I like to sing to my daughter. She loves it. She smiles and wiggles around, and she just can't get enough of it. My favorite song to sing to her is "You Are My Sunshine." I'm sure you've heard it:
You are my sunshine!
My only sunshine!
You make me happy
When skies are gray.
You'll never know, dear,
How much I love you.
Please don't take my sunshine away.
Isn't that sweet? Fun fact: it's Louisiana's state song. Sure beats whatever Indiana's is. "My Indiana Home," maybe? A song about "moonlight on the Wabash" is not quite as catchy as "You Are My Sunshine." What a happy song! What an uplifting song!
Well, you're wrong about that. Ever hear the second verse?
The other night, dear,
As I lay sleeping,
I dreamed I held you in my arms,
But when I woke, dear,
I was mistaken,
And I hung my head and I cried.
Oh. Well. Not quite so sunshiney, huh? I sing that verse, too. That's actually why I started singing "You Are My Sunshine" while I was pregnant. I really wanted my daughter to arrive, so I sang the verse about her not being here and how sad it made me. It's a truly depressing verse, so I'm not sure what compelled me to sing it to my belly. Hopefully it didn't depress my girl in utero. She's pretty smiley, so it doesn't seem to have fazed her.
Sometimes we like to focus on the happy things in life and ignore the less "sunshiney" parts. While I wouldn't encourage anyone to be a Debbie Downer all the time (which I was for the duration of my pregnancy—sorry!), you can't ignore the things you don't like about life.
Sometimes life is awful. Sometimes you suffer. Sometimes bad things happen. Sometimes you can't be sunny. Sometimes you have to admit there's a second verse where you feel like crying.
And that's OK.
Sorrow is better than laughter, for by sadness of face the heart is made glad. The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth. - Ecclesiastes 7:2-4
When we experience sadness or trials, we grow. We learn. We become wiser. Jesus cried when things got rough. Jesus was scared. Jesus asked for his circumstances to change. That was the human part of him, so how much more would we, at 100% human, feel such things? The Psalms show every range of emotion—anger, sadness, happiness, and everything in between. We can bring all of those things to God. He wants to hear them. He wants to know our hearts.
Sometimes we as Christians feel like we have to put on a happy face and make people think things are fine when they're not. I used to be like that all the time; I used it as a shield. We've got to stop doing that. We're doing ourselves and the people around us a disservice. It makes people feel lousy when they're struggling and someone else seems to just dance through life with nothing bothering them. Yes, we have the joy of the Lord, but even the Lord knows life is going to be rough. He can carry our burdens. He can bring us peace. But there's a time to cry or a time to mourn (check Ecclesiastes 3). We're allowed that time.
But check I Peter 4:12-13:
Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ's sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.
Cry. Be upset. Pour your heart out to someone (especially to God). But then watch for God's glory to be revealed through your suffering. Will it make the suffering go away? Nope. But it may help you understand it a little bit better, and that will bring the wisdom.
Do you allow yourself to cry and grieve, or do you feel like you always have to have a cheerful front?