Just like the writer of Ecclesiastes said, there is a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance.
I am familiar with these seasons of life. I’m sure you are too. There are times when things are going along smoothly and there is laughter and joy and there are times when the proverbial rug is pulled out from underneath us and we can’t find our footing.
Hard times often come without warning and it is important in these times to remember these things…
1. The darkest hour is always before the dawn.
This truth has helped me to find my center on days when I have had a hard time seeing clearly. No matter how dark it is in your world right now there is light on the horizon. Don’t faint, don’t give up…just hold on until daybreak. It’s coming!
2. Endurance leads to maturity
My experience has been that only once I have come through a major trial, can I see the areas in which I needed sharpening and maturing. If I am being totally honest, given the choice I may have chosen to stay immature and a little rough around the edges rather than endure some of the darkness. But now, having come through some rough waters I have gathered tools for the journey and maybe more importantly have gained a passion to deliver hope to those coming along behind me who may still be in darkness.
James says, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
I don’t know if I was ever able or will ever be able to consider depression “pure joy” James, but I think I get it now. I want to be complete. I understand what it means to be “lacking nothing.” I have confidence now that whatever life throws at me I have all that I need to endure. I am lacking nothing. God is with me and never leaves me. Ever.
3. There will be dancing!
There IS a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance. Unfortunately they are not always on our timetable. A year and a half ago I went through the darkest time of depression and soul searching I have ever experienced. I was mourning my mother’s death and dealing with past hurts and stuffed down pain that wreaked havoc on my body, soul and spirit. It took over a year to process through prayer and counseling. I would have liked for it to be faster. I would have liked a fast forward button. But healing takes time. It takes work. But once it comes…there is laughter, there is joy…and there is dancing!
I just returned from a 3 week trip to Europe with my husband and my daughter. It was the most relaxing and joy-filled time I have had in a long while. My spirit was free. My heart was refreshed and I was reminded of the truth that there is indeed a time to dance!