My son is an early riser who really isn’t a morning person.
That means most days, he wakes up at the first hint of light and then grumps about it for the next hour.
Most of my kids have gone through this phase of waking mom up too early. Over time and with training, most of them grew out of it.
Although, I do have one daughter who is simply a morning person. She can bounce out of bed far too early and jump all over the house cheerfully with a running monologue about everything she wants to do that day—all while I’m laying back down on the couch to avoid fully waking up.
She’s always been like that.
Not my son.
The other day, it was the worst ever. He woke up. He woke me up.
Then, he yelled about everything he asked for. Cereal. Drink. Blanket. Curious George, Mickey Mouse or Thomas the Tank Engine.
He asked. I gave. He screamed.
Finally, I lifted that tiny bundle of morning-angst right up, set him into his crib and told him we needed a restart. We’d try again in a few minutes.
Sure enough, about five minutes later, I once again greeted his sweet face with a “good morning” and a fresh start.
Bless his heart, that boy had started the day determined to be in a funk. But a ‘restart’ button on the morning was what he really needed.
Maybe we do, too, sometimes.
Our emotions, they can overwhelm and overpower us.
And, while God created us with these feelings to be indicators of how we’re doing as we navigate the big wide world of life, He didn’t mean for those feelings to trample us underfoot.
Still, there are days that instead of bossing our feelings around, we feed those little monsters until they’re towering beasts.
We feel sadness, and we feed the sadness, giving into melancholy, reading sadness, listening to sadness, watching sadness, talking about sadness.
We feel anger, so we feed the anger. We ‘vent’ and rage, we call our friends and get riled up all over again, we make speeches and post on Facebook.
In her book Wherever the River Runs, Kelly Minter writes:
“A high school student recently told me that she actually enjoys being sad, writing in her diary for hours about how she and her boyfriend continually break up and get back together. She was like a melancholy teenage moth admitting her attraction to the sparkly light of drama. I looked at her and as lovingly as possible said, ‘You’ll get over that’”
I remember those days. Somehow when you’re a teenager, melancholy feels good because that’s when you know you write the best poetry.
But here we are all grown up and mature and I haven’t always truthfully gotten over that.
Some days, I let my feelings run crazy and pull me right along with them.
In the book of Ruth, we meet a woman named Naomi who endured great tragedy. If anyone had the right to feel despair or sadness or deep grief, it’s her after losing her husband and two sons while living in a foreign land.
Yet, Naomi had a choice: Give In or Find New Strength.
After she trekked back home to Bethlehem, she made a speech to her old friends:
“Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me.21 I went away full, and the Lord has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi, when the Lord has testified against me and the Almighty has brought calamity upon me?” (Ruth 1:20-21 ESV).
Her sorrow engulfed her whole identity. She couldn’t be Naomi any more. Now, she was Mara–“bitter.”
She was giving in.
She spills out the intensity of how it feels like God has abandoned you—The Almighty…The Lord…has done this to me, has dealt bitterly with me, has brought me back empty, has testified against me, has brought calamity upon me.
Oh, how so many of us have felt this also, that somehow–even though we know it isn’t true–it feels as though God has abandoned us or, even worse, set Himself against us.
In her Bible study, Ruth, Kelly Minter writes:
“Although there will be weeping in this life, the direction in which we weep is what truly matters” and “What we do while we’re weeping makes the difference” (p. 22 and p. 45).
She calls it “weeping forward.”
It’s not staying stuck. It’s not allowing grief to subsume us.
It’s choosing to get up each new day and confess all that sorrow to God, not faking or pretending everything’s great, but choosing this: Choosing to overcome.
Choosing fresh starts and new mercies.
Choosing to keep going.
Choosing, if we have to, to weep forward.
Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer and worship leader. Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness. Her book, Ask Me Anything, Lord: Opening Our Hearts to God’s Questions, is available now! To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.
Copyright © 2015 Heather King