Bright Sadness

Yesterday was a day for darkness.

In the Orthodox Church, the Lenten season is called the season of Bright Sadness.  A beautiful phrase that came to life last night as we literally sat in the dark.   Remembering The Cross and stepping into mourning, there was orientation and life.

Today is a day for waiting.

I confess I don’t wait well.  I know how to look back.  When I look back, I have learned to analyze, connect dots or tap into emotions.  And I can look forward with ideation, vision and hope.

But waiting…waiting I don’t do so well.  Waiting feels like treading water with no end in sight.

A million years ago, when I was 20-ish, I wrote a song with a friend.  It started with a line out of my journal:

“Pulled in so many ways,  too much life in one day…”

and landed in a chorus that said, “I will wait to be your glory.”

In that song, I was trying to make sense of season of upheaval. It was a waiting season.  I had left childhood behind and was turning toward the future.  But, in the reality of my day to day, I was being crushed.  I was in my first serious battle with depression and life felt like it was taking me under.  My past was just that, past.  My future was unclear and my present was full of unknowns.

I was restless.

I had no answers.

What worked yesterday, was no longer an option.

And nothing had concretely opened before me.

I was waiting.

Not like the anticipation you feel when a baby is about to be born or your birthday party is about to start.  Not like standing at the mailbox waiting for the letter with a check.  Not Waiting-cause-something-good-is-on-the-way.  This was Hope-is-dead-and-I-don’t-know-what’s-coming-next kind of waiting.

Looking back now, I see that The Waiting {seemingly without hope} was a life-definer.

It was in that season of darkness that my faith simultaneously grew deep roots and wings.  It was in the waiting that I learned to rest in the midst of a storm.  It was in that season of waiting that I lost my way, made poor decisions and learned that I am not enough.  It was in that season that I learned that provision is made.

Even when I can’t tell what’s coming.

I know that tomorrow’s celebration is coming.  I am washing napkins, tucking “happys” into baskets and preparing for a family gathering.  But in my heart, I’m holding on to the darkness, because I know that depth and glory are found in waiting.

Our hearts are restless