but His joy comes in the mourning

I’m tired. There, that’s out there.

I’m exhausted. No, I don’t have a little baby waking me up at all times of the night, or four kids to corral into fine formations, or a family to provide for or a company to lead. But I am just one person and being just one for 30 years can be tiring too. I’ve been getting up while it’s still dark most mornings and for this night owl, that’s enough to spin me into the oblivion of tiredness.

bed sunlight white sheets

I sat across from a friend on Wednesday and we talked about what it means to enter into one another’s sorrow. How it means that we don’t just feel pity or empathy or a burden, but that we actually enter into it. We feel it. We know it. We know it as acutely as our own sorrow.

This goes for joy too. But somehow joy peddles us forward, while sorrow only seems to hold us down.

There are so many, many sorrows in me today. I can’t even give number to them and so few of them are my own that even if you ask, I won’t tell you anything is wrong, they are not my sorrows to tell.

My pastor back home told me once to do my homework in class: pray for a friend while I’m with them, counsel them right there, and that doing this would alleviate some of the burden someone with a gift of mercy is going to carry.

It was some of the best advice I’ve ever gotten and I rarely let an opportunity go by without praying for someone.

But sometimes mourning with those who mourn means that we ache with their unanswered prayers. Sometimes it means we wake up aching and go to bed aching. Sometimes it means we keep careful watch on our phone for updates and careful watch on the messages we send out, keeping watch over souls that have been entrusted to us.

I’ve been depressed before, no secret there. And this season feels acutely like those seasons before: I want to sleep, I forget to eat, smiling feels like too much work, work feels like too much work. But last night as I slid between my sheets and put my head on my pillow, closed my eyes and felt the tears brim to the surface, fall over my cheeks, I felt the Holy Spirit say to me, “There is nothing light about mourning, but there will be light in the morning and morning is coming.”

I woke up late this morning and for the first time this week the sun streamed in my window, a sliver of light across my comforter.