A few days ago I texted a friend who I found out later was having a really rough day. I shared with her these two quotes that had stuck with me recently.
Suffering is a gap. Like a wedge. It’s the gap between the world you want and the world you got. (Quoted by Stephanie Ingram, found on instagram.)
Just because you’re sad doesn’t mean you’re not grateful and you’re not hopeful…Sadness and grief and mourning and lamenting and crying and screaming and being angry- these are ways we honor what was lost…Sadness is the soul’s way of saying “THIS MATTERED!” I think grieving and feeling all the emotions you feel…I think its a holy work. And its scary to go down those dark roads but those feelings don’t leave you. You have to feel it. You can’t fake the rest of your life like nothing bad happened and whistle a happy tune all day. That’s not what it is to be human…You don’t have to feel guilty about. being sad…I used to believe if I was sad, it meant I wasn’t fighting hard enough or I wasn’t grateful enough, and that’s not true. Be sad and be grateful. And look at the twinkly lights and feel your feelings. It’s all real. The joy and the pain are all real and you don’t have to pick one or the other; life is beautiful or life is garbage. It’s kinda both sometimes. ~Nightbirde
I wonder why as people of faith we often think that grieving, sadness, and anger are not ok, when it’s part of our human experience. I have spent a year learning to feel my feelings- all the ones I wasn’t willing to acknowledge and let my gut feel instead. I’ve learned that it’s healthy to grieve when we have lost something or someone we love. It is healthy to cry, and to even acknowledge our anger. Those things are not incompatible with faith. I used to think it was unrighteous to yell at God, and then I did it. But I think He could handle it. I was telling him exactly how I felt and He listened to me. And then he helped me find my way through the anger to a more soothing place. I thought I shouldn’t feel so much fear because I was a woman of faith so I tried to push is down and ignore it…and yet it took me a long time to realize that God is the one who can help me overcome fear so acknowledging the fear is a big part of moving past it and overcoming it. I think we sometimes think God expects us to be more than human- and he does…eventually. But today I am VERY human- and I’m pretty darn sure that He knows that, and that all He expects of me is one small step today. And even if I trip doing that, or get stuck, or fall, or paralyzed or any number of things, He’ll still help me with the next part. And the next. He loves me no matter what, and is so merciful and compassionate- way more than I can possibly understand. His love is never-ending for me…and you.