12.3.16: Mourning to Joy

I am suddenly very aware that my cheeks are sore from laughing.  I would not have expected that, not on this day.

12.3.2016: The day my dad married a woman that was not my mother.  

Of course, I expected it to be a day of celebration, but it surpassed my expectations.

On this day, I have seen a glimpse of God.  

When my mom was diagnosed with cancer, our world became shrouded in a shadow that steadily became darker and seemingly more hopeless as her sickness progressed.  We were clinging to the smallest ray of hope in what felt like a pit of darkness.

It is hard to describe, but my memories of that season are actually tinted in a cloud-like shadow, the pain of which sits like a rock in my gut if I take the time to remember the raw details of what it is to watch one you love most dearly walk through the dreaded death by cancer.  It is awful in every way.

Yet, as I remember, through that shadow runs a thin golden ray, like the rope that anchored us to the hope that we would make it through the shadowlands, that we would one day laugh again, that pain would come full circle to joy.  Back then, that rope was just a thin tendril, so fragile as we clung to the One who had seen us through every trial so far and who we had to trust would see us through our greatest trial yet.  He was our only Hope.

As the day progresses, I realize the tears in my eyes are not those of mourning but of joy and wonder.  Suddenly, it hits me.  If my mom were still living, we would not be experiencing the joy of this day.  In that realization, that ache within my heart is awakened again at not getting to see my mom again within this lifetime, but it it surpassed by awe.

This day, we have come full circle.  I am astounded at how God can take the most painful trial, and as a direct result of that trial, bring about something so joyful and so powerful that it defies even death.

The enemy came to steal, kill, and destroy.  His sickness stole from our family, tried to kill one of our own, almost destroyed us.  But our God is the God of redemption.  What the enemy tried to steal from us, God has restored.  What the enemy intended for death, God powerfully turned into life.  What the enemy meant for destruction, God transformed into unwavering hope and new joy.  Cancer came to kill my mom, but instead, she departed earth’s shores for the glorious fields of heaven, running free and full of life in the presence of the One our souls yearn after.

Because of this redemption, we have the joy of this day.  We get to welcome an amazing woman into our family who shines the light of Jesus so beautifully knowing our Mama is safe, healed, and alive in the presence of Jesus.  We get to testify that our God truly redeems all things, even those seemingly past redemption. 

I am forever grateful.  This is my God.  

 

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