Photo Cred: Lesly Juarez @unsplash

I laugh at the most inappropriate times. Sure, I laugh when people are witty or funny. In fact, my husband makes me laugh almost everyday because he is both. His sense of humor was the first thing that attracted me to him over twenty years ago.

But I also laugh when I am so angry I want to throw a baseball at someone’s stomach. I laugh when I’m uncomfortable and feel nervous about speaking to a group of people. I laugh when I’m sad to the point of feeling hopeless; I let out this heavy sigh while I smile, not really chuckling but soft-laughing like, “I can’t really believe I’m feeling this sad right now.”

Laughter has been my first response when I’m feeling emotions I don’t want to feel for as long as I can remember. But the thing is, I know a different way. It’s just that I’ve been out of practice lately.

Just over five years ago, I learned a lot about acknowledging my feelings and working through my emotions in a program called Recovery for Life. And when I say acknowledging, I don’t mean laughing. I mean taking a few seconds to admit that I’m feeling fear or anger or just plain heartache and saying it out loud. Audibly. Speaking the words aloud so I can hear them.

 “She hurt me by saying that. I am sad.”

“He is asking me to do something I have no idea how to do. I am fearful I’ll fail.”

“I cannot believe I responded that way to my friend. I am so angry at myself.”

The more I speak with friends about reentry, the more I’m hearing about people who are struggling to acknowledge their own painful emotions. Maybe you’re working on acknowledging your own honest thoughts and feelings, too. I think, as we reenter what we hope will be a post-COVID life, we’re all working on a few things.

As I lead at Body Truth and in my home and in the communities God places me, I’ll be sharing how this “starting over” begins with just telling the truth. Acknowledging my situation and state of mind. Even if I’m not happy about it.

Especially if I’m not happy about it.

I’ll be sharing how we, as God’s daughters, need to encourage one another as we acknowledge we are each a work in progress.

There is no shame in not knowing where our acknowledgments will lead. We have limited vision. And although we cannot see all things, God has no qualms with us acknowledging the little we can see. God also has no qualms with us acknowledging the truth as we share our feelings with Him. We don’t have to hide behind laughter with Him; he can handle all of our emotions.

Isn’t He good like that?

So, if you hear me laughing at something that clearly isn’t funny, I give you full permission to call me out on it. Unless you hear me laughing with my husband and you just don’t find him as funny as I do.

In that case, I invite you to join us and hang around a few minutes. Even some of our corny jokes, you might find endearing. I think we can all acknowledge we need more laughter right now, especially the kind that brings us together.