Today I am continuing on my journey with other bloggers through the book “Behind Those Eyes” by Lisa Whittle and hosted by Lelia at WriteFromTheHeart.
I begin this post by saying that I really don’t want to write anything. I know part of this journey is to be authentic and real, but my heart is just so void of emotion that I don’t want to be real today. I don’t want to be authentic and I don’t want to be honest. I want to put on my Ms Happiness face and go on with my day. But that is not what I am to be learning today. I am to be learning to be real, authentic and honest. Today, I don’t like it but I will do it.
Lisa begins this chapter with a quote from Job. “He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy”. (Job 8:21) The message reads: “God will let you laugh again; you’ll raise the roof with shouts of joy”. God will let me laugh again. I am waiting for that day. As many of you know I haven’t cried in 5 years. I don’t think it’s been quite that long since I really laughed but probably close to it.
It seems as though the past few years have been filled with one disappointment after another. My husbands’ illness has changed our lives and our marriage. The loss of my job, ministry, church and friends last year nearly sent me to the grave due to overwhelming grief. My children are grown and really don’t need me any longer. I am going to be 50 in just 10 short days and I feel as though my life and purpose are over. Is this what they call Mid-Life Crisis? I honestly didn’t think it would happen to me.
Ecclesiastes 3 says in part that there is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven. There is a time to mourn and a time to dance. I think I must be in the mourning season. So, someday maybe I’ll dance again.
As I read this week’s chapter I could closely identify with each tactic and thought Ms Happiness uses and searches for. I search for happiness through work, food, friends, relationships, my children and granddaughter, ministry, blogging, or any other person, place or thing that might bring some joy to my life. All of the above bring momentary satisfaction but no real lasting joy.
Depression comes when you lest expect it and affects every aspect of your life. It is not just your ‘feelings’ that change. Everything about you is affected including your physical health, which if you have read any of my blog posts this summer you will see I have struggled physically over the past few months.
I do know where joy comes from. I know the source of lasting joy. I know God loves me and desires to have my heart find joy in Him. I trust God with every aspect of my life. I know He cares for my family and my relationships. He is my redeemer and my source of strength. He is my strong tower and my refuge.
Lisa states: :True joy comes from within when we are operating in our life in the way that pleases God". I suppose that today those words mean I am not operating in a way that pleases God. Guilt and depression loom larger.
I would love to say that this chapter lifted my heart and I am filled with joy right now. But honesty is needed here and I cannot say those words. I know in a few days or weeks I will feel better, but today, not so much. I have closed off my feelings for so long that I am numb to them. Some day the joy which seems so elusive today will return as I sit at the feet of my Jesus and am once again filled in His presence but today I cannot grasp it.
Ms Happiness is calling my number so, after I have hit the publish button and this whiny post is made public, I will close the door to my home office and put on Ms Happiness and go to work. The emptiness, loneliness and pain will be tucked away for another day. I will purposefully place one foot in front of the other when I would rather be in bed or worse. I will carry out the duties of the day with a smile on my face and then host a ladies night at our church. I will come home and go to bed pulling the covers over my head, not wanting to ever get up, only to wake up and do it all over again the next day.
I won’t forget the words I have read this week and I will pray fervently regarding them but God will need to do a lot of work to penetrate my heart and reach inside to awaken my spirit again.
I am sorry this post is such a drag. Honesty is ugly sometimes.
Don't feel sorry for me today. It is just a season of life. Change and transformation are hard. Being faced with the realities of life at times cause us to reflect on what used to be. I know there is hope for my future but today I just don't see it. I will! In time!
My prayer is that each of you were able to grasp on to the truths Lisa wrote about in this chapter. Her words are honest. I will leave you today with a scripture Lisa quoted in her book.
"You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy." Psalm 30:11 NLT
Considering It All Joy,
**As I sat on my bed this morning with my Bible in my hands thinking of the scripture: Why so downcast O my soul, God took my to Psalm 103 instead.
"Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise th Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits~who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's". Psalm 103:1-5
I cannot say that I am dancing, but I have hope today. I am going to the Grand Canyon this weekend with my husband and boys. It will be our first trip together in 19 years (we never travel). Please pray that as I stand and search the vastness of who God is and what He has created, that He meets me there and joy fills my weary soul.**