September often brings with it a feeling of melancholy for me. Despite the cozy feels and the beauty of the fall leaves and the urge to be in the kitchen baking, the melancholy still comes. I think a lot of people deal with this shift in mood when summer closes. The amount of sun to enjoy gets reduced, our lives get busier, and the freedom and fun of vacation gives way to schedules and routine. Or we watch as others step back into their busy fulfilling lives as we stand on the sidelines, wondering about our next step.
This feeling of melancholy isn’t new to me — I’ve carried it before and will carry it again — but this time around it’s not as heavy. I am still frustrated by the tiredness, the indecisiveness, the lack of motivation, and yet through all of this I feel held. I do not feel alone or unworthy, I feel deeply loved.
This is a sign to me that my faith has grown greatly over the past year. In Septembers past, when the melancholy rolled in with the cold overcast skies, I did feel alone. And I did feel unworthy.
It is a very good thing to know you are loved even in the midst of suffering. If this post does anything, I hope it reminds you of this. That no matter the state of your mental health, or your bank account, your marriage or your children’s behaviour, you are deeply cherished as a child of God.
That’s a game changer. I can access a whole new level of strength when I know I am not alone. The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is on my side.
I read a Psalm this week that spoke so closely to this experience:
O Lord, how long will you forget me? Forever?
How long will you look the other way?
How long must I struggle with anguish in my soul,
with sorrow in my heart every day?
How long will my enemy have the upper hand?
Turn and answer me, O Lord my God!
Restore the sparkle to my eyes, or I will die.
Don’t let my enemies gloat, saying, “We have defeated him!”
Don’t let them rejoice at my downfall. (Psalm 13: 1-4, NLT)
The writer, David, is clearly down in the dumps. He feels like God has left him and has no idea when He’s planning on returning.
I get this. I know how this feels, and I’m guessing you do too. You cry and pray and stumble around and all you get is…silence. The answers you’re looking for are nowhere to be found. You still don’t want to lift your head from under the covers. Nothing is changing. I get frustrated with feeling this way because there are things I want to do, ideas I want to pursue, and I miss the girl with the “sparkle” in her eye that I was even just a week ago!
Is God off somewhere helping someone else? Is He just too fed up with me to even try?
I love how David ends this Psalm. He’s completely overwhelmed and full of doubt and yet he writes:
But I trust in your unfailing love.
I will rejoice because you have rescued me.
I will sing to the Lord
because he is good to me. (Psalm 13: 5-6, NLT)
These words are the sign of a man who has met God. Even though he is in despair, David knows and trusts the deep love of God.
There are times when we will feel lost and empty, but we can still know that God is good and God is near. We are never alone. We have a reason to sing because God has already rescued us. We are His children and no matter how we feel, nothing can remove this crown of glory from our heads.
And if we’re not there yet, or we’re struggling to believe today, we can pray this: “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24)