Day 18 // Deep

Read: Psalm 42:1-11, Psalm 126:1-6, Nehemiah 8:10


 
Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.
— Brené Brown, author of "The Gifts of Imperfection"
 

Can I be honest?

Like, really, really honest?

I struggle with feeling sad. Not all the time, of course. But sometimes I do.

While I want to end this study with rainbows and unicorns and motivation, I also want to be real. We all experience both light and darkness. Some of us are living in a season where life is full of glitter and sparkles and all the smiley face stickers a girl could imagine. Life doesn’t seem to get any better and we let our friends know with every single status update. It’s good to celebrate this season of happiness but then there are others of us that aren’t in that state of mind, and every time we see another adorable picture of your family or latest craft project we are happy for you but hate you (just a little!).

Some of us are in a season where life is just making us feel sad. Incredibly sad. We might be smiling on the outside, but we are living with an aching soul on the inside. It hurts for us to feel this way and we want to celebrate your happiness but the honest-to-goodness-truth is that sadness is a hard season to endure. The Psalmist who wrote Psalm 42 pours out his heart by asking:

 
Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me?
— Psalm 42:5
 

Whenever I feel the sadness creep into my heart, shame is often by its’ side. Why do I feel sad when I have a roof over my head, clothes on my back, and the sweetest four people who call me wife and mom? I have so much to be thankful for yet I find myself feeling sad for the things unknown, the hope that has yet to be fulfilled, the yearning for a life lived fully and completely on purpose. Sadness turns a confident girl into the girl curled up in the corner of her closet, asking for someone to help her feel happy again. I feel like the Psalmist. But then he says,

 
Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.
— Psalm 42:5
 

What I’ve come to realize about happiness and sadness is it really has nothing to do with our circumstances and everything to do with our hearts. Our hearts have to choose hope, even when our circumstances seem hopeless. Some of the happiest people in the world are in the worst of circumstances. Don’t you believe that they are happy only because they choose to hope?

Just as the deer pants for streams of water, so our souls have to pant for God (Psalm 42:1). When the sadness creeps in, and we don’t understand why we are feeling so down, we can go to God with the deepest of our sorrows through prayer.

 
Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me.
— Psalm 42:7
 

When we go to God with our troubles and sorrows, He promises to restore our souls. Not only does He replace our sorrows with joy, but He also brings happiness back into our lives to the point where we are laughing and singing. Isn’t that crazy?

 
When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dreamed. Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, “The LORD has done great things for them.” The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy. Restore our fortunes, LORD, like streams in the Negev. Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy. Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them.
— Psalm 126:1-6
 

One of the beautiful ways of the LORD is that He allows us to suffer so we can recognize our need for a Savior. Jesus’ death and resurrection assured us that happiness can come out of any heartache. When we find ourselves feeling sad, we don’t need to feel ashamed. We need to experience our sadness, give God our pain, and have hope that soon our lives will be restored. You and I will feel happy again.

May your tears turn into songs of joy.


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Christen Price

Christen Price is a creative mess. With her gentle yet passionate voice, Christen invites you to celebrate each day through pictures, podcasts, and printables. Her heart is for creating community and she invites you to visit her website and shop her first devotional, Practice Hospitality, at christenprice.com. Christen has served as the Women's Ministry Director at Covenant United Methodist Church and is a contributor to The M.O.M. Initiative. She and her husband Raleigh are the parents of three and live in the country just outside the Dothan city limits. For life between the posts, connect with her on Facebook or on Instagram @chris10price.