Saturday, January 12, 2008

Emotions are ok

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Those of you who know me well know that I have struggled with post-partum depression. This causes some people great concern. There seems to be the belief that if you have enough faith then you should not struggle with depression. I disagree.


So does the Bible.

Here is a Psalm that proves that at LEAST one biblical writer struggled...

Psalm 88

1-9 God, you're my last chance of the day. I spend the night on my knees before you.
Put me on your salvation agenda;
take notes on the trouble I'm in.
I've had my fill of trouble;
I'm camped on the edge of hell.
I'm written off as a lost cause,
one more statistic, a hopeless case.
Abandoned as already dead,
one more body in a stack of corpses,
And not so much as a gravestone—
I'm a black hole in oblivion.
You've dropped me into a bottomless pit,
sunk me in a pitch-black abyss.
I'm battered senseless by your rage,
relentlessly pounded by your waves of anger.
You turned my friends against me,
made me horrible to them.
I'm caught in a maze and can't find my way out,
blinded by tears of pain and frustration.

9-12 I call to you, God; all day I call.
I wring my hands, I plead for help.
Are the dead a live audience for your miracles?
Do ghosts ever join the choirs that praise you?
Does your love make any difference in a graveyard?
Is your faithful presence noticed in the corridors of hell?
Are your marvelous wonders ever seen in the dark,
your righteous ways noticed in the Land of No Memory?

13-18 I'm standing my ground, God, shouting for help,
at my prayers every morning, on my knees each daybreak.
Why, God, do you turn a deaf ear?
Why do you make yourself scarce?
For as long as I remember I've been hurting;
I've taken the worst you can hand out, and I've had it.
Your wildfire anger has blazed through my life;
I'm bleeding, black-and-blue.
You've attacked me fiercely from every side,
raining down blows till I'm nearly dead.
You made lover and neighbor alike dump me;
the only friend I have left is Darkness.

I think it is a beautiful Psalm because it proves that our prayers can be truthful! We can tell God how we REALLY feel and it is ok to question and to wonder and to FEEL! And not only was this psalmist allowed to WRITE DOWN his feelings for the whole world to read and sing but God allowed it to be a part of the Bible to be read for generations to come.

I guess that means that God is ok with me processing my emotions on my blog. God is ok with truth and therefore so am I.

This psalmist certainly wasn't feeling very "sunny" when he/she wrote this song.

And hey, I feel a whole lot better than they did!

4 comments:

Colin Toffelmire said...

Never let anyone tell you that you're not allowed to feel sad. Hell, you're allowed to feel like the entire world is coming to an end and there's nothing you can do to survive. Negative emotions do not, in any way, contradict the Christian faith. The only thing they contradict is North American conservative triumphalism...and it seems to me that contradicting that hog-wash is a big part of being a good Christian in the first place.

Hang in there, keep praying, and remember that we're all on your team hon.

Queen to my 3 Boys said...

Wow...I was going to write it another way, but 'colin toffelmire' said it better.

Praying for you and I too say "We're all on your team hon."

Amanda said...

Awesome post Tara! Awesome comment Colin. I'm proud to know you both!

imbeingheldhostage said...

Beautifully stated-- and thank you for it. We all have struggles to cope with,if you pretend that everything is peachy all of the time-- that just makes the rest of us think there's something wrong with us! You're probably touching more people than you'll ever know by being so candid.
Oh, and congrats Mrs. Reverend :-)

 
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