I am a pretty upbeat person. I love laughing. I love encouraging other people along their journeys. I love to see the brightness in life, even in some of the stormiest moments.
However, this past week was rough. We got confirmation that I wasn’t pregnant. We had to say goodbye to our foster puppy who was adopted. There were just a lot of little things that added up to a pretty stinky week.
And I’ve felt guilty about it. I like the idea that people see me as a positive light, a smile when they feel down. I like being that person that people know will cheer them up. To have a storm cloud above doesn’t seem to fit into this persona I’ve grown attached to, and I’ve been doing the best I can to try to shake these feelings away.
But I’m having a difficulty shaking it off. However, shaking it off might not be the answer.
Instead, I realized yesterday that it’s not a sin to be sad. It’s uncomfortable, for sure. It’s a place we don’t like to stay in. But it’s not wrong or selfish to be frustrated. It’s what we do in the depth of that sadness that makes the difference.
I was thinking about this in one of the best thinking places, the shower. I get the greatest epiphanies there. I was thinking about how Jesus was sad – at Lazarus’s death, in the Garden of Gethsemane. And then I realized something else.
No one was attracted to Jesus because he was perfect. They were attracted to Jesus because he didn’t require anyone else to be perfect in order to be in relationship with him. No one followed Jesus because he was perky or positive all the time. They followed him because he spoke truth into the lives of those around him.
It’s okay for me to be sad. It’s important to share these kinds of feeling with others, because it’s okay for others to be sad too. It’s okay for me to be frustrated with today, because it doesn’t change the faith I have in tomorrow.
Solomon was right. There is a time to rejoice, and there is a time to mourn. It’s what helps me get through these low points. I can dive deep in sadness because I know that eventually I will surface again, holding the hand of the Heavenly Father. The One who sees me through both the shadows and the sunlight.