Joy and Pain Together

Joy and Pain Together

Fully living is experiencing both joy and pain.  They can come at the same time in the sweetest, most authentic way.

In the last weeks, I have reflected on those 24 hours we spent around Jill’s bedside saying goodbye.   I’ve been overcome with a multitude of emotions, both good and bad.  In this extremely painful time, also came some of the most wonderful moments that I will remember forever.  I believe I saw  glimpses of God’s perfection and his unmistakable synergy.

First, we all came together.  The love in that room was palpable.  We held each other as we held Jill.  We loved each other as we loved Jill. We created a bond so strong that I know I will always be connected to the people in that room.  We spoke the same language.  We endured the same tragedy.

I believe this is like the bond of those who have endured the hurricanes or mass shootings in the recent weeks.  In these times of tragedy, God’s perfect love is felt between imperfect humans.  All the barriers that would otherwise exist are removed, leaving only our dependence on each other and on Him to shine through.  In these rare moments we experienced the peace of perfect love, of being held.  Joy and pain together.

We also had some of the greatest laughs in those hours.  We laughed so hard over some of the simplest things and it felt amazing.  Jill even laughed too. Perhaps in the moments we feel the lowest, we are more able to experience all the emotions our Creator gave us, without concern.   By allowing ourselves to truly feel our emotions, we see glimpses of His sense of humor, His creativity and His perfect joy. We know that some of the greatest human works have come from some of the greatest pains and sufferings.  Joy and pain together.

I also learned to let go of past beliefs and learn from others.   One of my most beautiful memories of that day was witnessing something I had never seen before as a nurse.  I got up to leave the room for a bit and turned to look back in as I closed the door.  At that moment, Jill was surrounded by only men.  The three most important men in her life (besides Trey) were standing at her side.  Her daddy was on one side, her brother at the foot of her bed and her boyfriend on the other.  Only the men were there.  It was a beautiful moment.  My heart tugged with joy for the blessing of my friend having this kind of love from these truly devoted men.  It also broke for their pain in letting her go.  Joy and pain together.

In the days after Jill’s death, I was blessed with a rare opportunity.  I had just held the hand of my friend as she was leaving this world and then I was able to hold my daughter-in-law’s hand as she brought new life into this world.  Little Easton was born on September 20th.  Again, there was joy and pain together as Chelsey endured hours of labor, but in the end  we were all blessed with this beautiful new life.

Fully living is experiencing both joy and pain together.  Together because yes, they come at the same time.  But more importantly, is the connection it brings to our earthly lives- it brings us together.

 “Together, we experience both joy and pain.”



Shameless Grandma plug: