Life is hard, and it's okay to be sad
"How are you?"
"I'm fine. Thanks for asking."
When asked how we are, most of us have a knee-jerk reaction and parrot the I'm-fine response. And honestly, most people really don't want to know how we are. They're just being polite. But there are days when we're not fine. Yesterday, the largest mass shooting on American soil was perpetrated. Watching the news unfold made me sick. Truly. It brought back emotions that I didn't want to feel again. There are days when you can become stuck in in the grip of pain, either physical or emotional or both. Days when your heart just hurts. For me, days when grief creeps up and ruins a moment . . . or more.
I'm going to be praying for the hurting hearts affected by the Las Vegas shooting. I know the uphill battle they'll wage to get back to a semblance of "normal." There are so many families who are forever changed. So many unfulfilled dreams crushed. So much innocence lost.
When the dust settles, everyone will put on their happy face and march out to the world. Which more or less is as it should be. Otherwise we'd all be sobbing over the avocados at the grocery store or weeping at the mailbox. Society couldn't handle that. But, friend, if you have faith in God you can be totally honest with Him, and it's more than okay. He understands. He didn't live in a world of rainbows and unicorns. He was a Man of Sorrows. He wept. It's a relief to be able to pour out your heart to someone who really understands and loves you. That's what I do. It helps when I give my concerns to God. It's what we're told to do, "Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you." 1 Peter 5:7 I'm not going to elaborate on the heartaches I suffer. They're personal, and I'll be fine. Grief is a weird thing. It lays in wait for you, and on days when you least expect it, it rises from the shadows and grips you in a crushing embrace. I understand that. I travel through the experience without the need to battle my emotions. I come by them honestly. And because I understand that, I believe it's okay to be sad. It's life in all its messy authenticity.
Tomorrow the sun will shine. Heartbroken folks will begin their journey to healing. I'll lift my face to the sky and feel its warmth. I'll keep marching out to the world, and eventually the grief will fade again. In the meantime, if you ask me how I am, I just may answer honestly. And that's okay. After all, I am a prisoner of hope.