A few weeks ago, I wrote the following in my journal:
Speaking of cliché, I wonder if my blog is becoming just that. I write things that are true – or try to – but do I make it out as though “choosing this moment” is easy or natural or simple? I try not to – but at the same time, it doesn’t seem healthy to always, every time, bring up the doubts or the struggle. Sometimes, it’s good to celebrate beauty for beauty’s sake. I don’t know that it’s necessary to acknowledge struggle or difficulty or doubt in every post. But these little vignettes I’ve been doing lately – I’m not sure if they’re too repetitive, too cheery, too … Christian-y.
Yesterday, a Facebook friend posted a link to a blog with the title “Everything Doesn’t Happen for a Reason” (mild profanity warning), and I found myself agreeing with what was written there. I thought about it as I drove home from the store, mulled over the idea that some things just happen because the world is a broken place, because God allows sinful people to make terrible decisions. The thought came to me, loud and clear:
I don’t want to forget.
I don’t want to forget what it is to be there, in that place of desperate pain and doubt, in that place where the darkness feels palpable. I don’t want to forget that suffering and sorrow are real, that there are seasons of life where the idea of searching for beauty or “choosing this moment” brings a bitter taste to your mouth, where joy is a fight, one you cannot seem to win. I don’t want to forget what it is to grieve.
And so, please hear me: though I am in a season of contentment, one where it’s easy to see the beauty and the joy in this life I’ve been given, I remember what it is like to doubt. I know it isn’t always easy to find joy, that sometimes, choosing this moment means choosing grief.
I will continue with the vignettes here, for a while anyway, for this is where I am now. It is good to find beauty in the small, in the normal, in the everyday. But I know – deep down, in the core of my being, I know – that it does not always come easily, that there are times when the tears in our eyes and the grief in our hearts make finding joy seem nigh unto impossible, and if that is where you are, there is grace for you in that place. There is room to mourn, to doubt, to cry out.
May He meet you where you are. Here, right now, today. Wherever you are, there is grace for you in that place.