gentleness.

A couple parts of this are excerpts from a recent Instagram photo I posted.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about all the battles we are constantly fighting that no one else knows anything of.
Depression, anxiety, insecurities, fears, addictions, thoughts..
The huge battles down to the ittty bitty ones that nag at us daily.
“I don’t really like my smile” to “I don’t want to be alive”

There are some people who are very good and persistent at communicating their struggles and overcoming them.
But there are all too many of those who keep them locked up in their own mind. They are tormented night after night by evil thoughts; losing battle after battle that no one else has any idea of.

It’s an endless cycle of fighting and fighting and fighting, but not seeing an end in sight. An endless cycle of trying to escape from yourself. But you can’t.

As I’ve been thinking on everyone’s battles whitest dealing with my own, the word I keep coming back to is ‘gentleness’

It’s so easy to lose patience with others and my own self over the silliest of things.

I mean, honestly, think about the things that have irritated you lately.
Was it a long line at your favorite restaurant because a cashier was grumpy and moving slower than usual?
People being in a rush at the store and bumping into you without even bothering to offer an “excuse me”?
Or a careless driver cutting you off for no reason?

Think about it. Those little things that get us ticked off and put us in a bad mood, are often because we are focusing on the “me” and not extending gentleness to others.

Sure, they shouldn’t have done it. But try to be a little more understanding.
Maybe that cashier is going through a lot right now. Maybe she only slept for a couple of hours because she’s battling depression?

Maybe the person that bumped into you at the store was grabbing something to take to a loved one in the hospital. Maybe they were so upset and distracted they didn’t even think to offer an apology or an excuse me?

Whether hey have a valid reason or not, you don’t know the whole story.
You can’t always know the whole story.
So be gentle with people.

Cut people some slack. Life is hard. We’ve all had bad days, weeks, months, years.. We’ve all had lows and we’ve all made mistakes. We’ve all said hurtful things and we’ve all had grumpy days.

But ugliness returned with ugliness only creates more ugly. But ugliness returned with LOVE is powerful.
Stop the chain reaction of hate. Speak love and gentleness instead.

One of my favorite quotes from Rupi Kaur is “to be soft is to be powerful”

Extend softness, extend gentleness, and watch the distressed faces change. Compliment the cashier who is probably getting a lot of negative comments from impatient people. Smile at the person who runs into you and is to careless to say anything. Love on the people who can annoy you but are really just searching for love and attention.

Extend softness, extend gentleness to yourself. Don’t stress yourself out.
Believe me, I know how overwhelming and sickening those battles can feel. Evil thoughts nag at you and keep you up at night. You search for an escape, an answer, a solution… You fight and search and battle endlessly. You’re exhausted. You want out.

We are all human and the battles we fight are inevitable.
When we aren’t overcoming, we need to cling tighter to the Overcomer. The One who has already ultimately won the war, and daily helps us fight our battles.
He will walk every step on the battlefield with us, reminding us He has already won. Even when we feel like we’ve lost, we are on the winning team.

One of my favorite, favorite, favorite verses is Romans 8:37
“In all these things, we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”

ALSO a super duper really great song by Rendcollective titled “More than Conquerors” lyrics have stuck with me since the first time I heard the song. Honestly all of the lyrics are touching so if you have the chance, just go listen to the song.
But the lyrics from the song that have really stuck with me are:

“No surrender, no retreat
We are free and we’re redeemed
We will declare
Over despair
You are the hope.”

We will declare over despair, You are the hope.
When we are at our lowest of lows, crying into our pillow, feeling utmost despair… HE is our hope.
With him, we are more than conquerors.

We are all humans and we are all battling multiple battles everyday. We are all fighting and fighting and fighting. Constantly.
Don’t make it worse for someone else. Make it better.
Instead of thinking about “me” start thinking about “us” and how we can help each other fight our battles. How we can pray for, encourage, and fight right beside each other and for each other.

No surrender, no retreat.
Don’t give up.
Keep fighting your battles.

Gentleness, my friends. Gentleness.

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