My marriage was in a rough patch, my baby boy was graduating from pre-k, my best friend seemed to have replaced me, the bank account was in the red, and I couldn’t drag myself out of bed to get to the one place I needed to be on a Sunday morning. I was having a dark day– that’s what I call days when my depression and anxiety medication doesn’t seem to be working like it should. I don’t know why I couldn’t seem to get up and go to what I usually considered my refuge. Now y’al, I’m not real good with memory verses and I know I should do better, but I know somewhere in Psalms it mentions the Lord will take away troubles because He’s our shield and glory. How could He seem so distant?
I’d decided I’d had enough of covering up my grief with a happy face and positive mantras. I was tired of hiding my pain, plastering a smile on my face and pretending like life was hunky dory. I didn’t feel like going to that crowded building, lip syncing during worship and zoning out during the sermon. So I made the worst decision I could have possibly made and I stayed at home. And boy, did the devil enjoy that! He took that opportunity to make my dark day turn into a dark week. My Sunday wasn’t well spent and I certainly didn’t have a week of content. It wasn’t even Tuesday and my husband had made me madder than a wet hen, my kid couldn’t seem to do anything right, screaming at my son, and all I could do was gossip about everybody and their mama.
The Lord used everybody (and their mama) to reach out to me that week after I missed church. He opened my eyes to see I should have been at His house, forgetting my so-called troubles, and worshipping Him. He showed me there is support among all those people in that crowded building. There was nothing more I needed than to praise him for all his blessings He had poured into my life. My dark days seem so tough but I know only He can fill that void. My Sunday School teacher always says “iron sharpens iron” and I believe that with every piece of me. Nothing comforts me more than being around friends that have the same beliefs as I do. Friends that believe in the power of love, prayer, and food for the soul (yep– I mean casseroles, folks).
You know the best thing about being a Christian is we have the peace of knowing we’re forgiven. God’s mercy and grace pours into us each and every day no matter how we’re feeling or what we’re doing. Maybe we could take a lesson in grace and take it a little easier on ourselves. We will all encounter dark days when the Lord seems distant and nothing seems to be going right, but He’s never been closer than He is during those times. He’s been there and He knows everything you are experiencing at any given moment. Give Him the chance and He’ll wrap you in his arms and allow you to fall apart until you’re made whole again. Oh, what a beautiful thing it is to be loved by Him!
So, you want my advice? Get up (even on your darkest days), go to church, and quit talking about folks or expect to feel convicted in the near future!