Friday, February 15, 2008

Sadness


I am sad. 

There, I've admitted it.  I've been sad for a while and resisted blogging about it, but the more I thought about it, I realized some of you might be sad, too.  So here you go:  it's okay to be sad.  

Sadness is not depression.  I know depression, though not well, and I know it comes on like a thunderstorm and hangs overhead without rhyme or reason. I know depression is often due to things beyond our control (like hormones and brain chemistry), and when I'm occasionally depressed I can't even figure out why.  Depression is the blues, it's the blahs, and it's hard to shake off. 

But sadness . . . that condition results because something or someone is doing/has done something that evokes sadness in us.  I'm not going into my reasons for my sadness (some things, after all, are too personal to publish even on a personal blog), and it's hard enough to admit that sadness exists in an otherwise perfectly contented life. 

The other day I watched HAIRSPRAY, the movie, and as it opened, the main character came out singing a song. The gist of it was "Hello, beautiful day, I'm ready for an adventure," and I gaped at the actress with a feeling of deja vu.  I used to feel exactly like that.  In high school and even into college, I was one of those googly-eyed, eternally optimistic people who loves life and really doesn't feel sad about much. 

Then I began to experience life.  And, as I was reading this morning, I learned that "Sorrow is better than laughter, for sadness has a refining influence on us."  (Ecc. 7:3).  

How nice . . . I'm being refined.  :-/  And here I thought that was for snooty girls in finishing schools. 

I don't want pity, though I would be grateful for a few prayers. My faith has never been stronger and my marriage is great. I'm not suicidal and I'm not depressed.  I'm able to put my sadness on a shelf and do my work and write happy stories and pepper my emails with smiley faces. 

But the sadness is there, just beneath the surface, cresting and retreating like waves on a shore.
 
Today one of my characters said something I've been thinking, and we stopped and wept together.  Me and Gerald, in the funeral home, crying over the little boy on the table and a whole lot more.  (I've given Gerald a sadness akin to mine, and I'm not sure he's entirely grateful.) 

So . . . if you're sad, I want you to know I understand. And God understands. Jesus wept over his friends and he wept over Jerusalem. And the Father says our tears are so precious that he keeps them in a bottle (Ps. 56:8). 

And remember--the story isn't finished and through it all, we're being refined.  So hold your heads up, dear ones. And know that every tear has been counted and treasured. 

~~Angie 

18 comments:

sara said...

"But the sadness is there, just beneath the surface, cresting and retreating like waves on a shore". This sentence hit me like a ton of bricks today, because it completely explained what I am feeling. Thank you for putting into words what I have not been able to. I am choosing Joy in my circumstance and looking to see the power and presence of the Lord. I am certainly finding Him there...how comforting to know that my tears have been counted and treasured!!!

Kay said...

Thank you for your transparency, Angie. I think it is especially meaningful because people see you as being accomplished. You are living some people's dream and you are well known and many time people get confused and expect certain people to be beyond these parts of life, I think.

I appreciate it. And I relate. Also, sometimes, I feel most alive when I am sad.

As I write, there are diamonds in my trees! It is spectacular!

Angela said...

Diamonds in Kay's trees and joy in Sara's circumstances! How beautifully those fit together!

Angie

Brooke said...

Angie, thanks for sharing...a blessing to me.

Angie in Arkansas said...

Hello. I am the new fan who emailed you a couple of weeks ago wishing for more of your work for the Kindle. (I purchased the two novels they offer.) Your writing blesses me in such a profound way (I just finished "Unspoken"....oh, Sema!)

Today I send you my love in the Lord and tell you "I understand."

Many blessings,
With a prayer,
Angie in Arkansas

Kathy said...

I'm with you. But my feelings aren't for that personal of a reason--we've hit some snags in our adoption and our paperwork is at a stand still. We knew over a year ago that these twins were meant to be part of our family, but it could be another year before they come home, if at all. Please cover our paperwork and the the heart of a couple of Haitian officials with prayer and know I'll be praying for you!

Carrie K. said...

I'm sorry, Angie. I will be praying.

Dana said...

Gosh, has anyone ever told you you're a good writer? Maybe you should do it full-time. ;-) Wonderful post, wonderfully written.

Amy Beth @ Ministry So Fabulous! said...

I understand and am trying to not reside there as well.

So much to say, just not now.

Elsi Dodge said...

I'm sorry you're sad. But I must take issue with one thing: depression is not the blues, the blahs. Depression is a heavy, wet blanket that deadens everything, that is too heavy to crawl out from under on your own, that can easily become your entire universe. If sadness is about something that happened, as you indicated, it can be dealt with. Depression just rolls over you, crushing you as it inexorably grinds along. Only God can deal with it ... and praise Him, He does, in His time.

Anonymous said...

Yes. Sadness. Sorry it is visiting you now. Thank you, sister for sharing. Your transparency blesses, and prayers will be more specific now. Be sure of it.
Blessings,
Mary Kay

Ruth said...

Thanks for your transparency, Angie. I can SO relate. Sending you lots of love in the Lord! :)

Nicole said...

I think the sadness creeps in under the door when the sorrows of the world inflate, when the unanticipated hurts lash out undetected by those with the sword, and when the human reality clashes with the heavenly hopes.

Been there. NO fun. You seem so resilient by God's design. Praying for you.

The Koala Bear Writer said...

It's hard, when everyone sees you as being the cheerful, upbeat person, to admit to sadness... And yet it hits those people too. Thanks for being transparent.

Anonymous said...

Angie - thank you for trusting us with this news. I can see by all the previous posts that I am not alone in holding you up in prayer as you go through this. I have been going through a similar time and even made "Be Grateful" one of my Lenten disciplines. It's working, but slowly. These are difficult times we are living in, and we each will find our best ways to cope. God knows what is best for us. That's why we trust Him. Clyde

Mocha with Linda said...

I appreciate so much your authenticity and willingness to be real with us. I pray that this is a short season for you.

Blessings,
Linda

CrownLaidDown said...

And, my friend, I will weep with those who weep. I understand sad...and I think I have been, but the eternally happy optimist in me is trying to rear its head again!

I'm sad because my husband needs a job and I want him to have one he enjoys. That's my prayer for me.

I will pray for you, too! You are in a "yet moment," I can feel it--I will YET Praise Him. I will, too!
Much love,
holly

Mel's World said...

Amen Angela!

I think we too foten forget that sadness is an emotion that is just as important as happiness and joy. I, like you, was and still am at times, the googly eyed girl who only sees the roses and sunshine...that is until life showed me the thorns and rain clouds.

I have had to learn over the years that the sadness is just a season in preparation for the joy. I am sure that it happens for a reason (because God is just so awesome like that) and am starting to learn to celebrate (as best I can) in the sadness.

Sometimes I just hang on (for dear life) to "this too shall pass".

Thanks for your honesty and openess in this post...

xoxo,
Melissa in Mel's World