About the Author

Anjuli grew up as a missionary kid secretly wondering, “Why does everyone else understand what a relationship with Jesus is, but me?” It wasn’t until she ran into her fears instead of from them, that Anjuli found her voice and the love of God meeting her there. She is a...

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  1. Thank you for this encouraging post to FEEL what one is feeling! My husband and I both lost our fathers within three days of each other the week of thanksgiving—both suddenly. Our families’ responses were so very different, and I have thought about how our faith, upbringing, and willingness to feel things determined how we dealt, reacted, and even how we celebrated the deaths/lives in their funerals and further during the holidays and family gatherings. I often heard from my in-laws things like: “be strong”, “don’t cry, it will upset….”. My own immediate family dealt very differently. I told my 16 year old daughter, having lost two grandfathers suddenly, to do whatever made her heart feel calmer/better and respected her precious grandpas.

    I know that many stuffed, then resurfaced, emotions come forth at inorpportune and unexpected times! Thank you for also reminding us of how Jesus dealt with his sadness or others’ emotions. I like having “permission” to be sad….and knowing that He will be our “soothing balm” for those times.

    Thank you for your time and effort in writing—blessings to you in 2019,
    Andrée 🙂

    • Andree,
      I’m deeply sorry for your losses. I think that your advice to your daughter will be helpful to her as she goes through the process, as everyone does grieve in their own way.

      Prayers of comfort and healing for you and your family..
      Penny

      • Thank you, dear Penny! .

        Blessings and hugs to you for reaching out with this kind response.

    • Oh my goodness Andree! You;be been through so much. It’s so hard to grieve differently than other people. I hope you found a safe place to cry and feel and come undone. May God continue to meet you and your family in all the loss. Praying for you now. Love, Anjuli

  2. The North American church suffers from a deep discomfort with lament. Thank you for this call to acknowledge our own sadness. God does not fear our lack, and meets us in it. May we do the same for one another!

    • Thank you so much for this. I feel alone in my sadness. So many people just don’t understand the need for authenticity in the hard and painful. This was perfect timing for me and I am grateful for your honesty and insight reminding me that Jesus is here with me in all of it, He understands.

      • Camm,

        You are not alone. There are people here who will pray for you. I not only understand I want authenticity with friends. Go ahead & tell me your story. I will then pray for & try to encourage you in this trial. Jesus & I understand completely. I pray you feel Jesus’s arms around you. May He comfort you in this time. Let me know what I can pray for specifically. Otherwise I will pray for you & God knows the situation.

        (((((Hugs)))))

    • Michele,
      I couldn’t agree more. The Psalms are filled with Lament. We have a tendency in our culture to focus only on the happy things and neglect mourning. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Anjuli,
    Too often I think in black and white….I should either feel this way or that way, but the truth is that very often two very conflicting emotions coexist in the same heart. I was so glad to get to spend another Christmas with my 85 year old mom. We had a lot of fun, laughs, quiet reflective moments, shared stories, etc. Yet my heart was also sad that my two adult children chose not to be part of our Christmas. This cut to the very core of me. As I looked over the past year, yes, it was filled with surgeries, injuries, and sickness, but it also slowed me down to spend more time in God’s Word, to notice the delicate beauty around me (different flower petals in my garden and the vast variety of birds at my feeder). Joy and lament, at least for me, often walk hand in hand. I’ve learned not to stuff these sad feelings, but to give them an outlet – tears are very cathartic. God knew what He was doing when He created them. He made them to be used. Stoicism, in God’s economy, is not a virtue. He created us in His image and sometimes God, and we, are sad. Thank you for permission to let those feelings be felt. Beautiful post!
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

    • Bev,
      I’m sorry that your adult children didn’t join you for Christmas but I’m so glad for you that you spent the time with your Mom to create some more special memories.
      Have a blessed day,
      Penny

    • Bev,
      I can be very black and white too. So much of life exists in the grey. I’m sorry there was pain over the holidays. I am thankful you enjoyed making memories with your mom. What a treasure. Thank you for always sharing your heart here.

