(An important note before going any further, please keep in mind that I am not a psychologist and have no training in counseling. If you suffer with chronic depression or any other mental health issues, please consult a licensed and trained counselor/psychologist before using my experience as an excuse to not get help. I write to share my experience and encourage my readers to look for our loving Father in their own day to day ordinary experiences not to give medical or mental health advice.)
I learned at a pretty young age how uncomfortable feelings such as sadness, darkness, and depression can be swept under the rug and ignored...and I will be honest, I quickly became an expert at sweeping those feelings away to face (or to not face) another day. Eventually, the dam would unleash itself into a torrent of uncontrollable moments hurting those around me and I realized the practices I learned as a child were not healthy for me (or anyone around me) anymore.
I have recently been experiencing some elongated moments of darkness and rather than sweep them away, I decided to try something new. I have been forcing myself to stay with the darkness, face it, and feel it. I guess you could say it's becoming sort of a spiritual discipline for me right now.
As I've allowed myself to sit and feel the disquiet within my heart, I have begun to look for where the Lord is. As I look for Him, I'm realizing I have a companion who sits with me. As I sit in my own darkness, I've found so much comfort in the ways my Companion is choosing to reveal Himself to me.
I've felt Him through the presence of my dog as he seems to feel my deep sadness and won't leave my side.
I've heard Him in the joy-filled laughter of my children as they joke and play with each other.
I've felt Him in the tears running down my cheeks as I sit in my doubts and insecurities.
I've seen Him through the eyes of my husband as he listens to my struggling heart.
There's comfort in knowing that God is here with me not just in my joys, laughter, and moments of tranquility, but especially in my times of deep sorrow, tears, and upheaval.
I'm finding a deep peace begin to settle in as I allow myself to feel these discomforting feelings, ask God where He is in the midst of it all, and actively look for the moments He chooses to reveal Himself to me in ways He knows I will find Him.
There is great comfort in knowing He sees me, feels my pain, and is holding my hand as we walk together through this time of darkness.
If you are experiencing your own time of darkness, my prayer is that you would sense the Lord sitting with you and that you would be able to hear Him say, "I am here."