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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Embracing Sadness at the ‘Happiest’ of Times

Sadness is a thing demanding to be attended to. It resides below injustices suffered, unmet desires, unfulfilled dreams, and frustration. If we do not respect our sadness, we inevitably have our anger or ill-health to deal with. Sadness is, hence, a thing to be embraced. But we can only do that arm-in-arm with Jesus.
And, no matter the time of year – even at Christmas time, or any other celebration time – there is room for sadness. Sadness demands to be attended to.
Perhaps you have heard that at weddings there is the availability of grief; at funerals, also, there is the availability of relief.
Just because it’s a ‘happy’ time does not mean we are forced to conform.
God wants us just as we are, unapologetically ourselves, being true to whatever feelings prevail.
It is only when we can be true to ourselves within the midst of our feelings – honouring the truth in our being honest – that God will heal us.
If we won’t deal with our inner grief – the unrequited sadness of loss – we will develop a maladaptive response.
Our hurts will hurt others. And this is particularly dangerous if we are in the position of leadership or influence over others.
Maintenance over our sadness, being true to the feelings we have for the experiences of life we’ve been exposed to, is crucial for sound health: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual.
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In concluding this little article I want to pretend it’s me and you who are, individually, angry about something we cannot affect in our lives.
Perhaps we’ve been unjustly treated. Maybe a dream has been shattered.
If we feel bitter, we need to confess it before God, but not so much to make us feel worse; simply in order to ask divine help for a softening to occur over the issue.
The sadness of bitterness is a tragedy evoking fear in our relationships.
The sadness of disappointment, likewise, is a stumbling block to despair.
If we feel disappointed, we need likewise to confess if before God, but not in a way we feel bad for being ungrateful; simply in order that we might be shown a new and better plan.
Sadness embraced opens the path to faith, hope, and love.
Only as we call our realities for what they truly are – which takes courage and humility birthed out of wisdom – do we stand to be shown the way.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.

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