Today I feel great. More than great, actually. I’ve smiled enough today that the corners of my mouth are sore, but I’m definitely not complaining. It’s nice to come out the other side of a dry spell. I guess that’s what I’ll call it. I’m talking about that barren place of your emotions where you feel empty, where you feel as if you resemble the desert floor when it hasn’t rained in a long time. Dry, open, weeping, even without tears. You’re even too empty to cry.
Last week I experienced a span of days where I awoke feeling downtrodden. In the mornings I would even awake with my heart racing, trying to remember the dreams that had kept my subconscious spinning, the ones that must have had some purpose if they left me feeling so anxious and coming apart. Through the day I would worry on simple issues, the nonexistent problems that I somehow tried to make matter more. I would imagine trouble when it shouldn’t even be a thought, and I guess what bothers me the most about that is it’s the total opposite of who God has created me to be.
One of my down days I actually sat by the pool with a book, my adoring husband beside me, and my darling children playing before me. My life was surreal, spectacular, amazing. So I couldn’t for the life of me understand why I felt so bothered. As I prayed for an answer I felt one come.
This is how I am answering your prayers.
Over the past year especially I had asked God for more of Himself. I wanted to draw closer in my walk with the Lord. I wanted to be used by Him. I wanted Him to rid me of everything that wasn’t in line with that. So it occurred to me that Him allowing me to feel the temporary, intermittent emotions of anxiety was for sure a way to increase my dependence on Him. It wasn’t that I felt He caused these feelings. No. They definitely were not of God or what He intended for my life. Instead, they were the side effects of a sinful, fallen world. So while He had all authority and power to break the chains of anxiety and rid me of the spirit of depression, I also saw how allowing these things to touch me drew me into closer dependence and trust on Him. His power was indeed made perfect in my weakness.
Last week I felt like I was running on empty. I wonder sometimes if it’s just being a woman. Or maybe it’s being a working mom. But other times I realize it’s just part of the human condition. Throughout my brief episode of unhappiness, I did persist in joy. Did I feel joyful?! No, not really, but under the surface of my visceral emotions flowed a steady stream of certainty. It was the joy of knowing the Lord held me, even if I couldn’t feel it. It was the river of the Holy Spirit, my faith in Him. So many times when I felt hopeless in my emotions I would simply repeat the same phrases to Jesus.
I trust you.
I love you.
Slowly I climbed out of the pit, and I am certain the rope thrown to me was divinely woven in patient love. Though I couldn’t see the way out I never let go of that rope, and He never let go of me. I am reminded of the familiar Psalm, Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.
Thank you, Lord, that my joy is here, it has never left, and it never will.