The Dance of Grief and Joy

I never want to paint the picture that all is well or that all is lost. Social media and a blog are unique things. I realize this is only a snap shot into our life and I have full control over how much or little I share. I also realize that just like face to face contact people will perceive what they want. I’ve said it before, we don’t want to be selfish with our grieving or our joy. We desperately want to point people to Jesus.

The intermingling of joy and grief is utterly bewildering

The intermingling of joy and grief is utterly bewildering to me. Six weeks later and the wound caused by the loss of Jane is raw and there are times when the grief feels suffocating. We are so grateful for Jane’s life and we feel incredibly blessed to have been her family. We also have so much joy in the anticipation of our sweet daughter this summer. We found out we were expecting our fifth child last November. No one was more excited, than Jane. Our family still talks about, dreams of and prays for the little girl in my tummy.

It’s a tension of emotions I could have never imagined.

I have carried five children in my womb now. There are some things that feel routine about being pregnant, like heartburn and the need for elastic waistbands. Some things are always special, like the sweet movement of my unborn child. But this is my first pregnancy that has included so much heartache. How do I excitedly wait for Lucy and mourn the loss of Jane at the same time. It’s a tension of emotions I could have never imagined.

I used to make people uncomfortable when they found out I was pregnant, not with my first or second child, but my fifth. Now I’ve had to think of how to answer the question, “how many children do you have?” The answer is 5, but the answer is complicated. I dread the introductions that will take place in the future. Life is messy and death does not respect age or circumstances. That’s not the way most people want to have an introductory conversation. Jane’s room should have been Jane and Lucy’s room, now it will be Lucy’s room.

Grief and joy. Our greatest treasure in all of this is Love. God is love (1 John 4:16) In uncertainty He is constant and He is faithful. When we ache with the absence of Jane, we know our God is present. He will never leave us or forsake us. When we rejoice in the gift of all of our children, we know our God is the giver of all good gifts. It’s the dance of grief and joy.

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