Y’all, sadness lasts as long as you want it to last. Yes, I said it. You have the power over your afflictions, and as long as you want to stay bitter, sad, angry, hurt, offended, or troubled, you will.
You will stay in any situation you choose to stay in, and what will eventually happen is you will stay in that state of defeat until your situation becomes your norm, because you have now chosen to settle in a place of despair. By staying, you will only become accustomed to the darkness until living in the shadow will be all you know. Living in the shadow will have you thinking that you have been alienated, that you are alone, that you have been forsaken by those who love you. Forsaken because while you’re settled in your situation, they continue to live their lives, and what’s more, you become angry with them for living their lives while you’re mourning your life. Let me tell y’all, we were not meant to become used to the shadow, we are meant to live, and living is not to be mourned, it’s to celebrated.
I remember Naomi who had lost her husband, and her sons. She allowed her affliction, her loss and grief, to become her norm. She owned her situation, y’all, so much that she even changed her name from Naomi to Mara which means Bitter. Naomi not only felt her loss and grief and despair, she renamed herself and embodied it. Wow! Why would Naomi do such a thing? Why would she allow her affliction to overcome her?
I am reminded of another scenario from another text, Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe when Okonkwo, the protagonist, had been exiled to his mother’s homeland to be with her people. Now being exiled caused Okonkwo much suffering, he experienced loss, but he had not lost nearly as much as Naomi had, yet he mourned, and he did so because he chose to mourn. It was not until a village elder, his uncle asked him, “You think you are the greatest sufferer in the world?”, bringing to his attention that he suffers because he is choosing to suffer. Again, I say wow! And I know y’all understand what I’m talking about, and so I ask you, do you want to stay sad? Do you want to be Bitter? Do you want to claim the situation you’re in, or do you want to get better? Like Jesus asked the man by the pool, “Do you want to get well?”
I recently had to make the choice between being Bitter or being Better. I had even begun to think as Naomi thought as my name Tamara holds bitterness in its meaning. My misstep was that I kept looking outward for my healing, I kept looking for someone else to save me from my hurt, from my pain, from my “woe is me” situation, when all along, all I had to do was choose to find my Light, choose to stand up, and choose to activate my faith to seek deliverance from my situation. I had to choose to get well, and this is a choice I have to make every day.
Y’all, we really do hold the power to choose to live in the Light. Let me tell y’all what I learned and continue to learn from all of this, which is why I’m here sharing this with you today: I learned that being broken is not the worst thing that can happen to you, no, staying broken is.
Let’s choose to get well!