happiness

A Thrill of Hope

December 12, 2017

I vividly remember the first time I genuinely contemplated ending my life. It was the day before Christmas Eve, and at the young age of 13 years old, I had just begun to really feel the crushing waves of depression. I felt like I was suffocating and was quickly losing hope in any sort of relief from the despair I so deeply felt trapped in.

As I was struggling to continue on, the thought came to my mind so strongly to just turn on some music and go sit by my bedroom window. Little did I know, that day would change the course of my entire life.

"A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices."

Never before had those words echoed in my mind in such a personal way. I was weary. So so weary, and I desperately needed hope. I needed hope, and I needed a reason to rejoice. I looked out my bedroom window and tears began to fill my eyes. Where I grew up, snow wasn't something I got to see often. But there it began to fall, and there I began to find hope. I breathed in the simple bliss that comes with the first snowfall of the year, somehow more beautiful than it had ever seemed before, and continued to listen to what would soon become my favorite song.

"Fall on your knees, O hear the angels' voices."

Instant peace filled my soul in a way it hadn't before, and I have no doubt that angels surrounded me that day, comforting me and lifting me up. They have carried me through this life, and today as I look back on each Christmas season I have endured since that day nearly a decade ago, I am forever thankful that the 13 year old girl looking out her window found a reason to keep going.


I am thankful that she heard the words to that song and decided to dedicate her life to seeking after that thrill of hope, which is our Savior. For in Him, my life has become more than I ever thought possible.

At 13, I was consumed in sadness. It wouldn't be the last time I felt the darkness of depression, but it would be a turning point in my life. I've fought hard to be alive today, and now, as a twenty-something wife and mom, I am so incredibly thankful to be here. To have found cause to rejoice.

Sometimes, all we need is to hold on to that hope, which is our Redeemer. He will carry us through our most difficult days and will always give us cause to rejoice - no matter how weary our soul may be.

No matter the trial, no matter the cause for mourning, we will never be left comfortless. If you are currently facing darkness and feel that life is becoming too difficult to bear - please, hold on. Look for the simple beauty of the earth. Have hope in better days. Seek the light of Christ. Life does get better -- make sure you are there to see it.

"Blessed are they that mourn; for they shall be comforted." 
#LightTheWorld

Though Now For a Season

December 03, 2017

"Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness." -1 Peter 1:6
It's been nearly a month since I've written anything. Not because I didn't have anything to say, but because life has just felt....heavy. I went from a season of absolute joy to a sudden shift into sadness and grief. I had been in that season of joy for so long that when the darkness hit, I just wasn't quite ready to fight it. Life, so suddenly, felt far too heavy to handle and I felt trapped in silence, pain, and the nagging feeling that I was completely alone in what I was experiencing. It has taken weeks to push through this weird funk I've been in, and I'm not entirely sure that I'm even all the way through it yet, but I struggled to write out my thoughts and feelings for a long time because even though I had been trying every single thing I knew to help, nothing seemed to be working, even for weeks on end.

I pushed myself to practice gratitude, yet I still felt sad. I tried to serve others, and still the grief filled my soul. I prayed and prayed and did what I knew had helped me get through these feelings in the past, and despite it all, my heart still hurt.

One day as I was struggling to navigate my feelings, I turned to social media, just hoping that I could find some light, and I came upon a video of someone who was explaining exactly what I was going through and expressed that she was going through the same thing. She went on to say that in these situations, when we feel so much sadness and heaviness without a real known cause, well, sometimes we just have to push through and keep going - even when things don't seem to be getting better.

As the video ended, I knew that this was a time in life where I was just going to need to stick it out and do my best to seek out the small joys and miracles of my day to day life. This time, no matter how long it would last or how soon it would pass, was a season of heaviness - and I needed to do my best to learn and grow from it.

I have to admit, there have been days where I've just been so frustrated that I've had to go through these feelings, even when I could logically go through every reason why I SHOULD be happy, or should be this, or that, or whatever. It's taken a lot to try and shift my perspective to be a positive one despite the lingering sadness.

Thankfully this weekend, after what felt like one of the longest months of my life, I have felt my burden lifted. As I've had time to ponder why I've been experiencing these feelings of sorrow again after so much time in happiness,  I think I'm finally starting to see the bigger picture.

I think God shows us patterns in nature to teach us more about our own lives. Each of our lives ebb and flow through different seasons, and all we can really do is learn to appreciate the time we are currently in, whether it be joyful or filled with sadness. It does us no good to wish away the winter in hopes for warmer days, when we could be playing in the snow all along.

We need the heaviness to better appreciate the joy. We need the heaviness to have compassion for others going through the same. Just as we need the life and warmth of spring, so too do we need the bitterness of winter.

Remember, there's always the storm before the calm.
The trial before the blessing.
The sorrow before the joy.

Sometimes, seasons of heaviness are needed. And when, if need be, you are in the heaviness of life, know that there will always be reason to rejoice and that the calm and peace that you seek will soon come. Find moments of joy where you're at. Look at each conversation you have as an opportunity to learn. Connect with others. Laugh more easily. Seek simple miracles. And push through the hard. Don't ever lose hope, not even for a second. Life truly is worth living, despite the heaviness of it all. 

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