I know I spend a lot of time and use a lot of words on this blog exploring the sadness and struggles and grief in my life. But, I also want to say that I don’t do so out of some morbid fascination with or elevation of sadness. I talk about the grief and hard things, because they are real in my life. And if I don’t face them and talk about them–if I don’t articulate what is–the grief and sadness becomes more consuming.
I have found that lamenting, and even making space for depression commensurate with my circumstances, is the quickest route (for me) back to happiness. I realize though, that, I need to talk more about the heavy stuff than the smiles. Once I’ve talked through the sadness and the smiles come, I get caught up in going on with the living and don’t always take the time to say, “It’s okay. I’m okay. I’m smiling.” And if you can’t see me smiling, you’re left picturing the last heavy post I’ve written as the total picture.
The heavy things I wrote about in the last two posts are still very real to me, but thanks be to the kindness and grace of God as I walk through them, and the love and wisdom and kindness of my friends, I’m doing better. There is joy in my heart, peace in my spirit and a smile on my lips.
There is music in my home and running through my mind. I woke up earlier than I wanted to this morning, and decided to lay in bed a while longer, listening to some music that strengthens me. Like Christianne said in a recent comment,
not having the strength to sing out, but then finding strength IN the singing out. it affirms faith, even in the midst of so many dangling questions.
I’m listening to Scott Krippayne remind me that when the storms get really rough, I can know that God can calm the storm. But I can rest secure, knowing that He holds me firm and calms me, even if He allows the wind and waves to continue to roar.
I’m joining the Soweto Gospel Choir in affirming (and thanking God) that His grace was there in my past and is here in my present. I’m so happy to celebrate the paradox that it was grace that taught my heart to fear, and grace that relieved my fears.
My confidence and ability to trust is strengthened as I listen to Sy Gorieb and Tim Hosman assert that when trouble nears, Jehovah hears. When trouble blows, Jehovah knows. And he understands.
And then my confident (albeit weak at times) pursuit of trusting God becomes a celebratory proclamation as my heart swells in joy, listening to Scott Krippayne sing, “The Best is Yet to Come”:
The race is long, sometimes I stumble
He helps me up each time I fall
When I lose hope he gives me courage
So I’ll press on and give my all
’cause I know I never have to run alone
and I can hardly wait to make it home
The best is yet to come
The promise of heaven awaits
I’ll finally see my lord and savior face to face
For he has set me free
For all eternity
When my life on earth is done
The best is yet to come
In every joy In every trial
I need to keep my eyes on him [and I’m reminded of my friend Janliya’s reminder and blessing concerning keeping on looking to God]
He is the way My sole provider
No matter how the road may bend
When earthly treasures cloud my point of view
He reminds me that I’m only passing through
Nothing can compare with what’s in store
When we join with the angels singing
Holy is the Lord
© 2001 Chips and Salsa Songs (Administered by BMG) / Word Music / Fifty States Music
Well, I need to get started on my day. The kids need to wake up and get ready for school. I’ve got piles of transcription work hanging over me, with very little energy to start it and keep plugging through it. The weight that was there yesterday is still there today. But I wanted you to know that my life is not all sadness, and that the sadness is intertwined with joy and peace and hope. And I wanted to tell those of you who are praying and who are writing me, that you are part of how God keeps me smiling through the rough things. Thank you.