I’m going to start this post out with an apology. I don’t remember and I can’t find who originally wrote the statement that is the title to this post. It might have been John Pavlovitz, it might have been Ann Voskamp, I don’t remember. If you recognize it, let me know and I’ll gladly revise to give them credit.
It was Jason Johnson – he wrote it on his blog – read it right here.
But this phrase has stuck with me this week because it resonates on many levels. “It’s okay to not be okay.”
Syria, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan….. – “It’s okay to not be okay with what is happening there.”
Racism, police relations – “It’s okay to not be okay with what is happening there.”
School shootings, gun violence – “It’s okay to not be okay with what is happening there.”
Child trafficking, child abuse, adoption corruption, political corruption – “It’s okay to not be okay with that.”
Job losses, marital struggles, problems with your kids – “It’s okay to not be okay with what’s happening here.”
Feelings of self worth, feelings of despair, physical illnesses, mental illnesses – “It’s okay to not be okay.”
Feeling like you don’t belong, feeling like you’re not doing what God wants you to, feeling like you’ve let people or let God down – “It’s okay to not be okay.”
There is too much of a “push” in today’s society, on TV, at work, at school, at church to be seen as “okay” or better. And too much pressure to feel “less than” if you can’t measure up.
People, we need to stop beating ourselves up. We need to stop trying to keep up with the Joneses (unless of course that is your name). It’s not healthy, it’s hard on ourselves and it’s hard on those we love.,
We need to learn to be okay with our struggles. We need to learn to be okay with our limitations. We need to learn that it’s okay to not be okay.
One of the many things I’ve learned in the last dozen years as we’ve walked this adoption road and met many fascinating and amazing and wonderful people is that everyone has struggles.
Look around you – if you can see 10 people while you’re reading this, all 10 of them are struggling with something. It might be big, it might be smaller, but they have struggles.
And some of their struggles are made significantly worse because we (the collective we) don’t allow people to be real. It makes “us” uncomfortable when people answer, “How are yah?” with, “Man, it’s been a tough week.”
We don’t know what to say. We need to be okay with not knowing what to say.
We need to be okay with not being okay. We need to be okay with giving those around us the right to not be okay.
We need to be okay with saying, “I wish there is something I could do, but there isn’t, so I’ll just stand by you and be “not okay” with you.”
We’ll talk about this more in coming posts but I want to make one thing perfectly clear – “being okay with not being okay” does NOT mean that we’re settling for evil being in the world. It does not mean that we’re happy with the status quo.
Nope – it means that we’re accepting of the fact that we’re not okay in a fallen world and we’re leaning on God to help us change it for us and for others.
More to come, but for now, remember that it’s okay to not be okay.
I am the second part. I’m learning the first part.
How about you?