In my last blog post, I used a picture that said “everything will be okay”. In that post, I was actually going to talk about the problem I have with people saying this to me (and others), but my post ended up going in a very different direction so I left it out. Now I probably seem hypocritical – but that’s okay! Everything will be okay.
Except…not everything will be okay.
Does it make me a pessimist to say that? To realize that bad things happen? To realize that I can’t predict the future – that I can’t say with confidence to myself or anyone else that “everything will be okay”
Now, I know it’s just a saying. I know it’s something people say when they try to be supportive and when they try to make others feel better. And that’s great. I’m all for support and love and happiness. But whenever someone says this to me, it makes me feel worse.
When you have a huge fear of dying/catching some serious illness – someone telling you “everything will be okay” doesn’t help. Because one day, I am going to die. And so are you. And so is everyone. That is life. I understand it, and I accept it. But I still struggle with this fear, and I always have.
You can’t tell me everything is going to be okay because one day my biggest fear WILL happen. There is nothing I can do to stop it.
You might be able to use that line for other people in certain situations.
Oh, you failed a test? Everything will be okay.
Oh, you had a crappy first date? Everything will be okay.
Oh, you lost your car keys? (…actually happened to me last week) Everything will be okay.
But sometimes, this line doesn’t work. Sometimes, it makes you sound stupid and borderline inconsiderate.
Oh, your mom died? Everything will be okay…?
Oh, you were diagnosed with cancer? Everything will be okay…?
Oh, you just had a miscarriage? Everything will be okay…?
This does not work. Everything will not always be okay. And that is okay. Because that is life.
I wish more people would just admit this. I wish we would stop beating around the bush (cliché alert!). I wish we would stop being scared to admit to ourselves and others that sometimes, things won’t be okay. But we can still get through them with the support of our friends, family, teachers, mentors, and in my case (maybe yours too), God.
I would like it if people could just say things like this:
“That situation sucks, but I will be there for you”
“I’m so sorry for what’s happening right now, I will do everything I can to help”
“I don’t know how this will all turn out, but you can count on me to be by your side”
I’m not saying we should wallow in self pity because bad things happens. I’m not saying that because not everything will be okay that we should be miserable.
No, the Bible is pretty clear on this.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 says:
“Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus”
Even though things might not be okay, we should still be positive and we should still give thanks. As hard as that is to do. And when we are supporting others who are going through hard times, maybe we should try to think of something a little more substantial to say, other than “everything will be okay”.