Then David got up from the floor, washed himself, put lotions on, and changed his clothes. Then he went into the Lord’s house to worship. After that, he went home and asked for something to eat. His servants gave him some food, and he ate.
2 Samuel 12:20 NIV
I feel like I’ve been in mourning for a very long time. It all started many years before I’ve tended to acknowledge, but the fact is I’ve never really let myself get up from the ashes and fully step into a new season. I hadn’t realized this until recently, but a conversation with someone who is very dear to me has opened my eyes to this truth.
As I have shared on this blog in the past, I was raped at the age of 22. My life up to that point had been filled with depression and anxiety over various family issues, but I had never expected to be a rape victim. It was someone that I had trusted and for years, I couldn’t even tell anyone what had happened. I handled it very badly, turning my fear and anger inward on myself. I drank and turned to promiscuity, albeit very targeted promiscuity. I was on a mission to get my power back. What had been taken from me was the very core of my being. It shook my sense of self to the extent that I took on an identity that wasn’t mine to take on.
For years now, I’ve been trying on different personas. I’ve tried to be a wife. I’ve tried to be a savior. I’ve tried to be an activist. None of these have actually fit me well. I’m a mother. That seems to be the thing I love most. I wouldn’t change any part of it other than what my daughter went through when my ex-husband and I divorced. My daughter has been my saving grace and I am forever grateful for the opportunity that God has given me to be her mother. As David struggled with the impending death of his son, he fasted and cried and he prayed constantly for healing to occur. He says in 2 Samuel that he figured if he did all of these things, the Lord would feel sorry for him and that He might let the baby live. But when the child died, David saw no reason to continue his mourning. He had done all he could do to try and bring about a miracle and it simply hadn’t worked. He got up, cleaned himself up and began moving forward. He didn’t stay there wallowing in his pain. HE GOT UP!
The big mistake that we often make is to continue our mourning far past the point of effectiveness. Maybe we think that if we are sad long enough, God will take pity on us and give us what we truly want. If we continue to beg Him for mercy, maybe He won’t take away that person or thing that we are clinging to so stubbornly. Surely, He doesn’t want us to suffer this much. Surely, He wants to give us the thing that we so desperately want.
The truth is, no, He doesn’t want us to hurt. But sometimes we are so convinced that we cannot live happily or live at all without the thing we desire that we forget that God has already planned this all out and He has good reason for adding or removing people and things to and from our lives. He knows better than we do whether or not the course of our lives will be improved or diminished by the loss or addition of any person or thing. He is in charge, but all too often we forget that. So, instead of walking in faith, we allow our grief over not getting our way to be stronger than our belief that God is actually in every situation and He is allowing some things to move forward in hopes that we will get up and move in the same direction.
He allows us to sit there and wallow, but it doesn’t sway Him in His execution of the plan He has for our lives. He knows that when we finally do GET UP, we are likely to find the peace we need tucked somewhere between each step we take in faith. He has given us free will, so it really is up to us to decide how long we want our sadness or discontent with a given situation to control our direction. I’ve been sad for a long time. I often choose to hide it under a crazy sense of humor or an extremely busy schedule, but the truth is that I haven’t allowed myself to fully let go of the things that He has clearly shown me I need to let go.
I’ve spent too much time being sad over the inability of someone I love to be everything that I needed him to be. I’ve spent too much time being dissatisfied with outcomes and simply chalking it up to yet another injustice that I’ve been forced to suffer. I know better than to sit still and allow life to dictate the degree of momentum I gain as I continue to seek my purpose and God’s plan for me. I’ve allowed distractions to prevent me from moving forward…mostly because I wasn’t sure I could handle what lies ahead for me. You can do this for a while, but eventually you begin to wonder why you stopped standing up for yourself. Where did you lose your spark? When did you stop wanting to become a better version of yourself? I’ll go out on a limb here and say that it was somewhere between the tears. And that’s completely okay. We all need to take a break and give ourselves time to heal when we’ve been hurt. But we cannot stay there forever. There is so much more for us to experience and we cannot do that if we’re sitting still.
It’s time to GET UP! It’s time to allow myself to move forward even if the ones I want to bring with me aren’t quite ready for the trip. If they are meant to be there with me, they’ll eventually catch up. If it is God’s plan for us to be a part of each other’s lives, they will somehow cross my path again when we are both in a better place. For now, it is so important that I keep moving forward and that I keep trusting in God’s plan. For now, I have to be willing to step into the next season and accept the fact that the distractions are not meant to be the focus. They are simply things we need to get past in order to reach the finish line. And eventually, the sadness won’t overshadow the joy. ❤
What do workers gain from their toil? I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
Ecclesiastes 3:9 – 3:11 NIV