-A Woman Of Sorrow-
I am no stranger to sorrow. Wherever I go, it seems like darkness tries to follow. Anger, worry, bitterness, sadness, scar tissue—they cling to me like a parasite, sucking every ounce of life I have within me. It almost seems as if I left the womb with a gloomy cloud tangled around my head. For me, I am more naturally inclined to sorrow than I am joy. There are times where life weighs down on my shoulders and fogs my vision. There are days when I do not know who I am—days that I lose sight of the One who calls me His. Some days it is hard to get out of bed, to eat, to feel alive. I disregard the sunlight when it peers through my window shades, I treat the day as if it were my enemy. I curse the mirror I gaze into and try to call down lightning on my own head. If this is you too, then this article was written for you.
There are plenty of reasons as to why we can feel such brokenness. I want to go through a few of these reasons with your and analyze them more in-depth. Here are a few examples:
- A skewed view of who Christ is.
- Past trauma and brokenness that has yet to be resolved.
- A lack of trust in the One who knitted you together in the womb and loves you beyond what words can express.
- Focusing on ourselves and how we feel, never taking our focus off ourselves
- Not guarding our hearts
- A life lacking satisfaction
- Chemical imbalances and mental illness
There are many factors as to why depression and anxiety disorders are so prevalent in people, but in my own life I have discovered two truths to my dilemma… First truth: I have a chemical imbalance that causes my moods to affect me in negative ways. Second truth: I am only affected by this imbalance when I am not clinging to Jesus, the author and perfecter of my faith (Hebrews 12:2).
As Christians we are still susceptible to illnesses, whether physical or mental. Although sickness and trial are a seemingly unconquerable force, the truth is that our God is an everlasting stronghold that we can run to in times of fear, trouble, and brokenness.
When I first learned that I had a chemical imbalance, I was prescribed medication and directed to change my lifestyle. I tried everything to help my moods, from medication to “eating better” and “being more active”. All those tips were beneficial, but I needed more. For about a year I was in a constant rollercoaster between feeling better and getting worse. I often stopped taking my medication, trying to convince myself that I did not need it anymore., but every time I stopped taking my medication, my life would spiral downhill fast. On some of my worst days, I was a completely different person. I always apologized for my behavior, claiming that it was not me. But it was me, I was just fighting for survival.
I wanted help, but I had no energy to find it. I tried going to counseling but became so uninterested with life that I just gave up. I became fed up with having to rely on such temporary things to have joy. I had enough of “talking about my feelings” and crying sessions. I was tired of feeling like a walking zombie, I was tired of wanting my existence to cease. One day I fell on my knees and surrendered it all to Jesus. I asked the Lord to bring healing into my life. I decided to stop relying on my own efforts of healing and turned to the Healer instead.
I am not saying that medical attention is not required or useful, I am only sharing my testimony. So, please, if you are suffering from any type of medical issue, get help. God gave us enough brains to discover the healing properties in plants and chemicals, so let’s use them!
It wasn’t a formula that brought healing to my life, instead it was constant and fervent prayers that caused the gloomy cloud over my head to finally cease. I had to reevaluate who I was in Christ, that I was loved, saved, safe, protected, known, and cared for. Getting on my knees before the Lord and finding my peace in Him was all I needed. But even if my sickness persisted and healing never came, I would still praise the Lord for all He has done.
Of course, there are still days that I feel I am being crushed under a semi-truck, but on those days, I just remember who my God is. I often used to think that I was too complicated for relationships and too messed up for anyone to truly love me. Then it hit me—God created my brain the exact way He wanted to. Yes, it may have some issues, but if those issues bring me closer to Christ, then I want those issues. In fact, I would go through anything in order to know who Christ is, because that’s how valuable a relationship with our Savior is. He sees me, the depressed mess that I am, and He continues to love me. He will never shame me for struggling, but instead reassure me of where true joy comes from. He sees my struggles, as small or big as they may be, and He aids me through them. People grow weary of uplifting those who are sorrowful, but God does not. In fact, He never grows weary. He offers rest to us, as said in Matthew 11:28-30,
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
We can also rest in knowing that God’s Spirit lives in us. The Spirit gives comfort, peace, and all that is good, as said in 2 Timothy 1:7,
“for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”
I may not have joy in myself, but I have found true joy in Christ. That is all I need.