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Joy and Sorrow: We Are Not Alone

December 7, 2012

All the leaves are brown, and the sky is gray…

I remember a time when it seemed like everyone I knew was getting married. The semester before my college graduation was filled with bridal showers and wedding invitations. I had three invites for the same weekend in May. Two for the same day.

I wasn’t getting married. I was in the process of breaking up. It stung, a bit, to see their joy. I was happy, and I was sad. Joy and sorrow.

Then another time came and everyone started having babies. We decided to jump on that bandwagon and five minutes later we were in the family way. The suddenness of that adventure still boggles the mind. We bought a house, and I barfed my way through the escrow process. We had the floors refinished, and I ran through the house, admiring them, holding my breath to avoid breathing the toxic fumes.

There were others I knew, that wanted what I was soon to have. Close friends, whose personal pain was as acute as my own anticipatory joy.

Joy and sorrow.

Now we are all parents, God having brought families together in His own perfect, inexplicable way, beyond anything we, any of us, could have imagined or orchestrated on our own. We delight in our children, we grieve when they fall. We tear out our hair…and we kiss their flushed cheeks seconds later.

Joy and sorrow.

I look in the mirror and what I see doesn’t mirror what I feel or think. Lives around us continue to change and children of peers not much older than we are heading off to college, getting married. starting lives of their own.

I saw this photo on someone’s Facebook page. I think it’s meant to be strong, brave, confident. A shaken fist in the face of something, or someone.

But the very idea terrifies me. I am afraid to walk this world alone. Hell happens, and it happens every day.  Surviving it, passing through it, overcoming it…that cannot be done alone. I’ve already tasted suffering, and I know it’s not the last time. Bad things happen to nice people. Every day.

Joy and sorrow.

I held on to my little son tonight a bit longer than usual, grasping for a few seconds more of his sweet embrace. He was standing on a chair, yet still didn’t reach to my chin. It will be but a moment more and I will be the one who won’t reach to his.

Every phase, every moment, every grief-stricken, every joy-filled day of this life on this earth, I have walked within His shelter, His grace. Sometimes, fully aware, others, pathetically indifferent.

But never alone.

The leaves continue to fall and life will continue to change. People we know and love will fall ill. Some will die. Some will be hurt. We will laugh richly, and we will cry bitterly, and we will do it together.

The closer I draw to Him, the more I realize that I am not alone. It’s crowded down here at the foot of the cross.

This quite possibly is my favorite of all the holiday video bits that have run their way around the internet, year after year. Year after year, I watch it and I cry with the realization, with the reassurance…I. Am. Not. Alone.

For the Lord God omnipotent reigneth

Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

Forever! and ever! Hallelujah!


Thank God. Thank God that the Lord God, omnipotent, omniscient, ever-present, all-powerful, reigns now, and tomorrow, and forever.

I will not be dismayed, I will not be disheartened, what ere betide…

We are not in this alone. Thank God.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. pastordt permalink
    December 9, 2012 12:39 am

    Amen. I frequently reflect (and write) on this very topic, Adelle. It’s part and parcel of life to learn how to balance these conflicting emotions, isn’t It? We live through them both, often at the very same time. And they make us what we are, and if we let them, they help make us more like Jesus, too. Thanks for these good words.

  2. December 10, 2012 1:06 pm

    “if we let them, they help make us more like Jesus, too..” Love this! Thank you, Diana!

  3. Lynne permalink
    December 27, 2012 8:53 am

    Finally during this break I have time to enjoy reading your blog. I luv this flash mob! How awesome to hear again and it couldn’t have been in a more perfect setting. Thanks for finding and sharing.

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