“Hey, Shauna! Did you remember that the Queen of Games is leading a game tonight at our year-end celebration? Are you ready?”
I cringed. That’s the last thing I wanted to do. There are sometimes in life when, despite my best intentions, those old familiar feelings of sadness and depression sneak up and bite me in the butt.
This week has been one of those times. Some of our closest friends moved back to their home nation of Sri Lanka, and our hearts are sore. Don’t get me wrong. We are honestly and legitimately thrilled for them! They are ready and capable, and it’s THEIR time to fly.
But my heart is struggling to get on board. The Rajapakses have become our ‘adopted family’ over the last decade, and we’ve lived life together—babies, birthdays, and teenagers… Christmas parties, curry nights, and worship times together… ten years of laughter, tears, and countless pots of coffee.
How can one person be so torn in their emotions?
Am I losing my mind? Happy one minute, sad the next.
But isn’t that just the irony of loving people? Just like the emotional rollercoaster that mothers and fathers experience when they see their children blossom into adulthood and move away from home. Happy because they are becoming who God has made them to be, and sad because they are no longer running around our house.
My happy heart hurts.
On the morning that our friends flew home, I was truly happy for them. No tears, just joy. I was excited for their future, and excited for the dreams and visions inside them that are soon to be realized.
But four hours later, my heart crashed. I lay in bed with that old familiar feeling of melancholy threatening to take my breath away. I didn’t want to see anyone. I didn’t want to speak to anyone. I didn’t want to be the Queen of Games ever again. I just hurt.
As I lay there arguing with God about WHY I shouldn’t HAVE to be the Queen of Games and pretend to be happy, the kindness of my Father washed over me.
I heard His still small voice say,
“Shauna, I’m still on the throne. FIND a reason to celebrate.”
Those simple words stopped the downward spiral and got me spinning the other way. It’s so true! My circumstances can NEVER be the excuse to stop celebrating.
FIND a reason to celebrate… Life is precious. Community is precious. Friendships are precious.
FIND a reason to celebrate… Sunshine, shelter, food on our table. Freedom to worship, freedom to gather, freedom to laugh.
FIND a reason to celebrate… Salvation, forgiveness, calling and purpose. He is a good, good Father!
FIND a reason to celebrate… Family, friends, sisters, brothers, sons, and daughters. We still have each other, and we are not alone!Our circumstances can NEVER be the excuse to stop celebrating. Find a reason to celebrate. Click To Tweet
I roused myself, summoned the Queen of Games from within, and prepared for one ‘LEKKER’ relay race (directly translated from Afrikaans as a ‘delicious’ relay race). I shared my ‘sermon’ that evening with the other seventy worshiping creatives who were gathered to celebrate the end of a long year. I was not the only one struggling with sadness—the Rajas were deeply loved by the whole family.
But I’m telling you this… we had the BEST time that night!
Balloons, hula-hoops, ‘pumping the praise,’ hopping, chasséing, dodging obstacles, bursting balloons, and racing against each other to win the prize.
WE CRUSHED DEPRESSION IN ITS TRACKS AND LAUGHED UNTIL OUR SIDES ACHED.
God is so kind!
Circumstances can never steal our joy when we choose to celebrate!
My friends, are you also struggling with familiar feelings of depression and sadness? Is life difficult and circumstances discouraging?
Please hear the words of encouragement from your Heavenly Father. He is still on the throne! He is still the answer to your trouble, and He loves you soooo much!Circumstances can never steal our joy when we choose to celebrate! Click To Tweet
I love you deeply! You can do this!
Today is DAY 8 of the 31 Day Challenge, and I am using it to explore UNFORCED RHYTHMS OF GRACE—how to live an amazing life without burning out or losing my joy.
Nope, I didn’t even try to set the timer today. This post took an hour to write, but it was worth it.
Today’s prompt word was FAMILIAR, and we are linking up with the writers over at Five Minute Friday and Crystal Stine’s Write 31 Days.
To read more 31 DAYS OF UNFORCED RHYTHMS, click here!