  4. Thank you for this post! I have been trying to be strong & not worry; but my grandson is in the US Army & has trained for the Calvary..He was home for two weeks & went back to Ft Benning yesterday where he will graduate in 4 weeks & be sent who knows where to fight. He is my oldest grand & just turned 20. His name is James, if you feel led to pray God’s hedge of protection over him.

    • I’ve said a prayer for young James, Frances, that he may be kept safe from the enemies without – and those within, pressing alcohol, drugs, and other temptations.
      It was indeed a lovely, warm post. Thank you, Anjuli.

      • Thank you for praying for James. That means a lot. Right now he is a strong Christian & does not smoke nor drink..has always been active in church & has gone on mission trips; but I can’t help but worry about him..He is a very naive country boy. I sure do not want him to be swayed to change. This world is getting so evil it is scary to think about our loved ones in the military. Be blessed!

  5. Anjuli,
    Thank you for your thoughtful words that God is always with us and there for us, even through sadness ❤️
    Love ya friend!
    Erin

  6. Anjuki,
    I really appreciate your words this morning, and not long before I read them I’d read:
    Lamentations:3:22-23 22 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed for his compassion never fails. 23 They are new every morning, great is your faithfulness.

    I do believe that while feeling sad is okay, God doesn’t want us to spend our life that way, and offers us what might be even the slightest ray of sunshine to brighten our day. We left our town yesterday after months of a period of doom and gloom with no sunshine, darkness, grief, tragedy etc. to take my son to a neighboring one for his Diabetes checkup. As we drove down through the snow peaked mountains, there it was, a small opening of blue sky, and further down it was like we drove in to summer. Just the day before there had been a blizzard with trees down all across the highway. Due to this I had almost rescheduled the appt., therefore we would have missed all that was gloriously waiting.
    Have a blessed day all,
    I pray that there is a ray of sunshine to brighten up your day,
    Penny

  7. Anjuli,

    To often we as Christians feel we have to stuff it in & pretend everything is alright. We come to church with pasted smiles on our faces while hurting inside & not wanting anyone to know. Yet God knows & sees our pain. He made us to be in community. Why not let it out & tell others of your sadness or sorrow. Let them comfort & pray for you. The past few years have been filled with some hard times. My aging dad’s dementia got to point we hospitalized him twice. Now I face 2019 once again on a job search. Got my separation notice this week. Tough. Makes a person sad & lament the past sometimes. I willingly tell others of my predicaments & allow myself to be me-sad. Life down here on Earth is tough. This country seems to be going to heck in a hand basket. It hurts to see all this divisiveness & hatred. So I sit quietly & lament. I cry out to God. My tears flow easily & afterwards I feel better. Let’s quit pretending & start being real. It is alright to cry.

    Blessings 🙂

    • Thank you so much for this. I feel alone in my sadness. So many people just don’t understand the need for authenticity in the hard and painful. This was perfect timing for me and I am grateful for your honesty and insight reminding me that Jesus is here with me in all of it, He understands.

      • Camm,
        It does bring comfort to know we aren’t alone and God understands. Wish I could hug you.
        Anjuli

    • Beth,
      It is alright to be sad. Oh, friend, I am so sorry for your ache. I trust that Jesus is with you. I’m praying God would gather a host of loving people around you. Praying rises us from the ashes.
      You are loved.
      Anjuli

  8. The permission you granted us here to let sadness be real and felt is very dear to my heart. As already stated by others in the comments, our culture even in the church often doesn’t give this permission. I learned many years ago to bring my lament (and my joy–like Bev said) to the Lord. I am confident of his permission and actually his call to feel the emotions even though they can bring much pain. But, with God the pain has purpose. I have expressed this same encouragement to other Christians and have been met with a variety of responses. Some accept it, but struggle to live it. Others push-back with the ideas such as “we can’t live under the strain of deep sorrow all the time.” Yet, as I look to Scripture I see a different view. Just prior to reading this article, I was praying for the lost members of my biological family (many/most). Great sorrow rose in my heart as I did. I was reminded of Paul’s emotional response in Romans 9:1 in regard to his “kinsmen according to the flesh.” He wrote in regard to the unbelief among his biological family, “I am speaking the truth in Christ–I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy spirit–that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart.” I rejoice in the new life He has given me while I grieve the lost family and friends and others who are still under the wrath of God. I am praying that this heart for the lost to produce the fruit of continued prayer and sharing the gospel with them at the opportune times God will grant me. For again as Paul wrote, “My hearts desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved.” I pray this over my family and friends and over those who are on your lists. Please pray with me!

