Joy & Sorrow

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It’s such a funny thing how life can continue, yet not be the same.

I get up, drink my coffee, go to work, love on my students, come home, eat dinner, and go to bed.
Just the same as I’ve always done.
But the past three weeks have been tinted with sorrow.

Three weeks ago we lost my Grandma.
She had fallen several months ago resulting in a serious brain injury.
She spent months recovering and each time we visited she was improving more and more.
She would hold our hands, smile, raise our hands to her lips to kiss them, roll her eyes, shake her finger, nod her head.
All these things we were told she might not ever do again.
I thank the Lord we were able to share these sweet moments with her again.
Sweet graces that have been etched into my mind.

I will never forget my last birthday when my aunt called me at work and put her on the phone and I heard her say, “I love you” for the first time in months.

I have not walked through death of loved ones in my lifetime.
This was the first.

But it won’t be the last.

And, goodness, that is so hard to even think about.
My mind almost immediately starts shutting down, unwilling to even fathom the thought.
I used to tell Josh how hard it was for me to leave my parents’ house after visiting them because my mind would think about how one day, it won’t be so.

We live in this world where great sorrow and great joy exist.
And for the Christian, they are experienced simultaneously.

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.

There is great sorrow in losing my grandma.
I am so thankful for how well she loved my sister and I.
In the little ways she would spoil us, as only grandmas know how.
Nutter-Butters, sweet tea, a pool to spend our summer days.
How she would keep a stash of our favorite markers at her house to color and write with.

There is sweetness that death need not end in sorrow.
That yes, death is hard.
It’s painful.
It’s ugly.
But at the same time there’s joy.
Death for the believer means we get Jesus.
Hallelujah!

There’s joy that I was able to grow up with my sassy, caring, stern, loving grandma. (She was never one for needle-point or pinching cheeks.)
There’s great joy in all the sweet moments and laughter shared with her.

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“Therefore, when sorrows break over our lives as Christians, which they do and will regularly under our Father’s providential and disciplinary care, our joy does not die.” (“Does Death Die in Sorrow?”)

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