The Great Sadness

Have you ever had people insinuate that because you're saved you cannot experience deep, long lasting sadness? Have you ever felt the conversation of sadness gets shut down or like you have to pretend you have it all together because of others' reactions? Does it seem like our conversations of sadness are shut down prematurely because of others' insistence that we can't be sad because we have Jesus? Have you ever been afraid of being judged?

I take a pill similar to the purple pill but still have heartburn if I'm not careful with what I eat. It would be a fallacy to claim I will never again experience heartburn because I take a pill. What it does indicate, however, is that there are other factors at play.

I have felt a pervasive sadness all my life. I wasn't saved until I was 30. Because I have been abused I often feel a strong sense of hopelessness. It's something I often have to fight through in order to get on with my day. Sometimes it feels like a man wearing boxing gloves is waiting there to pummel me should I become too hopeful. I think this is a mixture of temperament and life experience.

Growing up I never felt there was much hope. I had talent, and skills, and even opportunity, but felt that many of these were circumvented or were left untended to. When you've been abused you often feel there is a target sign on your back and like you've been marked for failure. It makes you feel like nothing you do will ever succeed and like the answer in life will always be no.

I was bullied very badly at school and in the neighborhood. I always had to watch my back. I was treated unfairly and was kept out of almost everything going on at school. I even had to quit activities I had loved such as chorus and violin. 

It makes you feel like life is out to get you.

If you've been called hideous names it makes you feel all those things are true.

I've often felt my life was just a mistake. Or like I should just hide away from everyone.

I understand what it means to cry yourself to sleep every night. I could practically bathe myself in my tears. My life has not made a ton of sense to me. Perhaps yours hasn't either. I share this story because perhaps there is someone out there who has been pained to the point where they can no longer see the sun for the shadows.

Forcing a smile or forging a denial of our feelings makes Christianity appear to be a repressed religion and draws others away from it instead of to it. Nobody wants to join a group of soul-sucking sourpuss pretenders. I'm sorry, but it's true. Our hard experiences give us depth which the world is actually drawn unto, especially when they see the peace we have because Jesus is walking by our side. No one wants to go through life smiling through gritted teeth. Some would more willingly go to hell than do that. 

Let me put it another way. We want to put a good face on Christianity to draw other people in. We have good intentions. When, however we mask our deep sadness with a plastic smile and fake feel-good feelings to 'put on a good face', it has the opposite effect. We come off stilted and weird. It makes other people want nothing to do with Christianity because they don't want to go through life pretending to be happy. Like us. Everyone knows we're miserable. It is so unsavory that some people may willingly choose hell as a result. 

Simply expressing naturally, God-given feelings of sadness is not a sin. 

Understand that David felt great sadness and poured out his heart before God without pretending. Elijah was deeply depressed after he was threatened with death by Queen Jezebel. Jonah also experienced deep sadness after Ninevah repented, which even though it was a strange way for him to feel, God talked him through it without anger. 

If you are a person who has experienced the great sadness, look up, for there is hope. Pour out your heart to God without censorship, for He hears you. 

Like Joseph of the Bible who was thrown into a pit, you may have had things done to you that were intended for evil. Be assured that God means them for good. It doesn't mean that it doesn't hurt or that you will not cry an ocean of tears.

But what it does mean is that God will intend what happened for good. Perhaps He will have you to speak life into the aches of another. Perhaps you will be the one to start the organization against whatever it is you know all too well about. Perhaps you will be the one to comfort that struggling soul who thinks she's all alone.

Out of my sense of utter worthlessness and of being unwanted God has spurred me to work on behalf of children whose mothers want to abort them. I understand something of what it means to not be welcomed into this world. All is to His glory.

Be encouraged. Sadness is a human emotion and can follow a devastating set of circumstances. The feelings, though they be strong, sometimes speak more about the past than the present. Ask God for help to see the rays of sunshine behind the clouds. If you're sitting in God's hand, you are basking in God's love whether you feel it or not. 

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