I’m pretty sure you are all liars. Maybe you don’t even realize you are doing it. But every time you curate your life to look more appealing – whether it be with beauty products, Instagram filters or a simple “I’m fine” – you are lying to me.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m a liar too. I’ve spent years pulling together pieces of my life and hiding others to get the perfect exhibit to show my family and friends. But at the end of the performance I put on daily, I’m left exhausted and in pain.
My struggle with depression unearthed a lot of questions I have about this life. But the one that remains on the forefront of my mind is this – How does anyone survive this life?
Life Is Hard
This life is cruel. It demands we be perfect and pretty and put together. This life is unfair. It allows one woman to have children and another to struggle to have a family. This life is loss. It takes those we love from us. This life is heartbreaking. It is full of verbal, physical, and sexual abuses. This life is extremely painful and unbearable at times.
This is why I am pretty sure we are all liars. We lie to ourselves and we lie to each other. I’ll never tell my girlfriend that when she called to tell me the news she was engaged, I was on the floor in tears with a knife to my wrist. Our worlds clashed as she rejoiced and I despaired. And while she called everyone she knew to share her joy, I hid my pain. And that made the pain all the more unbearable.
Jesus knew pain. He wept at the grave of Lazarus. We don’t see instances of Jesus laughing in the Bible. But we do see Him in tears – over and over again. Isaiah tells us He was a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief. And as He stood at the grave of Lazarus, even though He was about to raise him from the dead, Jesus wept. He expressed His grief. He paused to show compassion to His friends who had experienced such a loss. Jesus wept, not in private, but before His peers. And He recorded it all for us to read about. Jesus showed us His pain.
Weeping May Endure The Night
We all know how to share joy. We all know how to celebrate each other. But we do a terrible job of sharing the pain and sorrow associated with this life.
There is a time and a place for joy. And there is a time and a place for sorrow. We are not to hide away the pain and sorrow we experience.
We are not to use it to play the victim either. But there is a time that we are to sit in our pain and shed our tears, and I hate it. I hate being the girl that weeps in church. I don’t weep because there is some magical God moment happening and the Holy Spirit is moving me to tears; because I am in pain. I weep because sometimes God doesn’t seem like a Good Father; because sometimes His presence seems to leave me. Because His promises seem to go unfulfilled in my life. I weep because this life is extremely painful and unbearable at times. Yet, there is always hope.
We read the story of Lazarus and we see Jesus immediately working to restore hope. And if you’re anything like me, you think Jesus should immediately respond to us in our pain and restore our hope. It doesn’t work like that.
Some of us spend months crying out to God for our heart’s desires. We spend years in pain, dealing with the sorrow that life has delivered to us. We spend a lifetime spiraling into despair as our expectations of this world, of others and of God go unmet. Where do we find hope?
Joy Comes In The Morning
Our hope is this – God hears us. Just because He doesn’t act doesn’t mean that He doesn’t hear and know. God knows our pain. He is sitting in it with us. He’s working something in us that’s better for us. That’s why when I look at my life and what I expected it to be versus what God made it to be, I am so thankful that God said “no” over and over again.
It’s no mistake that hope and pain are constant companions in the Word of God. They are written about again and again throughout the Psalms. Pain, joy, sorrow, happiness, tears, laughter – the Psalms is a whole spectrum of life’s emotions. In the Psalms, we see the freedom the authors had to express their pain and we see the hope they had for joy.
“God hears us. Just because He doesn’t act doesn’t mean that He doesn’t hear and know. God knows our pain. He is sitting in it with us. He’s working something in us that’s better for us.”
Psalm 30:5 “Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.”
My night lasted several years. Maybe yours has lasted a lifetime. The truth of this verse is more in what it doesn’t say than what it does say. It doesn’t say, you’ll be sad tonight, but eventually you will be happy and get everything you ever wanted. God doesn’t promise us happy lives. He does promise us that we will rejoice – rejoice over what He has given us and rejoice over what He hasn’t given us. But before the joy comes, before we can rejoice, there is a time for mourning. There is a time for weeping.
The Freedom To Express Your Emotions
Let’s stop curating our lives. Let’s stop pretending that we have it all together and nothing bothers us. We are only making the pain more unbearable for ourselves and those around us. Let’s celebrate the joys in life. But let’s also share the pain.
So how are you doing today? Really? Let us know in the comments below if you have ever experienced depression, or if there is any way we can pray for you today.
About the Author
Jenny Gericke is a writer, Interior Designer, God-follower and new wife. Her joy is inspiring others to live in the imperfection of life. She believes some of the happiest moments in life happen in the messy, ugly, and complicated. You can follow her writing and design work over at Gather Home and Design.
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