In some circles in the light of setbacks, failings, disappointments or tragedies the encouragement given is to put a brave face on.
This face is a stoic one. It does not betray much in the way of tearful or sad emotion. It has written on it a gritty, steadfast, determined and unbowed stance. Things will go on. The efforts won’t be halted. We will press on.
These are commendable positions to take when bad things happen. However, sometimes the brave face is just a front. Sometimes behind the brave face there are some things going on that don’t connect with those ‘we keep going’ sentiments. Sometimes it’s good not to keep on the brave face.
Sometimes it hasn’t worked and it hurts, so it’s important to express that hurt. Sometimes that failing and setback left a deep impact of disappointment and masking it with a brave face postpones the necessary healing process. It is not alright. You will not press on. It is not going to be fine. It will not even begin to be that way until the process of expressing that sorrow takes place. Expressing the hurt, expressing the uncertainty, expressing the anger, expressing the anxiety – expressing all that is not necessarily a bad thing. It doesn’t have to be seen as losing faith in God. Even if it does mean that, it is not a hopeless circumstance. It can be the best place for something beneficial to be experienced.
For that process to take place it can sometimes be of help to go behind the brave face. Give permission for what is behind there to be exposed to the light and dealt with on the terms of the Light. That can be a great thing not just for you, but for those around you who may feel the need to put on the brave face at the cost of what they are really struggling with behind that.
For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden