It’s no secret that we all experience hardships in our lives. To be human and to be alive on this Earth pretty much guarantees that very thing. Life isn’t going to treat us as we think it should. There will be obstacles, failures, and losses that will bring you to your knees. In fact, that very saying that we use so often in our culture gives insight into the deeper meaning behind the pain we may be feeling. If something is so powerful over us that it is bringing us to our knees, I can’t help but believe that we were brought to that point for a reason. It is on bended knee that many of us cry out to God for help and he does have the power to do that. I found myself reflecting on my own hardships after hearing a beautiful sermon at church on joy that remained with me well after returning home.
For me, I have found myself at this point many times over the past two years. Seeing my aunt and uncle, my dad’s brother and sister, grow so weak and ill from the cancer that had invaded both of their bodies, eventually being called home ten days apart. My father being in the hospital less than a year later with what was an unknown illness at the time, praying that it wasn’t cancer that had made it’s way to him also. Standing at the foot of a hospital bed in September, surrounded by my aunts and uncles, praying Psalm 22 as my maternal grandmother took her last breath and entered the kingdom of Heaven. Less than 48 hours later, standing in the front yard of my late grandmother’s home, seven hours before her funeral, reeling from the unexpected loss of my beloved Aunt Shelia. Four months later, telling my paternal grandmother over the phone how much I loved her and losing her just days later. And finally, a week after that, losing my maternal grandmother’s cousin; a beautiful, loving, and Godly woman who had taken it upon herself to be a mother and grandmother figure to my family after losing our grandmother four months prior.
You will find that story, that testimony, mentioned many times if you explore this blog. I share it, not to receive any sympathy or pity, but so that I may share the love of Christ and the joy of the Lord with you all. Before this journey, I would have never understood how joyful and grateful one could be after enduring heart ache such as this. But as I’ve said many times, this heart ache of mine is the driving force behind the blog and my writing. This joy that I feel in my heart and soul was put there to be shared with the world. Sure, my family’s circumstances were, and are, tragic and full of sorrow. But pure joy, the kind that can only be found when living a life that has been rooted in God and his great truth and hope, transcends any circumstance.
As Mother Teresa beautifully said, “A joyful heart is the normal result of a heart burning with love.”