how do I live

I Suck at Being a Christian

Inside: The problem is my expectations when difficulty comes and doesn’t let up, I find myself being discouraged.How do I live out this Christian life? I suck at being a Christian.

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how do I live

I spent a month in the New Year struggling with insomnia. There was no sleep at all, not at night or during the day. I’d lay down and toss and turn all night.

After 48 hours of not sleeping, I went to see my doctor.

She did help me with sleep medication, but the struggle for sleep for over a month caused some other health problems. My anxiety kicked in because I didn’t think I would be able to fall asleep without the sleep medication.

All I can say is I have taken sleep for granted in the past. It’s a huge blessing to be able to sleep at night.

Endless Struggles

Are you struggling with something right now? I pray you’re not, but somehow I know something is making life difficult right now, or it was yesterday, or it will be.

How do I know this?

Because God tells us life will be difficult.

 Christianity lived to the fullest involves struggle. ~Matt Nelson

I don’t know about you, but acknowledging this is a real downer. I dislike difficult, hard things and pain, and I can’t bring myself to roll out the welcome mat and invite them in. Nor am I excited they have graced me with their presence.

Who embraces difficulty?

Wrong Expectations

I used to think being a Christian should be easy. I expected that was how it worked. It seemed logical if I was following the Creator of the Universe, who is omnipotent, He would make my life a cake walk.

What about you, did you realize being a Christian would be such unrelenting hard work?

I assumed when problems would come, my Heavenly Father would extinguish them before they got to me. I imagined I could just enjoy the good life while He did all the work.

What I don’t understand is: if God believes rest is important, why was sleep so hard to come by for that 6 weeks? I’ve asked God this question multiple times and still without an answer.

The problem with my expectations is when difficulty remains and it’s not letting up, I find myself being discouraged, despondent and despairing.

Why doesn’t God come through for me?

How do I live? I stink at being a Christian and I'm wondering when I'm going to get it right!

How Do I Live: Expect Difficulty

Most of us are familiar with the story of Job in the Bible.  Job was a rich, believing man. He lived a good life, but he was struck with difficulty after difficulty. He never wavered in his faith. Job is the model we should be following when our own lives are hit with a problem.

Then the Lord asked Satan, “Have you noticed my servant Job? He is the finest man in all the earth. He is blameless—a man of complete integrity. He fears God and stays away from evil.”

Satan replied to the Lord, “Yes, but Job has good reason to fear God.10 You have always put a wall of protection around him and his home and his property. You have made him prosper in everything he does. Look how rich he is! 11 But reach out and take away everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face!”

12 “All right, you may test him,” the Lord said to Satan. “Do whatever you want with everything he possesses, but don’t harm him physically.” So Satan left the Lord’s presence (Job 1:8-12, NLT). 

Satan ended up taking everything from Job. His family, livestock and his health. The last verse in this chapter says Job didn’t sin by blaming God for all his loss.

Can I be honest, I blame God. Many nights in December, I would pour out my heart to God and lie awake until morning. I did a lot of finger pointing and blaming. A few weeks of a struggle, and I’m a sucky Christian.

how do I live

9 Truths When You Go through a Struggle

  • God is still in control.
  • Satan doesn’t have free reign over us.
  • God limits the degree that Satan can cause problems.
  • The struggle provides an opportunity for greater faith and deeper relationship with Him.
  • This difficulty will accomplish God’s purpose.
  • The devil is the only one who fills us with doubt, discouragement, and despair. Watch for these 3 D’s.
  • God will work it out for our good.
  • This hard time will lead us to a free and blessed life (difficulties will still be present).
  • The process prolongs when we fight the struggle in our human ways,

My New Expectations

As for my sleep, it did eventually come, and I have been sleeping like a log since without any kind of sleep aid.

As I look back, I was able to grow in my relationship with Him. This time frame caused me to find refuge in God. He did answer me, not in my time frame, but in His.

Instead of trusting He had it all planned out, the process prolonged because I searched for answers and solutions.

Those weeks of feeling unheard actually caused my faith to grow stronger. I think I’ve looked at this Christian life all wrong, maybe struggle after struggle is what I need to be the best Christian I can be.

