There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
The only ways I know how to describe the feeling I had was either that I was lost at sea. I was bobbing up and down with the waves of life and catching air, but not really feeling that there were any life rafts. I felt very lonely and a bit paranoid that anyone else was able to help me.
Of course, through it all God was there. We had such a beautiful message on Sunday for those who were either in a season of grief or battling with something more long-term. About how God can use the broken places in us to bring healing to others and how, even in our pain, he is PRESENT with us.
Here's the link to that: http://renovatuschurch.com/#/podcast
All of this to say, it is good and necessary to remind ourselves that we are all human. That sometimes you just need to be sad for a while and sometimes you need to just CRY with someone else rather than try to cheer them up. I think as Christians and perhaps Americans, we are tempted to just put on a smile or say "I'm fine" when we're not doing so great. You don't have to let EVERYONE in to your cave, but you need to let SOMEONE into your cave. And even when your faith takes a beating, know that "Jesus wept" at the death of Lazarus. Odd, since he knew what he could do and was about to do--raise Lazarus from the dead!!! He wept because he wanted to share in the sorrow, not because he had no hope.
Be a lifeline to someone around you. Grieving alone is the worst. You don't have to have just the right words or any magic prayers. Pray for the peace of God and healing of the heart. If you sense a friend is down, ASK. Dig. Pray.
Take time to grieve when you need to. You get no brownie points in heaven for trying to paste on a happy face. Seek the Lord and His joy.
I'm doing much better these days, now that I've faced and named what was going on and have been using life boats of medicine and friends and even this blog. Joy really can come in the "morning."