my soul (be brave)
Since January 1st, I’ve been spending time daily in Annie F. Down’s devotional book 100 Days to Brave: Devotions for Unlocking Your Most Courageous Self and recently had an eye-opening moment:
We can mourn our dead dreams.
Now there may be someone reading this and thinking, “Well, duh – yeah!” And that’s great! Go, you, for knowing that already! But I also know there are those, like me, who will pause with that thought for a while, maybe even give it a “Huh!” before carrying on, only to stop and double-back for a closer look.
Here’s the thing it illuminated for me: I can be sad. Oh, not that I necessarily want to go around with a cloak of sadness, walking around like a full-time professional mourner. No. But somehow I had got it in my head, in my heart God Himself didn’t want me to be sad. As if by being sad in any way about dreams lost, opportunities missed, mistakes made I was showing a lack of faith, of hope, of obedience. After all, when God closes a door He opens a window, right? And happy are the people whose God is the Lord, am I right?
Wellll … yes. Annnnd … no.
Yes, there is strength found in God’s joy, garments of mourning are to be exchanged for ones of praise, and merry hearts do good like a medicine … but there are struggles in this life we are not going to skip merrily through. There will be disappointments, dashed hopes, and dreams that will never see the light of day. And it is okay to be sad about them, to mourn them, BUT … But there is also hope. Hope in that mourning of moving forward all the same, knowing God is with in our dark days, our brightest-of-the-bright days, and every single gradient in-between.
My soul melts away for sorrow; strengthen me according to your word! –Psalms 119:28 (ESV)
Those 11 words – they give me hope. It’s like, hey – I can be sad andohwaitlook – hope is on the horizon! Like, super-close on the horizon! And somehow, that helps me to be brave, to face that which is lost, to trust God all the same, and to keep moving forward. Life is hard. God is good. Remember: God is good, even when life is hard. And He can handle your sadness and disappointments, your questions and fears. Because when we admit it, when we lay it out, empty our deepest hearts before Him, He can and will move in with His relentless love and hope. I’m not all the way there with this myself, but here’s the thing: We can be brave together.