It’s okay. It’s so okay to not be okay. It is.
I was reminded of that as I worked in the nursery at church today. You see, these little ones seem to know a thing or two about not being okay that maybe some of us older folks have forgotten. Because when these babies have a need, they let people know. Sometimes LOUDly. ❤ Their little eyes start filling with tears and lips start quivering…and then comes the cry, the reaching out of the hands. They know what many of us have forgotten…that we can’t meet all of our needs by ourselves. And they cry out to have that need be met.
And the cool thing is, it often doesn’t take but a minute to meet their needs. To hold them and remind them that it’s okay that they’re not okay. To meet a need by giving an animal cracker, reading a story, or just rocking for a bit. Yeah, needs can be pretty simple to meet sometimes, that is, when we know there’s a need.
Last week, I kind of experienced that. I had always wanted to visit Brooklyn Tabernacle in New York, and was so glad when I got to visit with my son. I have read one of the Pastor’s books, and have always loved the lyrics of the songs written by their choir director. And the choir—I was so looking forward to hearing and worshipping with the choir.
My son, Austin and I had already had a full morning. We had visited friends and had a brunch in Manhattan with a sweet family and previous business partner of my husband’s. After that, we made our way to Brooklyn.
We went to the 1:00 service at just before 1 and waited with lots of folks to get in for their third service of the day. We took off all our winter layers and sat and waited. I was fine for the first few songs. I mean, I was okay (on the outside.) But you see, it’s been a rough season to be honest, and when the third song came, well, you would’ve thought that I had been taking lessons from the sweet little ones in the nursery. Tears flowed instantaneously. Because the song being sung was one that I have sung quite a bit in the past year. It speaks of the fact that God is the God of miracles. He’s done miracles in the past and He will Do It Again. Am believing that. It speaks of His faithfulness– “the promise still stands, Great is your faithfulness…I’m still in your Hands, this is my confidence, you’ve never failed me yet…” He hasn’t. But life sure doesn’t look quite the way I’d like it to right now.
So I’ve been wrestling with that truth and clinging to it. That God can use for the good what looks so –not good, so not okay. And like I said, those tears started flowing. I wasn’t ugly crying or anything, I promise, but the tears were pretty apparent! We sang through the song and sat down. (Phew. I made it through without totally losing it.)
But here’s the cool thing. The sweet little lady to my left (her name was Gladys), opened her purse and pulled out some napkins and this is what she said. She said, “I saw your tears, and I just want to let you know. It’s going to be alright. It is. You just pray and cling to God and it will be alright.” And she is right. I know that. But I can’t tell you how good it felt to be reminded of that. And here’s the thing—I never would’ve been blessed by her kindness and words if my tears hadn’t let it be known that presently, well, I’m not really okay. I’m not…….And maybe that’s okay.
So, maybe the acknowledgement of the not-being-okay is what can open the floodgates to the comfort, resolve, and/or healing that we long for. Yeah, maybe admitting we’re not okay is the starting place for the journey to being okay.
Life is full of ups and downs for sure. Some of us have more periods of not-being-okay than others. Lots of reasons for that for sure, but not gonna go there. Where I do want to go is to remind you and me of a lesson that the little ones in the nursery reinforced for me today…to let our needs be known. Now, of course, ya gotta choose where those needs are shared. We need each other. Some of us might be blessed with trusted friends and family. Some of us might not. But the beautiful beautiful thing is that we can ALWAYS draw near to the throne of Grace. Always. Christ opened the floodgates of acceptance for us through His birth, life and willing sacrifice /payment for our sins. He bids us come. Just as you are with all the needs known and unknown. Come. Am thinking it’s a good thing to know our need for the love and grace of God. He knows our need even when we don’t.
So, here’s one more cool thing. As I got in the car after church, this was the first song that came on…”Maybe It’s Ok”. I love it. Not just the sound, but the truth of it. For me, for us. I love the chorus that says, “Maybe it’s okay if I’m not okay, ‘Cause the One who holds the world is holding on to me. Maybe it’s alright, if I’m not alright. Cause the One who made the stars is holding my whole life…”
Yeah, maybe it’s okay to be not okay. Maybe that’s what can help us become okay as we let down our guards and let our needs be known a bit. God is “a very present help in times of trouble.” And He has a way of meeting needs through ordinary folks like you, and me, and a sweet little old lady named Gladys.
Blessings to You and Yours~
p.s. There was one little guy in the nursery in particular who was missing his mommy and daddy. He’d get distracted and then after a little bit, he remembered he was missing his mommy and daddy. And do you know what finally settled him? The very thing that can often settle me. We sat in a rocker, and I read him a story (same one 20x, but who’s counting?!) I read him a picture story of the Bible. It quieted and calmed him and it encouraged me. Because in all the stories, well a lot of the folks weren’t quite okay either, but when they cling to God and trust Him, well, knowing He was with them made all the difference in being okay, and knowing that, in the end, “it’ll be alright”.