If You’re Looking for a Sign

“Look on the bright side!” 

“Yes you can!” 

“No excuses!”


These were a few of the signs I spotted as I walked through a home decor store, and all I could do was roll my eyes.

First, let me say that there is nothing wrong with having one of these in your home. I’m so thankful for people in the world who are eternal optimists and are such natural encouragers that even their wall art gives pep talks.

I was frustrated because you can’t always be the things that these signs say. There are things in life that don’t come with a bright side. Sometimes, you legitimately can’t do what you’d like to and have a million valid excuses as to why your body or your circumstances won’t let you.

Because I had brought my own hurt and experiences into the store, I left feel incredibly frustrated. Ironically, I had a scheduled session with my therapist later that day. The first thing I brought up? The signs.

This woman knows my story: that I’m a caregiver to my chronically ill husband. That life has not been the kindest to us over the past few years. That we’ve been dealt more crushing blows than feels even remotely fair.

Her response? This is a safe space for what you’re going through. Your sadness is welcome here.” 

There are spaces in life that trite expressions can’t cover. Where instead of a, “Yes you can!” we need a, “It’s ok if you can’t. I’m still here.

And if you’re in one of those spaces today, here’s the sign I hope can hang on the wall of your heart today:

You’re a straight-up gift to humanity. With all your trauma, and all your sadness, you are welcome here.” 

And until you believe it, please let me know how I can pray for you:

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Alice Mattsen
Alice Mattsen
October 14, 2021 11:06 am

No I can’t. I finally discovered I can’t on my own strength overcome, and became angry with God because people kept telling me I could overcome. I cannot tell you how often I thought of and attempted suicide. I lost count.
Now I share with others what God shared with me. I can overcome anything with His direction and power if I acknowledge that and give Him the praise.

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