I’m confidently accepting another struggle is up ahead, but I can anchor myself to the truths God gives me in the Bible. He won’t let me down.


Stronger than the Struggle: Uncomplicating Your Spiritual BattleStronger than the Struggle: Uncomplicating Your Spiritual BattleThe StruggleThe StruggleMug - The Struggle Is Real, But So Is Our GodMug – The Struggle Is Real, But So Is Our GodHope for Hard Times (Pack of 25) (Proclaiming the Gospel)Hope for Hard Times (Pack of 25) (Proclaiming the Gospel)You'll Get Through This: Hope and Help for Your Turbulent TimesYou’ll Get Through This: Hope and Help for Your Turbulent TimesAnxious for Nothing: Finding Calm in a Chaotic WorldAnxious for Nothing: Finding Calm in a Chaotic World

I Suck at Being a Christian. When struggles hit, it can cause havoc in my faith. Insomnia hit and was causing depression. How to find tips and truth from God and Bible verses to overcome any struggle. #struggle #pain #Christian #livingoutfaith #dontgiveup


I Suck at Being a Christian. When struggles hit, it can cause havoc in my faith. Insomnia hit and was causing depression. How to find tips and truth from God and Bible verses to overcome any struggle. #struggle #pain #Christian #livingoutfaith #dontgiveup
I Suck at Being a Christian. When struggles hit, it can cause havoc in my faith. Insomnia hit and was causing depression. How to find tips and truth from God and Bible verses to overcome any struggle. #struggle #pain #Christian #livingoutfaith #dontgiveup
I Suck at Being a Christian. When struggles hit, it can cause havoc in my faith. Insomnia hit and was causing depression. How to find tips and truth from God and Bible verses to overcome any struggle. #struggle #pain #Christian #livingoutfaith #dontgiveup

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  1. Love this Julie, and you framed it so perfectly. After I have thrown my little tantrum as to why God has not done what I need Him to do, the Holy Spirit whispers softly, “Be still and know Who I am.” Reality check! Great post and keep on writing sista!

  2. A few years back I remember thinking to myself, “Satan is irrelevant. I’m a Christian.” Then – BAM! – my marriage started being attacked by that enemy I deemed irrelevant. God used those difficult times (and many more since) to strengthen my faith in and dependence on Him. I’m so thankful that ALL of life – the sweet and the sorrow – are used for our good and His glory. Thanks for sharing Julie. 🙂

  3. Oh Julie, I feel ya sistah… some days I feel the same way- that I’m not living up to that high calling in the least bit. But that’s when grace shows up the most. Been struggling with an unresolved sinus/throat issue for weeks now to no avail. So I don’t take sleep or health for granted any more either! There has been much crying and gnashing of teeth on my part but I’ve also been honing in on prayer and humility and since I asked God to help me flourish this year, I’ve all but figured this struggle is just part of His process for that to happen. I loved your truths to hold on to during a struggle– perhaps this one the best —> This difficulty will accomplish God’s purpose. Amen and amen! ♥♥

  4. Hi Julie,
    Oh yes, I sure get what you’re saying about being sleep-deprived. 🙂 In this Journey with Chronic Illness that I am walking through, I’ve had many nights of tossing and turning, with the anxiety that tags along with that. But, just like you, I have found that there is a beauty of being with Jesus in the middle of the Trial whenever I give up the fighting on my own behalf. Thanks for these great reminders today! I’m blessed to be your neighbor over at #TeaAndWord today!

    1. Bettie- Thank you! It’s encouraging to know other’s are dealing with sleepless nights too. Yes- midnight meetings are special with Jesus! I’m glad to meet you! Blessings!

  5. So glad you can sleep again! Thanks for being honest about this. Some struggles make me suck at being a Christian too. So grateful for God’s mercy, grace, and restorative correction. Also- those 3 D’s are really helpful! Thanks for pointing them out!

