Sometimes I am sad and yet I feel like sadness isn’t acceptable for a good Christian. I feel guilty for being sad. I feel like I am supposed to bury those feelings.
A good Christian always smiles in church, right? It would be unspiritual to do anything else. Doesn’t the Bible say to rejoice in all things and doesn’t it say the joy of the Lord is my strength.
So I feel like I am supposed to rejoice even when I am sad and not to do so is a sin. But isn’t that lying? That’s superficial. That’s pretending. That’s playing games. And I’m not good at that, but I try.
I pretend to have it all together. I don’t let anyone see my sadness, my grief, my pain, my hurt, my anger. I contain it. I suppress it. I don’t let it out. I stuff it. I try not to let anyone in. No one can see the real me.
I’m not afraid of it. I just feel like I’m not supposed to have those feelings. To be sad is to be weak. The joy of the Lord is my strength and so if I just had enough faith, I’d be strong. And then I wouldn’t be sad, would I?
The truth is I am sad. I miss my best friend. I miss talking to her. I miss sharing with her. We were supposed to grow old together. I hurt deeply. I have no one to talk to. I have no one to “hang out” with. No one to make me laugh. No one really understands how close we were and what losing her did to me.
I have other things going on in my life right now that make me sad and lonely. Things that hurt. Things that break my heart. I keep those to myself as well.
So what is a good Christian woman to do about this? Sadness is unacceptable but that’s what I feel. Do I continue to pretend? Do I allow everyone around me to believe that all is well?
There’s really no one who truly wants to know anything else. We ask each other, “How are you?” but we really don’t want the truth. Sometimes people don’t even wait for you to answer. It’s really just another way to say hello.
God knows my heart. I can be honest with him. I don’t have to pretend with him and it wouldn’t do any good because he knows the truth. That’s where I go. That’s where I pour out my heart. And then I wait. I wait for him to encourage me, lift me up, strengthen me, and get me going again. Time after time he does exactly that. He is faithful.
“Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your heart to him.” Psalm 62:8