Sadness is real. It is something that can completely take residence over your entire life—if you let it. I struggled with sadness for years of my life. It was rooted in my loneliness and isolation. I would sleep for hours at a time because sleep was my escape from reality. I never spoke depression into this, because I didn’t want to admit to it. Days of darkness would pass one after another, and I couldn’t seem to find the light, but I knew it was there- it had to be there, right? After two attempted and failed suicides, I realized that my life had to have meaning, because how did I just survive that second attempt? So I sought the Lord, and I really sought Him. My days were still dark, but I didn’t give up. And then, as if the heavens had opened up, I found the Light, and I fell on my face in tears before my Love Himself and cried and cried and cried and cried. For years I had lived in darkness, and finally after all this time of seeking Truth and Joy and Happiness, I found the Light. I found Him.
It was not easy. It was hard work. There were days where I thought my attempts were useless. Ever since the night of November 22, 2013, my life has been changed. This is a day that I celebrate every year now, because it is the day when all my efforts of searching had come to an end; I had finally found It. That is why I am here writing this now, because I have freedom, and I want you to have it too. I don’t know exactly where you are in your sadness, but I know you are sitting there reading this now because you want to break this bondage, and I want nothing less in life than to help you do it. Here are the steps I took in finding the Light.
Step one: Feed your mind only Truth.
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” [Philippians 4:8]
When I was learning to only feed my mind things from God, I found myself cutting out a lot of secular music, especially sad music. I needed the music I took in to feed my soul righteousness. I found myself unfollowing a lot of people’s accounts on social medias that I envied, compared myself to, and people who didn’t post godly things. Any time there was a negative thought in my head, I rebuked it immediately- I did not, for one second, let that dwell in my mind to focus on. I stopped watching dramatic television series that made me sad or filled with earthly desires like: sex, drugs, alcohol, filthy language, gossip, etc. I even had to end a few friendships. I released my life of anything that did not push me closer to Christ.
Step two: Speak life, for your life depends on it
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” [Ephesians 4:29]
I stopped letting the language that filled my mouth be negative. I tried my hardest to encourage the people around me and only build people up. When you have a negative look on life or when you find yourself gossiping a lot, you will realize that this is all rooted in the dark place of your heart. This is something that you want the Lord to come in and rid yourself of. When it’s hard to even like someone, love them. When you can’t seem to be happy with your life, don’t tear down the life of others to make yourself feel better. Always seek to acknowledge the best in people, and then slowly you will notice that you will start acknowledging the good in yourself too, and that the Lord really is revealing His best self through you.
Step Three: Be a fighter
“For you have girded me with strength for battle; You have subdued under me those who rose up against me.” [Psalms 18:39]
Wake up every morning ready to fight the demons you fought the day before with boldness and bravery. God sees the wars that rage within us, and He has given us His armor to put on in order to fight them. Spiritual warfare is a real thing, but Christ defeated that years ago on Calvary. And with that, we can face anything that comes our way fearlessly because the Lord is right there fighting with us. Just because you are a believer, does not mean that you won’t face sadness. God has called us to be warriors.
Step Four: Be conformed into His image
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, so that at the proper times, he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.” [1 Peter5:6-10]
The enemy is literally always seeking someone to devour. He is always looking for someone to kill, steal, and destroy. Give up all those things that hold you back from being fully and wholly conformed into the image of Christ. There will still be dark days sometimes, but keep hope always. On the days when you don’t feel up to par, prayerfully seek and choose joy. Romanticizing sadness is not something you want to take precedence over your life. Wake up in the morning reading scripture out loud and letting that declaration be the truth that guides your life. Shout at the top of your lungs screw you,Satan until you believe it. Stomp the grounds in front of you as if you are dancing on your disappointments in life. Tangibly do things that show you are rooting for yourself and that happiness is truly what you want. Feed your mind only Truth, speak Life, be a fighter, and ultimately be conformed into the image of Christ. The light might not be tomorrow, or the next day, or the next, but you will wake up one day and realize: I haven’t thought about my sadness in a while. Hope is right around the corner, and I am right here walking with you to it. The Lord only restores.