Battling discouragement never is easy or pretty. Discouragement can do a number on a person. The people who emerge from a battle with discouragement never escape unscathed. They have to repair their armor. They have to dress their wounds. They have to heal. They then have to prepare for the next round of discouragement. They may be free from discouragement for a time, but, if they don’t prepare themselves, they will be caught unaware when discouragement next catches them. They may not be able to respond as they should if they aren’t prepared for the eventuality of battle.
It can be difficult to prepare; the battles aren’t always the same. The terrain changes. It can be as simple as having someone unsubscribe from an e-letter or as difficult as trying to rejoice in another’s success when one’s own path seems to be headed nowhere. It can be the result of being in the wrong relationship. It can come from the workplace, perhaps one of the more difficult terrains as it’s pervasive, and it can follow one home. It can be due to failing a board exam. It can arise from people questioning what one is doing. It can find its source in people who criticize to be critical, people who “poke holes” for the sake of poking them.
How do people battle through those situations? They battle as best they can. They learn to rejoice in small things: a text from a friend, a response to an e-letter, a comment on a Facebook status update. They encourage other people who are struggling. They remember they are not alone even when they feel alone. They treasure their friends. They share their struggles with someone. They keep moving, even when all they want to do is hide from the world. They trust they are doing the right thing. They remember when the call was certain, and they allow that call to guide them, not their feelings, not their discouragement.
Photo: Gabriela Camerotti (CC BY NC 2.0)