Life is tricky. The path from getting here to there is not how we imagine it the majority of the time. Our journey leads us through a joy beyond what we know but also drags us through valleys of grief.

Over the last month, life has hung in a place between heart wrenching grief and amazing joy. Last week I shared the place I find myself in between the shadows and the light. But this beautiful place that requires a balancing act is nothing without the joy that evens out the diversity of emotions. Amazing joy entered on the heels of grief when my son got married a week after my dad passed away. God took a celebration of life and added the union of two people as one in marriage into the mix. Only God takes our broken hearts and mends them almost as soon as they are broken. Only God takes our grief and tenderly holds it while we share in the joy of a wedding.

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Never doubt that God knows what we need! He teaches us in the shadows and uses the time to bring us to the light.

Amazing joy fills us to capacity and leaves an overflow in its wake. Belly laughs that start from our toes and reach to the tips of our fingers shower memories of joy we can recall over and over. They say laughter is the best medicine and when you experience it for yourself, you learn why.

God teaches us the beauty of tending to a hurting heart is just as important as the snippets of laughter that fill us with joy. I find a beautiful illustration of the place between the shadows and the light in Matthew 28. Three days after Jesus died on the cross, He rose from the dead. The moment when the two women found Jesus by the tomb displays amazing joy.

The women, deep in wonder and full of joy, lost no time in leaving the tomb. They ran to tell the disciples. Then Jesus met them, stopping them in their tracks. “Good morning!” he said. They fell to their knees, embraced his feet, and worshiped him. Matthew 28:8-19 MSG

In the moment when the worst thing possible happens, Jesus dying on the cross, God makes sure the story doesn’t end there. Jesus rose from the dead and this ending instead became the beginning of the Good News.

 

I am learning…

There is joy in the midst of grief. When the shadows blanket the heart, God sees and knows what I am feeling.

Even through the pain, there is a point where light sneaks in and in the connection between the two, joy explodes.

God takes time to nurture us through the pain and provides space to not be okay.

Healing takes place when we allow pain and joy to work side by side.

Today I am praying for all who find their joy competing with grief. May you feel God’s comfort as He opens your heart to the light of His joy.

Blessings of grace and peace along the way!

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Here are a few wedding photos for you to enjoy!

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