Dancing in the mall.
Yes, the middle of the mall.
Jason grabbed me and I didn’t resist. Most of the time I would have resisted. Me, the self-conscious one, not wanting to make a fool of myself in front of others. But this time I didn’t care. I’m glad I didn’t.
I danced. I smiled. I laughed. I distinctly remember thinking how thankful I was for this wonderful man…how happy I was that I was living life with him. We learned a lot about relationships and life in the five years we were married. We did a lot of growing up in those years. We laughed, played, fought, made-up, dreamt, and philosophized together. We had fun—lots and lots of fun together.
I was anxious with anticipation to find where God would take the two of us and our lovely 7-month old son.
I dreamt of children, and travel, and serving together. Adventures. Lazy days enjoying each other. Growing old together.
But, those dreams were not to be. God had different plans for our lives.
I was left without a husband. Without a lover. Without my best friend. Bradley was left without a father.
I was crushed. The despair threatened to suffocate me. There were days—many days—where I was scared I’d never feel joy again. I felt alone. I was surrounded by people who loved me, yet I felt the loneliness would overwhelm me.
Finding Joy in the Sorrow
1. God is in control.
When life seems to spin out of control, take comfort in the fact that our Creator is the one who formed the light, created the darkness, and commands the seas. He is in control even when life feels out of control.
For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
Colossians 1:16-17 (ESV)
2. You are not alone.
It’s crazy how lonely one can feel even while surrounded by loving friends and family. When loneliness threatens to overwhelm you sometimes I felt those were the times I needed to be alone the most. Take those moments to seek God and let Him comfort you.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
Psalm 23:4 (ESV)
3. Celebrate the blessings you have.
When the despair is crushing, remember what you have. Focus on the blessing of Jesus. The blessings in your life. I thanked God often for my beautiful son who I was able to hold and nurse. I was thankful for a son who reminded me of the love I had with Jason and the beauty of God’s creation of life.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6-7 (ESV)
4. Weeping endures for the night, but joy comes in the morning.
Your joy will come. It may not feel like it, but it will come. Life is hard. Some peoples lives are filled with hard time times heaped upon hard times. Heartache upon heartache. But, if you know Jesus, then one day your joy will come. Look forward to eternity and immeasurable joy with your Savior.
Sing praises to the Lord, O you his saints,
and give thanks to his holy name.
For his anger is but for a moment,
and his favor is for a lifetime.
Weeping may tarry for the night,
but joy comes with the morning.
Psalm 30:4-5 (ESV)