When I was 13, I had block braces that gave me a lisp, it changed the shape of my face, and it was hard to eat. I hated it. People made fun of the way I looked and the way I spoke, and it felt like it would last forever. It was temporary. I don't really remember that anymore. I remember having them, but I can't remember the exact time someone laughed at me, I can't remember the words I couldn't say, I can't remember changing the foods I ate. It was temporary.
When I was 16 I did my GCSEs. The want to make myself and others proud and the fear of failure was overwhelming. It was temporary. That August I was awarded both an A*, being the top of my class, as well as 2 E's, being towards the bottom of my class.
When I was 18 I did my A-Levels. Again, overwhelming but temporary. I cried so much on the day I found out I had got an E and a U. I shut myself away in my room for about 12 hours, and I cried and I cried. 'All that work for nothing', I thought. The university I applied for aren't going to want me, my colleagues are going to think I'm stupid. I went to a summer camp with young people the following week, and was in charge of catering. Every little mistake I made in the kitchen reminded me of my failure in education. It's silly, I know, but when I couldn't work out how to drain the massive pan of rice, I couldn't help but think anyone else could do the job better. It was temporary; it only lasted 5 days, and the stresses in the kitchen aren't what I most remember of the week.
I think back to all the darker days from the last year or so and realise the single thing they have in common; it's all temporary. Whether it was feeling like I didn't fit, fear of the future, being self-critical, being anxious about something new, days where nothing went right. It's not like that now. The feelings were temporary. Sure, they pop up again, sometimes it's worse than others days, but then it's temporary again.
Take heart. The worries, stress, wobbles, dark days, pressures are all temporary.
Equally, the good times can be temporary too. The sunny days out with friends and family. Rest. The tight hugs from those you love. Holidays. Belly-laughs. Adventure. All temporary.
Take it in.
Remember it by taking a photo, drawing it, or writing it down. Return to it when things are dark again. Return to it and remember that it's temporary.
And when you can't return to that, take heart in the truths of the Bible that aren't temporary.
- Be still and know that I am God. God is not temporary. (Psalm 46:10)
- "I know the plans I have for you." His plans for you are not temporary. (Jeremiah 29:11)
- "My grace is sufficient for you." His grace is not temporary (2 Corinthians 12:9)
- "See what great love the father has lavished on us". His love is not temporary. (1 John 3:1)
- "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give you". His peace is not temporary. (John 14:27)
- "The Lord you God will be with you where ever you go". His presence is not temporary. (Joshua 1:9)
"the grass withers and the flowers fade but the word of the Lord stands forever" - Isaiah 40:8