Even in laughter the heart may ache, and the end of joy may be grief. - Proverbs 14:13
For so long I would feel shame and feel emotionally unstable, when I had a bowl full of mixed feelings. I would feel like I was eating sprouts with my favourite chocolate shake. They don't really go and are very different, but they have one thing in common and that is that they are both edible. The same goes for our feelings, both grief and joy can be felt at the same time. We are so often quick to separate them both, but all that does is put them in two categories of "okay" and "not okay". I am so thankful that the scripture above exists, because I don't know about you, hard times or not, we are emotional beings and sometimes going to feel a bit crap. Then some days we may be overjoyed, but this doesn't mean there's something wrong with you.
The day Reuben was born, it was a bitter sweet day. I had a heart that was full of joy and thankfulness. But the day he took his last breath, while I was holding him still haunts me with grief. The same thoughts and questions run through my head. I still hear the words of my prayers, "Help! It's just not fair." The pain of loosing him, felt like death had come for me.
"Help! It's just not fair."
Yet this very same verse also takes me to a time when Isabella was born. I would sometimes look at her, filled with joy and gratitude and happiness - but then very soon finding myself crying in despair and grief over Reuben who was no longer with us. This is a slice of freedom in just one sentence. It's completely okay to not feel just joy, but how many of us feel shame for feeling both joy and grief? So let this piece of scripture release you. Even in the simple days of motherhood and life, I find myself one minute laughing and smiling over a new word or a first step, then hours later I have an ache in my heart because I lost my patience with them and needed space. Who's with me?
One evening, I prayed with Elijah and shared a precious moment with him. We spoke to Jesus and shared our feelings. He told me that Jesus is saying that He loves everyone in the world. Wow my heart! My whole being in that moment was overjoyed, I wanted to cry because he was just so full of love. Then the same day, he hits his little sister and throws chairs, toys and literally everything across the room because he his frustrated for a moment. It's not right for me to teach him to not express his true emotions, but my job is to guide him through them and protect him. Sometimes when he gets so upset and angry, I sit him down and I become peace to his situation. I ask him, "what is wrong Elijah?" Let's talk, let's breathe and let's make a solution. I am definitely not saying his feelings are not valid, but I can help through them. Jesus does the same for us.
"Let's talk, let's breathe and let's make a solution."
I feel this message can relate to the days that we live in now - bitter and sweet. Some of us have so much time off from work and find the joy/sweetness of spending time with your families. But then you may have those days when it feels lonely and you feel under-accomplished. It doesn't mean your life is is over! It just means in that moment you feel grief or disappointment, which is real and meaningful. This all means something to God! You don't have to think to yourself, that "All will be well tomorrow." or "Let's just get through this day." Yes that's some what true, but maybe there's a real life moment in your grief and disappointment. A moment that can make a difference to your life. A moment that can teach you to get through each emotion.
So today, let this small word of encouragement wash over you. Whether your in a moment of laughter and joy or grief and suffering. Please know that both are valid, both are true. Both are okay to eat! It may feel like a sprouts and chocolate shake to start with, which may seem gross. But what if both was blended together? You would have yourself a super food smoothie!! There is no shame in balance, my friend! This word is probably mostly for my own ears to hear, and to be honest most of my blogs do speak directly to me, but with some hope I pray it blesses you too!
Lots of love,