Sunday, December 15, 2013

Joy in Sadness, Joy in Loss…REALLY????

Week number 3 for my project focuses on Joy.  Every time I have to write about joy in relation to loss I cringe and, if you note the time, I obviously don’t jump up out of bed to get writing this one first thing in the morning!  
I mean, seriously, who puts joy and loss in the same sentence.  Who can possibly put connect these two things with any form of sincerity??? 
Well I hope the answer to that is me but I am not so sure.  Not so confident in general these last few days (still reeling from Fridays drama and my disappointment) and certainly not convinced that I can share anything worthwhile on this subject. But here’s to trying.
When someone passes away at an old age, after living a long and eventful life, we can usually admit to grieving with joy.  I mean if they lived a wonderful life, accomplished great things and made a life long impact on the world then it’s easy to grieve with joy, with happiness, with acceptance.
But a child…really…not much joy in that one!
Or is there???
When you think of your own life do you only think of all the things that have gone right, been perfect?  The times that were only happy, only positive, only filled with laughter and love.  If you answered yes to this then I would some of whatever you are taking cuz that is GOOOOOOD medication! 
Life is not perfect, life is not only happy and positive.  Every person’s life has it’s challenges.  Every life has it’s fill of sadness, of meanness, of jealousy, of hate, of rudeness, of failure…. I could go on and on and on.  The point is that life here on earth is not perfect.  No person is given a life without challenges. 
We live in a world filled with sin, of strife and of evil.  From the moment that Adam and Eve took that first bite of the apple the world has been filled with evil.  There is not way around, no way to avoid it.  Some people may seem to have it better or worse then others but no one is immune to the evil in the world. 
But my son didn’t experience any of that…not one single second.  He left this world before any little boy ever took his toys, ever called him stupid, ever pushed him down or punched him in the nose.  He left this world before he failed a test, fell and broke a bone, had an accident with his parent’s car and got grounded for weeks.  He never experienced frustration, anger or jealousy.  He never knew the pain of a broken heart. 
My son left this world to know only a perfect life.  He lives in paradise. He has many friends, his world is filled with laughter.  He’s in perfect health.  His life is full of…well of joy. 
I know that everyone who has lost a child has experienced so many of those things…sadness, anger, frustration, jealousy, depression… the list might be endless.  But our child, if lost before, during or shortly after birth, never really experienced that.  They never knew anything but a perfect world.  They never knew anything but joy.  From all the encounters I have read about from those who have been to heaven and come back (my two favourite books on this subject are ‘Heaven is for Real’ and ‘The Boy who Came Back from Heaven’) there is no sadness in Heaven. Our loved ones don’t really feel the sadness that we feel from the separation we have from them. 
And even though those much loved children who passed days, weeks, months or years after their life began may have experienced some of these things, it was not a lifetime of them and they no longer experience any of the negative things, any of the trials, that life brings. 
And as hard as it is to say goodbye, as hard as it is to move on, as hard as it is to accept the loss of a loved one, the knowledge that their life is absolutely perfect now can, and should, bring us a sense of joy.  It’s not a joy we ever wished on us and we can certainly say that we would have rather found it another way, it is a joy all the same. 
Getting the point where you can feel that joy…well that’s a blog post for another day (or two or more). 

The joy of the Lord is my strength.

Nehemiah 8:10 

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