Desperation. A word that may invoke fear, anxiety, unknowns. A place would generally do not want to reach. But is desperation really a bad thing? Or can it actually be one of the best realizations in life that can lead to transformation?
Desperation may mean things like; “hitting bottom”, “reaching the end of my rope”, “I just can’t go on from here”, “I’m just done!” In fact these are all descriptive words of how we may be “feeling” when we reach a desperate place in life.
But desperation is a place that is actually designed to serve us. Why?
Because desperation shows us that all of our efforts do not necessarily bring desired results. It can be a place of surrender. Not giving up hope, but surrendering to find new hope. God has a way where there seems to be no way. Many times in order to get in touch with that reality, we must hit bottom and become desperate enough to surrender.
If you start with “Hurt” for example in the illustration above, and follow the arrows of the orbit, you can see the possible movement through the sadness and anger, leading to desperation, leading to a decision to change, bringing peace, calm, and happiness. (Follow the arrows connecting the orbiting emotions.)
The things in life that cause unrest, pain, challenge, fear or any other emotion and surrounding circumstance, can be our friend or foe. If we live a life believing that negative occurrences in life are “bad” and to be avoided, it will never work, because this is a natural part of life on planet earth and the human existence. The question really is, how do I face life’s trials and challenges and view them as opportunities? How often we miss all that we are intended to learn and grow through by rejecting trials, saying things like, “I can’t wait until this is over, and I can get back to “normal.” ”
Mike Bickle said once, “I never want to waste a good trial.” They are all opportunities to grow, and experience life transformation through the trial, not on the other side of it.
“Wounds are necessary. The soul has to be wounded as well as the body. To think that the natural and proper state is to be without wounds is an illusion. Those who wear bulletproof vests to protect themselves from failure, shipwreck, and heartbreak will never know what love is. Our depressions, jealousies, narcissism, and failures are not at odds with the spiritual life. Indeed they are essential to it, if we allow them to accomplish what they are intended to. The reconciled heart says that everything that has happened to me had to happen to make me who I am— without exception.“
– Brennan Manning – Rabbi’s Heartbeat