It’s Okay To Not Be Okay But Don’t Live In It
This post is much more of a serious post than we usually send out on this blog. But, this is something that David and I have been talking about lately.
This next section here will be from a woman’s perspective on this topic…
Being Not Okay From A Woman’s Perspective
After we had gotten married, I was happy and then not so happy. I was not okay. But, I wasn’t about to let David know. But, since I did not communicate that I was not feeling so okay, I expressed it in other ways…in “passionate, loud” outbursts. More like snapping back and being easily irritated. Poor David, it wasn’t his fault. But, he knew something was up with me.
After a few weeks of David being patient with me and asking me what is wrong, I finally released it all through mumbling words and lots of tears.
I missed living with my parents. I missed seeing my parents every morning. I did not feel at home with David. I was still adjusting to being a wife. I don’t know how to cook meals. I know I need Jesus but I also need your help but don’t know where to begin.
I remember he said something along the line like this: It is okay to feel this way. Let’s figure this out together.
Of course, as a woman, I heard that at first and thought “I am fine.” But, I wasn’t. I was lying to myself that I could just think myself out of the “not okay” feeling, but it is not that simple. But, you and I have a God that will come rushing in when we need Him most.
And, I immediately felt at home. Once I was able to state out loud what I was feeling, the “no okay” feeling, it was almost about to lose its power over me. Almost. I had to put in the work afterwards. But, Jesus was by my side. He will never leave me or give up on me even when I have given up on myself.
I had actually stopped reading the Bible, but I read only for devotionals and for church. I used to love reading the Bible on my own and would do my own personal study with God, but it felt like a chore and not joyful for me.
I realized it was because I was feeling un-okay and in a funk that I was not loving getting in the Word and praying to God. Why? Because I did not want to address what I was feeling.
I thought I could do it myself. But, I was not okay. And, that is okay. But I was not meant to live in it. And you are not meant to live in it as well as a woman.
As Women, We Aren’t Meant To Live In Our “Not-Okay” Land
It’s okay to not be okay. Why is this so hard to say and believe? But, however, I feel like there are two ways that people view this statement especially for women.
One, people may believe that it is NOT okay to not be okay. For instance, it is almost as if you are acting ungrateful, overemotional, overemphasizing the situation, or (my personal favorite) being too dramatic.
That there are way more other people out there in the world that are suffering way more than you, so you should be thankful that this _(YOU fill in the blank)_ did not happen.
Then, there is the extreme opposite point of view: people think if you are not okay, then you can stay “not okay” as long as you need to.
I like to think that I am in the middle. Of course, I am not perfect to state exactly what I am feeling but at the same time, I do not dwell in it for an extended period of time.
I feel like women get such a bad rap for us being not okay, especially in the dating phases of our lives.
But, what about when we get married, we are an “unhappy” wife when we don’t get what we “want”. Or, if we are a mom, and we are frustrated when our baby is crying and we just feel overwhelmed and don’t know what else to do. Then, we wonder in the midst of our not-okay moment, if this is what we really wanted in our lives.
But, ladies and girls reading this, God understands us. He never NOT understands our feeling and emotions and our not-okay moments.
But, He wants us to live in freedom, not stay stuck in where we are at. He wants us to run to Him, even if you are broken and beaten down. Why?
He has given us freedom to live within His love and never-ending grace. That even when we are not okay, we have a Hope that we can run to and His name is Jesus.
(Disclaimer: we understand the difference between feeling un-okay and dealing with mental health issues that can be diagnosed and treated by a specialist or a doctor. We are strictly speaking about the days and weeks we are in a funk and feeling un-okay with our circumstances.)
Being Not Okay From A Man’s Perspective
Growing up in a small town outside of a huge city, life was simple and yet it had its own challenges. Thankfully, my parents raised my four siblings and I to be thoughtful with our time and energy.
Being the oldest, I had a lot of responsibility that fell on my shoulders and when times would get tough or tense, I had to constantly reassure myself and my siblings that “everything was okay” even if it was NOT okay. That is how we lived and that was how we were raised. Was it right or wrong? I am not the one to judge.
It was not until I was much older with way more responsible that I realized, learning over time that sometimes it is okay to not be okay! In fact, to this day, I am still learning about this topic, and that is honestly why we decided to write about this.
I truly feel and believe that the way we see the world and life is all based on cause and effect. Growing up, our perception was that everything was okay and it was frowned upon to be NOT okay. Can anyone of you relate to this?
A lot of times, we men like to not show our feeling and emotions because…
We simply do not know how.
We choose to push it aside to be okay
We are frightened to express because it does not impress.
For us men, it takes more work than others to truly open up and admit sometimes it’s okay to not be okay! But when we are able to take control of our feelings and are able to express them with control we are able to understand how you feel and how others feel.
Sometimes, it’s okay to not be okay and when we can accept it and learn from it, it will make us stronger than ever before and we can move on!
Take small steps toward learning to understand your feelings and how you perceive life. If you feel like your mind is spinning in circles, reach out to a mentor for guidance and advice. Go to the Lord in prayer and ask Him for wisdom, strength and understanding.