    • Diana,
      Yes, God always using pain for His glory. There is a purpose. Sometimes this truth brings me the most comfort. God is always redeeming. Always.

  9. Thank you Anjuli for this gentle acceptance. I stopped when reading this piece and asked myself why I’m sad, as I have had a few deep losses over the past 18 months and it all feels mixed up sometimes. It rose up in me.. I miss my dad. He died in December 2017. With the other losses concurrent, grieving has not been so straightforward. Yet I have no regrets with him and it was a peaceful passing. The sadness is what it is. Thank you guiding us to give ourselves permission to just be. Bless you all.

    • Agnes,
      Grieving is not straightforward. It’s like a storm isn’t it? Keep feeling the ache and loss of your dad. God is healing those deepest places of sadness. You are loved.

  10. Thanks for reminding us we can be sad. We tend to run from our own sadness. As well as the sadness of others. We don’t know what to say when someone is sad. We don’t know how to be sad ourselves. It is a sad state we are in. Let us sit in our sadness and the sadness of others and get a little more comfortable with the emotion.

    • Theresa,
      Yes, yes, yes. If we can accept our sadness, we can accept the sadness of others. So true.

  11. I think this post is my favorite thing you’ve written. “Our hearts get locked in pockets of sadness, but our bodies keep going.” Yes. This. All of it. I often feel pressure to only feel the feelings, admit the feelings, that I can perfectly name. If I can’t articulate the why, I don’t feel the freedom to feel. Thank you, dear friend, for giving us all the permission to see who is sitting next to us and invite Him into our hidden, unnamed sadness. xx

  12. Thank you so much for your sweet encouragement and prayers. It means alot!! So much I could share but I will just start with what I am going through right now. 2018 was a hard year. My husband lost his job he loved when his company unexpectedly closed, and then I lost my dad a year ago this coming Sunday. He was ill and the month leading up to his death was really difficult. He was very close to our family, and a strong presence in our lives. Even though I know he is with the Lord and not suffering any longer, the loss is still hard. Even though we have leaned on one another as a family, grief can still be isolating and lonely at times. It can make others uncomfortable. I am truly thankful for your prayers and the opportunity to share some of what I am feeling.

    • Camm, I’m so sorry for these losses, especially your dad. I lost my dad almost eight years ago. Grief is a strange, swallowing kind of lonely, even when family is close at hand. I get that. Jesus, be near. Much love to you.

  13. I am sad for everyone that writes in that has lost someone they love. It is not nice. It comes to very family some time. It came to mine. What gives you me great comfort. All the stories of how people coped in the Bible with loosing someone they loved plus knowing we have Jesus with us to help up. This other we point helps me alot. We might not have them on earth anymore. But we have good memories and photographs to look at and we can sit when we feel the time is right for us and look at photographs of them and talk about them and the good old days. Plus know one day we will see them in Glory again even though we don’t have them on earth. That give me great joy and help along with knowing Jesus is by my side helping get over loosing my love ones. Love Dawn prayers are with all who have lost loved one xxx

  14. I needed this right now
    Im dealing with a job move(husband) that i didnt want but had no choice
    To an area i didnt want to go to
    This is the second move in less than a year. Toss in health issues a not great apt and my fight with seasonal affective disorder. I dont even have the drive to make this into a home

  15. I loved the line “what if the person sitting by you was Jesus?” ….it really made me stop and tear up…thank you for this insightful article

  16. Thank you so much for themis post. I keep praying for God to examine all those dark corners of my heart, where the cobwebs live… to wash me clean… to heal my heart and build it up again.