Joy in the dark place? Yeah, it’s possible. I know that saying that mental health struggles and joy can coexist seems like an oxymoron because it can sound like I’m saying that it’s possible to be HAPPY while severely depressed. Nope. That’s not what I’m saying. Trust me, oh trust me, if I could choose to be happy on some of my lowest day’s I would in a heart beat!! Oh, how I wish it were that simple. But I have found joy in my deepest heart ache and when I’ve been locked in the dark place. Not always, not every day, but it has been possible.
I don’t view joy simply as a feeling. I don’t equate it with happiness. I view it as a commitment and understanding to the Lord’s promises and commitment to us.
Joy is how we can be crushed but not destroyed. It’s how we can witness calamity and not be ruined. When we are beat down my the fallen state of this world, we can both feel the pain and know that the pain won’t destroy us.
It’s that secret acknowledgment between us and the Lord that we know that we are physically unwell but spiritually- it is well with our souls.
Joy in the midst of true brokenness occurs when we say, even in our weakened state, “I know how the story ends. Jesus already won and I will be right by His side.” There have been times on this journey where I feel pain so intensely that it feels as though someone stuck an icicle into my heart. It’s cold and sharp and overbearing. But I acknowledge the fact that though the pain is all consuming it will not be allowed to accompany me forever. Glorious days are coming and they involve me being free from depression before the Lord.
Again, I want to say, it’s not something I’m able to always do, but it’s something I have been able to do before. Mental health battles are long and very much like riding a roller coaster. Rejoice the days that you’re able to remember the joy of Christ. Have grace for the days that you cannot. God loves us either way. - 2 hours ago