We are five days away from July 29th. It will mark four years since my son died. I've been posting pictures daily on my Facebook wall of Matt this month in an attempt to redeem a month that holds such incomprehensible grief. It is a grief complicated by the fact that it is sandwiched between two significant, joyful, dates. They are Matt's sisters' birthdays. Tomorrow is his youngest sister's birthday, followed by his oldest sister's birthday ten days later.
I don't understand why God would choose my son's homegoing date to be where it is, between his two sisters' birthdays. (As if there's a better day to lose one's child, right? *insert sarcasm*) Fighting for joy in the midst of grieving is beyond my ability. I don't have the strength for it. But I know who does. I know who gives me strength. I know the One who carries me. I know His strength. I know that everything He does is good.
Circumstances do not dictate God's character. Not understanding those
circumstances, too, does not negate His character. I am thankful I don't
need to understand in order to know that He is good. I have witnessed
His goodness all throughout this journey of grief. To be sure, there are
days I don't want to do this anymore. I don't want to feel any more
pain. I am tired of it. I want to escape. And yet, the very thing
(grief) that causes so much pain is the very thing that catapults me
into the arms of my Father. The closer July 29th draws, the greater my pain. But the greater my pain, the more God carries me. His grace will carry me through.
His grace is greater still than all my sorrow, and His grace leads to so much more. Four years into this grief journey, and I can now see joy. I am thankful that there are things to celebrate. I am thankful for the distraction of birthdays. I am thankful for healing. I am thankful for God's patience and sovereignty. I know now that grief, though constant, is fluid. Grief waxes and wanes. I know that joy is not the antithesis of grief. Joy is not grief's competitor. Joy runs a race all her own. Joy is an expression of faith. Joy is Faith's daughter, and she is beautiful.
Still playing this on repeat. Finding joy. Finding faith. With God. Through all of it. Even when I don't want to do this anymore.