauce to a soccer game, especially if you plan to sit near the field. Take it from me; just eat before the game.
Grateful for you!