Sorrow and Joy

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“Joy and sorrow are never separated. When our hearts rejoice at a spectacular view, we may miss our friends who cannot see it, and when we are overwhelmed with grief, we may discover what true friendship is all about. Joy is hidden in sorrow and sorrow in joy. If we try to avoid sorrow at all costs, we may never taste joy, and if we are suspicious of ecstasy, agony can never reach us either. Joy and sorrow are the parents of our spiritual growth.” -Henri Nouwen

My friend and mentor, Judy, texted me these words of Henri last night. My heart resonated as if it identified someone speaking its rare and precious dialect on the far side of a crowded room.

This season of grief has surprised me with unexpected joy. I wouldn’t have had his words to explain it, but it’s been true. Wonderfully true.

It is joy, come in the form of discovering even deeper riches of the relationships God’s provided me.

Here are just a few examples:

Two dear friends who brought chocolate and wine and their unrushed selves to my living room. They gifted their ears to me to tell them whatever I wanted/needed about the days I was navigating between hearing of no heartbeat and finally actually miscarrying the baby.

Sorrow and joy.

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Lizzy’s creation of breakfast for Scott and I (a first). When I asked why, she replied that she knew I was sad because of losing the baby so she wanted to make breakfast.

Joy and sorrow.

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A beloved friend who texted me this picture on the week anniversary of delivering our tiny baby and wrote, “At Andrew’s Christmas program, but wrote Gabriel’s birth time on my hand so I could remember to pray for you right now. You are in my heart, dear friend. I love you.” I sobbed to be so remembered by the Lord through her.

Sorrow and joy.

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At first I thought it was an accident that our sweet family friend included this box of tissue in the bags she dropped off with the delicious meal she’d made us. But then I noticed her handwriting.

“‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” Revelation 21:4

Joy and sorrow.

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This may-his-stubbornness-be-used-for-good-not-evil-oh-please-Jesus boy turned 4 today.

I dropped him off at preschool and hot tears warmed my face. Deep sadness that I won’t be dropping Gabriel off at preschool one day.

A fresh awareness of Joshua as my last baby fell on my heart like a rock over a cliff.

But, then, joy surprised me and crawled up over the side of the dropoff.

So even though I wouldn’t have designed it this way, I’ll trust the One who decided that sorrow and joy are to be embraced and somehow, somehow enhance the other.

Oh, Jesus. One day. Someday.

I believe in the rest of the story
And I believe there’s still ink in the pen
I have wasted my very last day
Trying to change what happened way back when

I believe it’s the human condition
We all need to have answers to why
More than ever I’m ready to say that I
Will still sleep peacefully
With answers out of reach from me until

Someday all that’s crazy
All that’s unexplained will fall into place
And someday all that’s hazy
Through a clouded glass will be clear at last
And sometimes we’re just waiting for someday

We were born with a lingering hunger
We were born to be unsatisfied
We are strangers who can’t help but wander
And dream about the other side

Every puzzle’s missing piece
Every unsolved mystery
More than half of every whole
Rests in the hands that hold you for someday

Someday all that’s crazy
All that’s unexplained will be beautiful, beautiful
And someday all that’s hazy
Through a clouded glass will be clear at last
And sometimes we’re just waiting, we’re waiting for someday

Nichole Nordeman :: “Someday”

 

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5 thoughts on “Sorrow and Joy

  1. Don January 6, 2017 / 8:13 am

    Angie God has certainly gifted you as a writer who can beautifully express her heart, and blessed the rest of us through your willingness to share it. We continue to pray for you and your precious family. God is most certainly with you dear sister!

  2. MaryJo January 6, 2017 / 10:06 am

    Angie – you share so well, what a journey you have been on. Thanks for writing this. I also was impressed with the Kleenex and verse. I will have to tuck that one away for the future. Bless you!

  3. Melba Bentley January 6, 2017 / 1:41 pm

    Oh Angie, what deep, touching and sweet feelings you have so generously shared with us!!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH for sharing the Spirit with us so we may better understand God and His Plan for all of mankind!!!!🎈🙏😄🙏❤️❤️ 🙏🙏❤️❤️🎈We LOVE YOU ALL sooo much!!!!❤️❤️ Love, Melba/Mom❤️❤️

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

  4. bakohl January 6, 2017 / 6:37 pm

    Once again, you read my mind and showed me some places I didn’t realize were there.
    Thanks for sharing your “stuff”. It’s real, and honest, and insightful.
    It may help you, but it helps others too.
    Hugs, hugs, and more hugs to you’re beautiful family.

  5. Alison January 7, 2017 / 11:32 am

    Oh dear friend!…. you never cease to astound me! Here you are morning the loss of Gabriel’s precious life and all the while, giving us the very thing you mourn with your words…LIFE!!! Thank you so much for your vulnerability and raw-ness. I found hope in them today! Praying for your sweet family during this difficult season!!!!

    “See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.”
    ‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭49:16‬ ‭

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