Sunday, January 19, 2014

Joy and Sorrow

In one week's time I've followed/heard about/seen pictures of the arrival of two very precious, healthy rainbow babies, been to one baby shower, and heard about/prayed for two families who lost their babies this week. Talk about emotional roller coaster! And in the quiet times that I've had, I keep coming back to the same question, "how?" How can joy and sorrow co-exist in this world? How can one family be having their happily ever after while another just begins their worst nightmare? How, How, How? The answer is -I don't know. But I'm sure that even if I had an answer it would not help me understand any better. The truth is that joy and sorrow do co-exist. Since losing Caleb I have had felt a strong calling to do ministry in the pregnancy loss vineyard. While that is something I'm pursuing, I also have a lot of joy in my life and of those around me. At last Sunday's baby shower I spent two hours "ooooing and ahhing" over the little clothes, blankets, and shoes. Then I went home and spent time writing my meditation for our upcoming retreat-on the darkness of loss and living life without your baby. Throughout it all I keep asking God "Give me the strength to do this-to keep my heart open to joy and sorrow." Because the temptation is to lean too heavy on one end of the spectrum-become a hermit and immerse myself in the baby loss community and get stuck there. Or to turn my back when I hear of tragedies and just act like life is fine and that sorrows don't really happen. But the middle road, one that embraces both the joy and sorrow is so tricky and requires strength I never thought I would need. As we approach these final two weeks until the retreat I'm going to continue to walk in the darkness of loss and it's aftermath. But there is still joy and rejecting that would be rejecting the resurrection. Father, give me strength for both, for joy and sorrow and in the meantime, a stiff drink to go along with it!

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