When I was young it seems I inadvertently did everything I could to chase people away.
Around the two-year mark of our marriage, my wife left, but then came back, along with my baby girl, out of sheer love for me. It was pure charity; I sure didn’t deserve it, but I’ve worked hard to repay her for many, many years.
We will celebrate 31 years of marriage this year.
Now, as I prepare to turn 51 next month, and as the angst of my youth slowly fades into the distance, I feel truly blessed. I have an amazing, loving and supportive family, a great church and even more important, a God who has never given up on me.
As the ugly, wretched, spirit-choking darkness ever-so-gently creeps out of my life, I find I laugh easier now. I love easier, as well.
Someone very close to me recently asked me why I’d gotten so “huggy” lately, and I told them God was breaking down walls in my heart, and I just want to share the love I feel inside.
Thus, I write this blog for the one who has lost much, perhaps by your own hand. Maybe you’ve lost your family, friends and even your salvation, but it’s not too late for you.
How do I know? Well, you’re reading this, aren’t you? That means you are, at the very least, on some level, searching for something. You can turn your life around today.
“How?” you ask.
By seeking light instead of darkness. Only God can help you restore what has been lost, so look to Him. Talk to Him, in your way, in your time. Don’t worry if it sounds goofy, just do it (insert weird Shia Labeouf “Just Do It” video here).
You can choose happiness, simply by barricading your emotions and not letting misery invade.
You can elect to be charitable with your time, money and attention, instead of turning a cold shoulder on the world.
Surely there’s somebody in your life to whom you can choose kindness. Start with them.
I write this out of great burden to the one who truly feels they have lost everything. You’ve never lost everything until you’ve lost your very soul. But, again, if you’re reading this, it’s not too late.
Many years I spent in emotional darkness, my soul crying out for help, but not having the guts to reach out to anyone for help. Sure, I still struggle with negativity, depression and pain sometimes, but every day I make the conscious choice to seek after the light of Christ, and do my best to spread laughter instead of pain, smiles instead of angry grunts and happiness instead of sorrow, I let more and more light into my spirit.
I was once an angry, ole bear, and didn’t want to let anyone into the shadowy cave I’d so carefully fabricated.
But you know as well as I do how painful that can be.
You need to step into the light, and bid the darkness “adieu.”
In Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus said, “Are you weary, carrying a heavy burden? Then come to me. I will refresh your life, for I am your oasis. Simply join your life with mine. Learn my ways and you’ll discover that I’m gentle, humble, easy to please. You will find refreshment and rest in me. For all that I require of you will be pleasant and easy to bear.”
Walking in bitterness and depression is exhausting, I know.
Reach out to Heaven, for the Lord cares deeply for you. I know the spirit-weary walk of the heavily burdened, but you don’t have to carry that life-trouncing load any more.
Remember, “(t)he Lord is close to all whose hearts are crushed by pain, and he is always ready to restore the repentant one. (Psalm 34:18)”
The world is slowly being swallowed in darkness, but you can choose to dwell in the light.
Many blessings on you, my friend.