I sit here in my chair thinking back on all that has happened over the last 6 years. See, 6 years ago, my mom went home to be with Jesus. It would be really easy for me to sit here and wallow in sadness today, of all days, for all the things she has missed – birthdays, graduations, my wedding day, etc. And I did that for a long time – off and on, I would have seasons where I was completely overwhelmed by the weight of grief. I had a hard time allowing myself to be joyful in the Lord through the ups and downs of life because my mind was consumed by my grief. I didn’t know how to overcome it. And then Jesus spoke to me.
It was just last year. I had felt God moving in my heart and bringing me to a season of transition where I knew that God was calling me to do something but I did not know what it was and I know now that my grief was consuming my mind and blinding me from seeing what God was calling me to do. I was sitting in a worship service at church and I was writing in my prayer journal the same thing I had written countless times – “Lord, heal me. Heal my broken heart. Strip me from this grief. Heal me, Father.” And then it was like a light bulb came on. I immediately thought back to the story in scripture where Jesus tells the lame man to get up and walk for He has been healed. And I knew Jesus was talking to me. He was telling me to get up and walk – I had been healed, I had been healed all along but I just hadn’t gotten off my mat and accepted that healing. I have been given freedom through salvation in Jesus Christ yet I was living in chains of bondage called grief.
There is joy through grief. You can still miss your loved ones after they’re gone yet find joy in the Lord. You can do both and it is because of the freedom we have in Christ. But just like all of the other chains that bind us, we have to make a choice to walk in the freedom we have been given and to be joyful in the midst of our grief.
I found a blog that I had written the week leading up to my mom’s passing 6 years ago. I had forgotten that I had even written it. This was the week where I knew we were going to lose my mom and yet, I had so much strength that can only be attributed to the strength of God. I included a song that had been encouraging to me during that week and it’s still one that I cling to today. No matter what roads you’re walking right now, know that we can still find joy in the Lord. I have left you with a play list of songs that have given me strength the past 6 years and I hope it’s encouraging to you along your journey as well.