i deal with sadness often. it seems i always have. even as a little girl i was alone a lot and i remember feeling overcome by sadness. in my 20’s i wondered if i needed medication and at the same time vehemently opposed anyone who suggested it. The thing is, if i thought about it hard enough i could think of lots of reasons to be sad or feel overwhelmed. after spouting off a list of circumstances, temporary or long term, i would always say, ‘well, no wonder i feel sad’…. this world is a sad place i think. it’s not our home, we weren’t created to be here with the world in the state it’s in. our hearts aren’t designed to carry the suppressive weight of disease, loneliness, fear, heartbreak, disappointment – death. we weren’t created for any of these things. no wonder we’re sad.
people spend lots of money talking to counselors and therapists trying to solve this problem. i did. well, haha, i didn’t spend that much money, but it was a lot to us at the time. newly married (ish), new baby, new weight gain from said baby, lonely and separated from people merely b/c of proximity (some things never change) – and i was sad. and i couldn’t stop crying. and i was angry and couldn’t stop flying into fits of rage… then again it comes down to a decision. even if it’s such a split-second decision that you don’t realize you’re making a decision, it’s still a choice – you decide. and this is what i am desperately wanting to do. decide to be happy.
my husband used to say, keeping his own frustration reigned in, ‘can’t you just be happy?’ – he liked me better when i was happy. i really couldn’t blame him. i like myself more when i’m happy. but it used to make me so angry when he would say it. i would think, well of course! of course i can press the happy button and it will all be better and maybe then i’ll be happy enough for you! my response was defensiveness. i was ashamed. i was ashamed that i believed in a God who is love and His very nature in us gives us joy – yet, i struggled constantly with sinking into a black hole. i don’t know how much of it is choice… but i know part of it is. maybe a big part of it. i know there are chemical imbalances, i know there are disorders… but why the increase over the years? why is it so much worse now that it was in the pioneer days? their lives were hard. if they didn’t bring in the crop they died. if it didn’t rain they had no food, nothing to sell to buy things they needed… it was a hard life that depended on the weather.. something completely uncontrollable and yet they had to depend on it for their prosperity, for life. i can image that could be pretty stressful. But something as completely out of their control, it seems would be easier to surrender. unlike now. we work. we work our job to bring in money to eat, to live. having that job really is beyond our control. we could lose it tomorrow, the company could implode, the CEO could be mixed up in a scandal and everyone loses, the big paycheck that is supposed to come just doesn’t because someone’s assets are frozen and you’re just out. out of money, out of provision, out of food, out of gas to put in your car, out. We put our faith in our jobs. We put our security in something completely faulty – we put our faith in things that will let us down – not maybe, but WILL let us down and disappoint us. we put our faith in the rain instead of the rain maker. we put our faith in ourselves to work harder and in the job to be there to allow us to work.. but there is nothing secure or permanent in this life. it was never meant to be this way and it won’t last forever.
how can we not feel sad? how can we not feel alone, when we put our faith in temporal things that wither and die and don’t provide for anything except maybe a false sense of security. it truly is all vanity. that is greater wisdom than we can really process. i don’t want to be sad. i don’t want to watch the news and wallow in the devastation of this world and it’s lighting-fast demise… no. i choose to trust the Rain Maker instead of the rain. i choose to focus on truth – those things that my Maker whispers to me when i think i’m surrounded by the darkest night. over the years He keeps saying to me, “It’s your choice. You choose.” I didn’t understand the first time he said that to me. I was laying in bed frozen by fear and pain desperately wanting to be intimate with my new husband, but unable to get past the images in my head of the past. and that soft gentle voice said, “it’s your choice” – i was flabbergasted. but it was true. we choose. and when we don’t want to choose, we make excuses and fall into self pity… but it’s time to choose – choose life. choose joy. choose to put away childish things and witness the glory of God in the land of the living. to do so, we have to open our eyes… and that’s our choice.