Today I'm praying for/about:

Today, (in no particular order) I'm praying for...
- Fresh ideas, inspiration and diligence to post regularly again

- My dad fighting mesothelioma too far away for me to hug him

- Children, parents, and teachers everywhere preparing to return to school

- My single friends as they seek God for His guidance in relationships

- Broken relationships; for grace to abound where grace has been withheld

- You; I'm praying for every single person who views this blog.

Thank you for standing in agreement with me for these precious souls!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Joy Comes in the Mourning

10 years ago...

Maybe the subject has become a dead horse to some but for this little patriot, the 10-year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks called me to reflect.  I watched a few documentaries over the weekend, watched my husband share a video and devotion at church on Sunday, prayed, cried some tears and pondered what it all meant in the grand scheme of life.

With my hormones kicking into high gear it intensified the emotions I felt through all the commemoration.  At some points I felt a contented peace that there haven't been any more sincere efforts of that magnitude since then, I felt sorrow for those who lost loved ones, co-workers, friends, comrades, brethren, I felt a hint of fear regarding if/when/where terrorists may strike again, and I felt rage; a resurrection of a seething, righteous anger that someone had the gall to do what they did to so many people.  I'm sure the gamut of emotions we are processing as a nation and generation is very much akin to what was felt after Pearl Harbor, and, if we venture outside our own scope, that of the Japanese after Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

It's all part of grief and the healing process.  I was pondering grief today and God gave me a picture of a darkened room, closed off and hushed with heavy drapes and dust.  We have a choice to make in that room; we can choose to slowly open back up, begin to draw the shades and let the light in or we can withdraw and disappear into it, cocooning ourselves in sorrow.  Forgiveness works in a similar manner... it's a choice to either let in the light or remain shrouded in darkness.  It reminded me of the old woman, Miss Havisham, in Great Expectations and the room in which she spent her days, missing out on life, her heart and emotions locked away in a time capsule of pain.

Psalm 30:5(b) seems fitting: "...sorrow may last for a night but joy comes in the morning."  If we allow God's light to flood into our grief then we find His hope, promises and forgiveness.  Joy is not the same as happiness; happiness is temporal and dependent on circumstances.  Joy is the peace that "surpasses all understanding" because of the victory we know we have through our identity in Him.  It is likely that every one of us will face more unhappiness (ranging from minor irritations to major tragedy) than happiness in our lives.  With Christ, we can have peace and joy amidst it all even when we're not happy about it.  It is especially in those trials that we can learn fully what joy is so that, quite literally, that joy comes in the mourning.

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