“Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. . .You (will turn) my mourning into dancing.” (Psalm 30: 5a, 11)
I’m not certain right at the moment if I should share with you all exactly why I am dealing with sadness, sorrow, and grief. But I can tell you that it is something I have been dealing with over the past ten days or so. Of course, this is not the first time I have experienced those sorts of feelings, so I have the advantage of knowing that I will eventually be on the other side of it, and have a different perspective on the feeling as well as the subject of my sorrow. But being in the center of it, as I am right now, also offers a unique perspective on my life today.
I have learned over the years of my life that grief is essential to living a happy and fulfilled life. Some of you might see that as an odd statement, perhaps even inappropriate, but I believe that unless you have experienced sadness, sorrow, and grief, you cannot fully appreciate the true essence of happiness. Appreciation of happiness is possible only because I know how tenuous it can be. All things change, all things are in flux. When my Mom used to tell me, “This too shall pass,” she meant not just grief and pain, but also happiness.
However, because I have an intimate relationship with God, I live in perpetual joy. Joy is totally separate from happiness, (for me anyway). Happiness comes and goes, as, for the present, it has left me. Nevertheless, my heart is overflowing with joy. I know that sounds contradictory. I am absolutely not telling you that I have something inside of me that others don’t have. I know that joy because it is something that has not always been central in and to my life. I am a Christian, and I am deeply in love with the one for whom that faith is named, but I do not believe that joy is reserved for Christians. I believe that joy is available to all. There are prerequisites, however. I do believe that joy is a direct result of an intimate, active, and living connection with the Creator – in whatever way you choose to recognize and acknowledge that relationship..
So for now, something has been lost to me, but not the eternal and living connection with Love. Some day I know I will be able to recall, rather than dwell in, the sadness that seems overwhelming to me at present. I must add that this sadness does not belong to me alone, but it is something that I share with the ones I love the most. It is also a peculiar comfort to me to know that God shares my grief and understands; God is ready, willing, and Gracious to accept my anger and bewilderment as well. One of the few things that I will actually say to people about my own faith is that very thing.** Don’t ever be afraid or unwilling to tell God of doubts and unbelief, or that you are angry and just down-right mad at Her! Believe me, God can take it, and quite frankly, if He can’t, then in my book, She wouldn’t be much of a God. He would be far too small. More than anything, I believe that God wants to be in relationship, and will take it in whatever form it comes.
I won’t go on, but suffice it to say, the coming days promise some more tears, but that’s OK. Because I know that those tears will be dried, and my smiles will soon come as frequently as ever, and Pepper’s laugh won’t come exclusively from memory, but that we will be laughing together. God is Good – all the time! All the time – God is Good!
**(Anyone who knows me knows that I am more than willing to speak of my faith, and share my own experiences, but, I am eager to do so only when I have been asked. By the way – I know I wasn’t asked to share for this post, but after all, it’s my blog, and in times like this, I always do a bit of asking myself! 😀 Words can be empty things, and signify nothing. Anyone can talk about God or Spirit in their lives, but only those who know it will live it. If I do not show my faith in how I live, then what I say will have no power or meaning, and will ultimately be false. My Mom asked me one time, “Paula, if you were accused of being a Christian, would there be enough evidence in your life to convict you?” That is something I live for. . .)
In case you are wondering about the pronouns I use for God, I often interchange the male/female references because I believe God is neither and both, yet infinitely more – and definitely not an “it!”
Dear Gentle Readers, I wish you all enough. . .