Tuesday, September 16, 2014

A Time to Mourn & a Time to Dance

Sometimes we need moments to mourn the brokenness of this fallen world. To grieve the fact that there is so much loss in our own lives and in the lives of those we love; loss of life, relationships, and hope for the future. Today was one of those days for me.

After dropping Jack off at preschool and putting Maggie down for her morning nap, I checked my email. I had a notice from Caring Bridge that one of my best friends had posted a new journal entry. I clicked the link and read her post about the reconstructive surgery she is facing today as a result of her battle with breast cancer. I then looked at the past journal entries to see if there were any I had missed. I found one from May where my dear friend wrote that she and her husband are unable to have any more children due to the increased risk of her cancer coming back. She had her first baby about a year before she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She cherishes that sweet baby girl but still mourns the fact that she will never hold a newborn again or spend the wee hours of the morning breastfeeding her baby.

I then remembered other dear friends who have tried for years to have a baby, only to see “Not Pregnant” on the test every time. I thought of friends and family members who have lost babies, some so early in pregnancy that almost no one knew they were expecting, others so far along that they had a nursery ready in their home and delivered a lifeless baby.

Others were brought to mind too—friends facing marital and family issues including abuse, divorce, and addiction. I thought of my own family—as we have lost ones we love, and have encountered cancer, financial uncertainty, and other dark times.

I sat in my quiet living room and cried. Brokenness is inevitable in this world tainted by sin. Sometimes we need to take time in our lives to let that soak in. To stop avoiding the fact that we are messed up, that people have hurt us, and that there will not be an end to sadness and loss this side of heaven.

As I was crying, my nine-month old daughter Maggie woke up from her nap. I went in her room, picked her up, held her tight, and cried. I told her I loved her. I thanked God that he has been gracious to give me two children I do not deserve. And then I changed my baby’s diaper, because although there is a time to mourn, we must also continue living our lives. We must work, take care of our families, clean our homes, take showers, and do all the other seemingly mundane things that are part of living in this world. Because even though this world can seem so dark, it is not completely black. There is some light—there is hope. And changing Maggie’s diaper and watching her play with her toys reminds me of that.

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens. A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance.” –Ephesians 3:1 and 4