Last May, when I found out the son I was carrying in my belly had no heartbeat, a dear friend and spiritual mama in my life, gave me the best advice…. Make sure you cry enough. In that advice, I heard Jesus speaking to me. I think it is imperative to cry enough in life and I also think it is vital that we laugh enough. When you are in a happy moment, the laughs come easy but when life is tough is when I find that I must be intentional about laughing. Laughing is part of the healing, part of the breakthrough and part of the victory.
A few years ago, we were in a miserable and discontented season. Every believer (probably every person) goes through these times because the tension of ‘being grateful for where you’re at, but dreaming of and knowing that God has more’ is a huge part of the believers life. He’s calling us to not be stagnant but live big and beautiful lives. The paradox of this is the fact that we also need to be grateful and find contentment right where we’re at as well.
Back to the story… We were in a place we knew God had brought us to but knew that it was only a temporary season and when we found ourselves already 2 years in, I was so ready for the next season. We also were beginning the most strangling financial bondage we have ever know. Life was beginning to feel a bit like hell. We were in – but slugging through – the proverbial ‘valley of the shadow of death’. By the Grace of Jesus and the faithfulness of His promise, we are now on the other side. We have crossed through and found ourselves in a ‘promised land’ season.
There’s really only one reason I survived that season, the joy of the Lord. He gave us several ‘joy escapes’ in that season…
First, we were traveling in ministry and were having some beautiful services, full of His glory. He would refresh me often before I had to immerse myself back into the reality of where we were.
Second, He gave us our surprise baby – Journey Joy – who truly brought joy to our entire family in the midst of the heaviness.
And third, He taught me to laugh.
Laughter is not breakthrough but it is the most significant numbing agent to the pain and heaviness I felt. It was what kept me sane and moving forward. If you’re in one of those tough or, maybe even hellish seasons, I encourage you to find things to make you laugh. Laughter can trigger joy, it can numb the pain and it will give you hope that “this too shall pass and I will be in a different season of life”. Because you know what? You will! Keep moving, keep laughing… there is another side!
Here’s a few things I found that made me LOL in the midst of dark times. Maybe they can help you find your own laugh!
- Seinfeld. Pick your own sitcom, YouTube videos, or movies but ours was reruns of Seinfeld. My husband and I would put our kiddos to bed and laugh hysterically at the ridiculousness of this show. Others I know, have watched old episodes of Friends or the comedian Jim Gaffigan. Just find something to watch that makes you laugh!
- Babies and Grammas. After nearly 9 years of no new babies, Jesus gave us the most wonderful surprise right in the midst of those stormy years. As my baby grew and changed every day, I was reminded how much FUN they are! So many giggles. And grammas… my Grandma is a down-to-earth, 80-something woman who doesn’t take herself too serious. She can laugh at herself and tell stories on herself. She makes me happy. And makes me laugh.
- Myself. By nature, I am a more serious person. But over the last few years, the Lord has broken me out of my rigidness and given me a sense of humor. Honestly, I maybe have swung too far – sarcasm and lightheartedness outweigh my desire to have a serious conversation most of the time now. But not taking myself as seriously has brought such a freedom to my soul, not to mention lots of laughter!