When Joy and Heartbreak Collide.

It’s earlier than usual as I climb into bed. This big, soft empty bed. I try not to go to bed early. I want to be as tired as I can, read, watch something on Netflix, go to bed tired. So tired that I can’t keep my eyes open. Then I am too tired, too tired to remember. Remember what it felt like to climb between the sheets and feel him roll over and gather me close. Tuck me in safe and hold my hand as He prays to the Father on our behalf. I hear him giving thanks, praying over each of our children and petitioning our loving Father.
The days right after my Alan went to Heaven, I always woke sick, my heart would lurch as my mind awoke and realization dawned that this was not a bad dream I was waking from, but rather life. My new, real life.
The pages on the calendar have turned, one day blurring into another and it has been almost 11 months since. No longer so exhausted from grief that I wake from a hard sleep to an even harder reality. Rather, I wake through the night and I am not alone. I have an ongoing conversation with my Father. So that when I wake in the morning my heart still heavy, I begin my thoughts with praise! He is with me, my Father is with me. Thank you Father for life, for waking me up and for this chance to live and breathe for you.
I was walking the other day, taking in my surroundings, practicing the art of noticing, of lifting up my eyes to what He would have me see and it was beautiful and I felt joy. I felt joy and I didn’t explode. I felt joy and heartbreak collide and I stayed in tact. In fact I felt like I had left the shallow end of the pool for the deep end. My heart was still tired and worn because it’s hard swimming in the deep end but it is also beautiful. I felt like the Father was leading me past the same things on my walk that I have seen in the past; a squirrel, a tree, a dirt strewn path but I was seeing differently. The objects were the same but I was different, and the eyes I was looking with were changed.
I walked around the bend in the street and it was raining and I saw him. I have only ever passed him one other time in the months we lived in this new home.He is usually tucked inside when I am passing by. But it was raining and the trash man was coming, you know. He was old and he was stooped over and he was wrestling that big awkward trash can over the rough drive. My steps were hurried but my heart stopped me. I turned around and walked back to his house. The rain dripping down my hood with every step. “ May I help, you? It’s raining and I am already wet, so let me help you.” He lifted up surprised eyes. ”I can do it, he said, I must set it over there.” “I will set it where you want, it’s raining and I can help,” I told him.But he assured me he could do it and must move his truck anyway.
I turned away but not before I saw his smile and heard him say, “ Have a nice walk.” I began to cry. The exchange of words was not so much,rather it was the giving and receiving that tore my heart in two. It was Christ showing me that even in our brokenness we were created to give. To lift up our eyes and look outside our own cracked and bruised hearts and see another heart and be filled with His love and give.
It is there in that place where my heartbreak from missing my husband and the joy of letting Christ love through me collided that something holy happened. Dear Ones, It’s when we allow our battered and scarred hearts to look up and be filled with His joy in serving and loving and giving that our wounds begin to heal. It’s other worldly and inexplainable but I think Paul described it best. It is Christ in Us, the HOPE of glory!

2 Comment

  1. This walk through the woods of life has hidden wonders and hidden dangers. Absorbing God’s presence in both is the path that leads from the physical to the spiritual. Blessings come…

    1. Yes, This is so true! Thank you for sharing that!

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