I am far from perfect and I am still working on this to this day!
What is something that has you in the “not okay”?
Here I will list them out…
- Stress, anxiety, worry, anger, or confusion?
- Don’t know what is going to happen next?
- Has there been a recent loss of a family member or friend?
- Weariness in taking care of young siblings or older parents/grandparents?
- Is it college, work, your friends (or lack of friends), church, your grades, living someplace new and not familiar?
- Feeling isolated and lonely?
- Are you in an adjustment phase in life or struggling transitioning into a new stage?
- Feel like your life is going nowhere? Have no goals in mind?
- Are you feeling stuck or feel like you’re going 100 MPH and don’t see signs of slowing down?
- Feel like you have no purpose in life or have lost your sense of purpose?
It is okay to not be okay, once you have identified what that thing is, that is not making you not okay. But, you do not belong in the “not okay” land. God says so.
We so often read or have heard of Romans 12:2
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2
But, what about verse 1? That is what makes all the difference.
“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” Romans 12:1
What is worship? It is stated in the verse, to present yourself to God as a sacrifice, that He is holy and worthy above all, above everything you are feeling, and above…YOU.
Here is a great quote that I found that kind of summarizes it all…
“The inner essence of worship is to know God truly and then respond from the heart to that knowledge by valuing God, treasuring God, prizing God, enjoying God, being satisfied with God above all earthly things. And then that deep, restful, joyful satisfaction in God overflows in demonstrable acts of praise from the lips and demonstrable acts of love in serving others for the sake of Christ.” —-John Piper
Give Jesus Your All, Even Your Not-Okay Moments
When we give Jesus our all, it takes the focus away from us and towards Him, and guess what? He is perfect and provides all that we need, even when we cannot understand or see it in the moment. In our moment of not feeling okay.
So, all in all, give it all to God, pray and cry out to Him, ask Him to show you your “not okay” and why you are not okay…ask Him for His help and guidance. It may take days, weeks, or years. But, seeking God is never something you will regret.
1. Recognize that you are not okay and declare it out loud….
Whenever we hold it inside and leave it in our own minds, this is when the enemy can truly mess with us. Whenever we don’t feel okay and no one else knows, he can play with our minds over and over again.
But, when we declare this out-loud, then you have the power to do something about it once it is finally acknowledged. The enemy wants to keep us alone and isolated, but God has never left you nor will ever leave you. Check the next step.
2. Seek God and people to tell them and ask for help.
Seek Him at all costs. Even if you feel like you can get “through” it on your own. You cannot. Maybe temporarily. But, it does not last long. You need Jesus to help you. If you do not know where to begin, start with a simple prayer and ask God to help you and to show you what to do.
Then, tell someone else. It can be your best friend, your parent, your spouse, your sibling, your grandparent, or a neighbor. The point is to tell someone, so that you are not holding onto the burdens on your own. Someone else knows and can talk to you and help you. There is something about giving it up instead of holding your “not okays” on the inside.
3. Get a game plan.
This is just as important as all the other steps, but this is where your life can start. You can start right where you are at, in your brokenness and in your “not okay” moments, but you do not have to live there. Sometimes, your body and your brain needs a change of pace or a change in routine in order for you to get unstuck from your funk or “not okay” moments.
I will be honest. Just because I am a Christian does not mean I am the type of person that can sit and read the Bible all day and be in prayer. Of course, having some quiet time with the Lord is crucial in my Christian walk. But, here are some other suggestions if you do not feel like getting into the Word at home…
Other Tips To Get Unstuck From Being Not Okay
1. Get in the Word somewhere different. Maybe your favorite coffee shop. Or the beach. Or at a park. Getting outside your home can make a difference.
2. Move your body. Get out there and walk or jog. Play with your kids or do an outdoor activity like gardening or raking.
3. Read something different.
4. Schedule some coffee or lunch dates with friends you haven’t caught up with in a while
5. Schedule things you are passionate about on the calendar to look forward to…
6. Do something different that you have always wanted to try.
7. Get into prayer.
(If you have never prayed before or do not know how to pray, it is okay. God does not frown upon you if you do not say a perfect prayer. If saying it out-loud or in your head sounds kind of odd at first for you, try writing it down.)
8. Get a journal from a store and make it your journal to write down your prayers of things you are thinking about and need help with. Pretty soon, your heart will align with God and you will be praying for the people around you and for other things.
To conclude this…
In the past and in the present, we have struggled and do struggle sometimes with being okay when it is not okay. Sometimes it’s best to accept reality, learn from your mistakes and move on with your life.
We hope that this blog post has been an eye opener into our struggles and in turn will help you grow and learn.
At the end of the day, your family, friends and loved ones are not perfect and they will fail you at some point in time. However if you give up your worries and life struggles to the Lord, He will step in and make a way where there seems to be no way.
It’s okay to not be okay sometimes but it’s not good if you get stuck in that mentality. We have found that it’s best to deal with the issue or feelings head on, pray about it, learn from it and move on with your glorious and blessed life.
Thank you for reading,