We just celebrated Mother’s Day. What a wonderful day for me personally! I adore my family and am thankful that they took the time to make my day special. My Facebook news feed was overflowing with beautiful pictures, tributes and love for motherhood. However, it also had some sad stuff. There were Mom’s who were missing their children who have died. There were children who were missing Mom’s who had died. There were blogs from women who want children so desperately bad and sharing how Mother’s Day is a very hard day for them.
This past week, one of our children had a decision to make. We allowed this child to make this decision all on their own. They made it, were confident with their decision and acted upon it. The next day, however, this child was NOT happy. I knew something was wrong and I asked this child what was wrong. “Nothing,” was the cold reply. I asked them to my room and told them we weren’t leaving until they told me. This precious child then shared, in tears, how the decision that was made did not turn out as hoped.
The irony is that we had a fun evening planned with our kids. Everyone in the family was in a happy mood – excited over the family outing! All were happy – except this one child. I said, “Honey, that was the decision you made. Sometimes we have to live with our decisions.” To which my child replied, “Isn’t it okay to be sad?”
That is a good question isn’t it?
Recently, I heard knew of someone who was newly diagnosed with Transverse Myelitis. They were receiving immediate treatment and a diagnosis and were going to recover. I would be lying to you if I did not think, “Why couldn’t that have been me?” It evoked a long series of text messages between and dear friend and I as we worked our way through that. It had made us both stop and relive some things. Thank God for precious friends!
There are always things in our life, that if we think about them, will immediately stab our hearts with pain. The Bible talks in Ecclesiastes that there is a time to mourn, and a time to laugh. I gave a talk once to a group of ladies not long after I had been paralyzed. I have always handled my heartaches with laughter – “a merry heart doeth good” right? As usual, I was telling a few funny stories to make all of us more comfortable and then I got into my talk. When I finished, this lady (who had known me since I was a child) said (condescendingly), “You act like you have fun being paralyzed!!” I totally was taken off guard by that. My first instinct was to scream, “ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!” My second instinct was to say, “Would you have preferred I cried the entire talk?” My response though was, “Well, it is what it is and you make the best of it.” However, I left questioning myself. “Did I present honestly? Did I make it sound fun? Should I make my talks more sad?”
As my beautiful child looked at me, with tears streaming down their cheeks, asking me if it was okay to be sad, I prayed for wisdom. I immediately thought of this precious person recovering from Transverse Myelitis. Is it okay for me to be sad that I didn’t recover so well?
I gathered my hurting baby in my arms and said, “Yes, it is okay to be sad. But, we can’t let the sadness of yesterday ruin our happiness today.”
Life can be sad. Disabilities are sad. Broken homes are sad. Barren women are sad. Ruined relationships are sad. Bad health is sad. Death is sad. This broken world is sad. Is it okay to be sad? Yes, but we mustn’t let our sadness ruin our joy.
Honestly, I am thrilled this young lady is recovering. I pray every day God will restore every single nerve in her body! God is just writing her story different from mine – that is all. I can go on in sadness, or I can rejoice in my blessings that God cares so much about each of our lives, that He personalizes our stories. No copies. A unique story written by the Master Author.
My child was sad. As his mom, I want my children to be happy. This child learned something though. He learned that his parents cared about his heart. He learned that life sometimes doesn’t go the way we like, and he learned that sadness is allowed but cannot control.
We must not wallow in our sadness. It can become a disease that strips us of gratitude, perspective and the simple beauty of looking around you and counting your own personal blessings.
Are you feeling sad today?
- Stop and thank God for 10 things in your life.
- Focus on what you have that is happy.
- Put the brakes on in your mind and turn those thoughts around.
- Get your eyes on Jesus and all that He has done for you.
Praying your day is wrapped in the joy of the Lord!