An Overwhelming Sadness

I was raised in Arizona, a land teeming with sunlight and wide open spaces.  It would rain or snow, and then the sun would come out as piercing as ever.  The sky was always the brightest blue you’ve ever seen.  It never was grey.

Here in Arkansas, the winter is a dreary time.  The sky is always filled with clouds, mostly without snow or rain.  The trees are bare, everything is brown, and the sun rarely makes an appearance. 

And it’s cold.  Not as cold as it was in Flagstaff, but somehow it feels colder.  The cold here is wet.  It seeps to your very bones. 

This year, January was grey outside.  And it was grey within me.

All last fall I had student taught in a wonderful second grade classroom.  I was tired and drained, but I loved the kids.  I loved the teachers.  I loved teaching.

The plan was to graduate, get a job subbing, and then, Lord willing, an actual teaching job.  When I finished in December, my husband asked me if I would consider working at the ironworks.  They had recently had some people leave, and really needed help for a time.

Maybe this is my calling, I thought.  After all…won’t I be helping my husband?

All throughout January I worked in a small cave of an office, with hardly any light.  The little light that came in was the grey January light.  When at home, I would sit and stare out the window…aching for spring. 

I found myself wishing, praying that I would get pregnant.  Then I wouldn’t have to work at all!  I’d get to stay at home and do all of the things I loved to do…baking, sewing, homemaking.  Then I would be happy.

I am so thankful that the Lord didn’t grant that prayer then.  A child is not the way out of a pit.  My solution would have only made things worth. 

What I was failing to see was that my unhappiness was not related to my circumstances.  I had done all the homemaking things I loved while student teaching.  What I lacked now was the energy and the motivation. 

My husband was so good to me, and life was wonderfully blessed.  But despite it all I was sad and down.  I felt like my life lacked meaning.  I was lost and bitter and unhappy. I was depressed.

I was ashamed to admit it even to myself, but once I did I was able to take steps to beat it.  I began to make getting out in the sun purposeful and started taking Vitamin D.  I exercised and tried to eat better.  I started working less at the ironworks and staying home more.  I started blogging.  I planned our garden and planted seeds.  I started being purposeful in delighting in my husband and the Lord’s many blessings.  Most of all, I asked Him to come in and renew my heart…to cleanse me and make me new. I asked Him to give me joy again.

And He did.  The spring came and life returned…both to the trees and within me. 

Sometimes we feel down, depressed, or discouraged.  It can be a horrible, shameful, and lonely time.  You feel like you have no right to be down or depressed, and yet you are. 

Just know, you’re not alone. 

The spring will come.  Life will return.  For there is a Balm in Gilead.

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