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God, Give Me a Break from This Run of Bad Luck

Updated: Oct 8, 2018

Just over five and half years ago I had a millennial quarter-life crisis, to put it plainly that's a breakdown. I had to resign from my job, my girlfriend left me, I lost friends and had to move (away from what seemed like more work opportunities) back home to live with my parents. This left me sick, poor and unemployed. And for the longest time, I felt pain, loss and loneliness. I was convinced that my whole life was on a downward trajectory.

Three years before this I was baptised in water. From that moment I chose to live my life to the fullest through my faith in Jesus.

Losing everything externally, sent me into a deep depression and from that moment I chose death over life. It was in this place that I felt the most abandoned by a loving God and overlooked and undervalued in society. I was fulfilling my demographic profile, young, black, who are more likely to be poor, unemployed and be diagnosed with a mental illness.

I became Mr Mom, and I consequently felt a loss because I couldn't be the gender normative "breadwinner". It was grievously frustrating, and I persistently thought what the point is?

I felt hard done to like an army vet who comes home feelings displaced (actually a therapist said I had some like PTSD). You see, I had worked since I was 15, volunteered at my local church on and off for 10 years, completed four years of further education and finished 3years of higher education with honours. I wasn't incompetent or disconnected from my community, so why had I been walloped? But I was now desperate to find my calling while wanting to embrace fatherhood and be a loving partner.

Fortunately for me, there was a silver lining to this cloud because in the amidst suffering, sorrow and isolation I became more sensitive to God's voice. I began to sense him more and what I heard in my soul was a quiet "I'm here." I don't usually hear an audible voice, that's rare. In the message version of Psalm 139, David sings of God's "reassuring presence coming and going." That's what I sensed through hearing "I'm here", God's reassuring presence. I can't fully articulate what that meant yet it began to change my emotional experience, knowing he was there, with me, in my sunken place. I guess it indicated I no longer believed I had been abandoned, forgotten or overlooked, by Him at least.

Where I stand now five plus years later, I believe that I had to go through it. I had to have that heartbreak. I had to have that loss. I had to feel that pain. Now I'm emerging from that season - of being overlooked, from those moments of being marginalised where I felt forgotten - more alive than dead.

There was a loss, and there was a gain. I gained a new partner and forgave my old one. I lost contact with friends, yet I found my right crew and my family drew closer. I was out of work yet this meant that when my son was born, I could be there more for him more than if I had been in paid employment. Eventually, I got a grip on paid work instead of the illness gripping me.

It shouldn't be just for me, it's most likely for other people too because through it all I've gained the spiritual capital to connect with people at a deeper level.

In his book "I am Number 8" John Gray explains how God uses us for a particular purpose:

"We don't go through the pain of rejection and marginalisation just to suffer in silence. We don't endure hardship just for the sake of a testimony. We walk through painful places and the broken places because God has made us strong enough to survive it. And He plans to use it in ways we could never imagine. God doesn't sentence us to pain. He trusts us with it. When God trusts you with pain, grief and tears, it's not just for you."

It shouldn't be just for me, it's most likely for other people too because through it all I've gained the spiritual capital to connect with people at a deeper level.

Remember when I said, “what's the point” because I couldn't make sense of it all, that confusion pointed me to God. I kept praying, searching and asking questions, and the answers came, eventually. Now I realise the point was less about getting an answer and more about hearing the Answerer.

If you're going through a run of bad luck right now, and you want a break, wait for the Answerer (Ps. 27:14).

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