  6. Julie,
    Oh how I love your honesty! It’s so hard to figure out the difficult things we go through when we feel far from God but often we look back and see he was there all along and we’ve become richer through the depth of our difficulties. I’m so glad you’re on the other side of your sleep issues (it’s so frustrating to have insomnia!) but how beautifully you’ve shared here how God walks through it with you! xo

  7. Oh sleep. Sweet sleep. It’s so important to me. Seriously.
    I’m so glad God is answering your prayers. Feeling unheard is such a difficult place to be. God has been showing me a bit about petitioning Him with thankfulness and His peace will come. You can find that in Philippians 🙂

    1. Becky- I love my sleep too. Maybe too much which is why God took it away. Maybe it had become an idol? Thanks for directing me to Philippians!

  8. Wow. This is so good! You said it so well. I suck at being a Christian too. So thankful for God’s mercy and grace! But you know what? Because the Christian life is so challenging is the very reason why Christians are my heroes! : )

  9. A “right on time” message for me. I have been reading the book of Job these past few days. In fact, my new blog post talks about Job and suffering. It’s not easy being a follower of Christ. Afflictions will come, but He is just to deliver us from them. Great post!

  10. No perfect lives this side of heaven. That is for sure! But God has given us the power of His Spirit to overcome difficulties while hoping for that eternal perfection. Thankful you were able to get some much needed physical rest and the God provided the spiritual rest you craved, too! Blessings!

    1. Liz- I’m just reading about this in “Finding I Am.” So thankful the Holy Spirit guides,leads and prays for me when my weakness is so overbearing.
      Thanks for stopping!

  11. Julie, I really like your 9 truths! These are such fantastic reminders! Your discussion about expectations is right on. Our expectations can sure cause trouble. I’ve dealt with my own unrealistic expectations many many times. Thankfully with a little redefining, God can write new expectations on our hearts! Thanks for sharing!

  12. What an encouragingly honest and uplifting post, Julie! Thanks so much for sharing your heart. Such profound truth in knowing that our difficulties serve to prove God’s faithfulness to us… his never letting go love. Blessings to you!

  13. “When we fight the struggle and continue in our human ways, the process is prolonged.” I love this line the most! Glad you are sleeping again. That is so scary!

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  15. True and painfully honest. It makes me think of Paul’s thorn in the flesh and how he boasted over it. There are things that come into our life for protection and drawing us closer to our Heavenly Father. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Jessica- You’re right they are meant to bring us closer to God, although sometimes they drive people away from Him.I think the important realization is to remember His promises to us. He will work everything out for the good of those who love Him.

  16. Julie,
    At one time I remember feeling the exact same way. That being a follower of Christ should be a cake walk and all would be well. Oh but He wants us picking up our cross daily doesn’t He. He is the rock on which we stand. Everything else is shifting sand.

    1. Natalie- I think it’s important to realize these times are where we grow the best in faith. When I’ve come to grasp this, the hard times seem a little less intense.

  17. Julie,

    I can absolutely relate! I love your honesty and encouragement.

    I use to believe the idea that God would never give me more than I could handle…well when that time came I grew angry that He was not fixing everything, knowing that I couldn’t.

    And now I rejoice in knowing that He certainly will give us more than we can handle so that we will press into Him!

    Blessings to you,

  18. Julie, I have a love/hate relationship with the book of Job. It’s encouraging to know God would consider me, trust me with the challenges of life, but concerning that he would recommend me to satan. I too have and do often struggle with sleep issues. I wish that were the only problem I battle over and over. However, when I cling to those biblical truths you listed, I find strength to march on. Thanks for the reminder.

    1. Calvonia- I don’t like that either that He would recommend me to Satan. These stories of the Bible, though, give me the comfort and encouragement that I can too succeed in life. When the storms come and take away all my comfort items, I will be good as long as I’m clinging to God.

  19. This is definitely a difficult reality to accept. The more we love God and the more we are doing for His kingdom, the more we can expect attacks. I try to keep in mind that means I must be doing something good!

  20. One thing I’ve learned and I cling to, is that God will work it for His good. It’s hard to see and believe this in the midst of struggles and hardships, but it’s so important to keep this perspective. You’re right! Staying in His truth (the Word) keeps our focus on His good through the bad. <3

    1. Katie- knowing He is working it out for our good is comforting and makes the situation more palatable, doesn’t it??

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  22. I love this post!
    The title caught my attention and resonates with me!
    Posted to my FaceBook page!

    Thanks for sharing!

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