One thing I’ve only recently come to accept is any sort of joy in life. Those things that make me laugh, smile, hope, rejoice.
After Michael died I hated hearing about those things, because living in my sadness kept me closer to him. And rightly so. (Although the day after he died my best friend surprised me by flying into town and I woke up and she was here and we *did* laugh so hard for a handful of moments and those fleeting moments were such a precious gift….) But now I have found that joy and grief are not mutually exclusive.
That, one minute, I can be sobbing to the Goo Goo Dolls and the next rocking out to Whitney. That, one minute, I can be welling up with emotion at missing him so much and the next smiling at the hope of the future ahead of me.
That, one minute, I realize how much of me has died with him and the next seeing how much is being rebirthed into the new creation I am meant to be.
Even in my dealings with world I hold both: that, one minute, I can be abandoned to accepting all that is to come while the next so courageous in wanting to change the trajectory of the world itself.
I am allowing myself all of it, being so gentle with my heart. Jesus has been so gentle with my heart. He has held it and let it feel whatever it’s needed to. He has taken my punches and lifted me when I couldn’t stand. He is both challenging me to a deeper faith while being patient where I’m at.
We should all be so gentle with each other right now. The crosses we are all carrying are quite heavy.
I hope Michael is proud of me. I hope he sees how hard I’m trying to keep moving forward, to keep laughing through the tears. I hope he sees our beautiful babies and how much they love Jesus and eternity because he is there. That his kids say “even tho I lost my dad I am so happy for him and I have the best life…” I hope I can carry his legacy into the future by keeping him alive in minds and hearts and by raising children that honor the Lord he is with.
Maybe these all sound like platitudes but this is my heart, mingled in words on a page. And the joy is there, dancing among the flames of sorrow, and the dawn is not quite breaking forth but, again, someday it will. Someday it will.