For the last few years, and even longer, November has become a month full of sad memories that threaten to rob me of the joy I try to pursue.
November is the month of many goodbyes. It’s the month that marks the day I left the home of my youth behind for good. It’s the month that brokenness entered our family. And it’s the month I said my last goodbye on this earth, to my father.
Nature seems to commemorate my sadness…
The fact that by the time November arrives, autumn’s glory has begun to fade doesn’t help. Bare tree branches, like a thousand wicked witches’ pointy fingers; emerge all around us to dress our surroundings in a sort of post-Halloween custom, resembling more a scene from a classic horror film than our peaceful neighborhood. There’s an eerie stillness that makes me uncomfortable. It’s like nature goes to sleep…or worse…
Most November days accentuate my longing for my ideal paradise on earth, the beach, and make me want to just go to sleep until nature wakes up and the sun warms up again.
My thoughts constantly revolve around the things that are wrong with the world. My mind drifts to illnesses, suffering, loneliness and places of loss where my spirit gets lost in the lowlands of my soul. Fear and worry fly freely in my heart, making everything feel as dead as the dry leaves on the ground.
But then…in the middle of my self-pity party, there is God…Our Ever Faithful, Ever Thoughtful, Ever Mindful, Ever Loving God.
He directs my steps to a path of reflection, where I can finally begin to rein in my thoughts and stop letting my emotions control my mind.
He places His Word in my hands for me to read and breathe in.
Like a Devotional book by Sarah Young called: Jesus Calling. In the simple words of its little pages I have found the truth of Scripture spoken directly to me. For instance, the calling to “appreciate difficult days” could not be more timely. Inspired by The Word, the author recognizes that the knowledge of the fact that we can do all things in Christ and through Christ will get us through such difficult days. Also, that this knowledge is three-fold:
1. Our personal relationship with Christ.
2. The Promises of the Bible.
3. Our past experiences of His presence helping us to cope successfully during hard times.
These are the three aspects of our walk with Our Lord that we can hang on to when we feel as if we are falling into the pit. These are the life-lines that lift us up and restore us. These are the memories that will need to be recalled in times of trouble. These are the thoughts that should flood our minds to push all others aside.
In times of trial, our history with Christ needs to be sharp in our heads and in our hearts. The next few days we will explore together this three-part strategy as a way to shake off the November blues and as a way to prepare our hearts to settle into an attitude of gratitude and light, rather than to stay stagnant into an attitude of sadness and darkness.