While I suffered the darkest years of chronic pain, I learned a lot about grief, about loss. It was hard to live inside a day experiencing so much physical pain. I hung up my dreams and resigned myself to a short life. I let my broken body rule my emotions. I grieved in the wrong way — without God. I forsook joy though I had every reason to know it. I became bitter and let physical pain wipe out gratitude.
We have all been there in one way or another. We have lamented without God, and in the long process of heartache, we forget the joy we have in Him. Somewhere along the way, I learned that grief and joy can coexist. I can feel both.
I learned how to grieve before God, seek His strength, and recognize the joy and peace I still had as His daughter. I worked through the loss my physical pain presented while simultaneously realizing that joy surrounded me! My heart didn’t have to choose one or the other.
Grief reminds me I am broken without Christ. It shows me the imperfection of this world. Grief blares my need for Christ and pushes me to my Healer. It says I need God — the only One who can truly heal the loss I feel inside.
Joy doesn’t mean a plastered smile and a bubbly personality. It focuses on who I am in Christ. Joy remembers that God is my Healer and believes that He knows what is best for my life and will execute it perfectly through my circumstances. Joy realizes that I am a daughter of the King and my worth is not based on physical health, gain, or standing.
These two very different things can coexist.
As I started to work through the grief of losing physical capabilities and youthful health, I began to know joy more and more. Why? Because letting grief pull me to Christ reminded me of what I have in Him. Joy in Christ is inexplicable, otherworldly. I couldn’t always experience joy without the presence of grief or loss, but I always had the ability to choose it even in the hardest of circumstances. I have come to realize that grief lasts for a season, but joy in Christ remains steady, life-long.
As I’ve grown older and the trials in my life have changed, I know that I can grieve to Christ and experience joy in Him. I heard recently that you can worship God and cry at the same time. What a life-changing thought. I can pour out my heart, my grief, my suffering before God and still worship Him as I kneel broken at His feet. At the end of it all, I can still have joy — I’m a daughter of the King — even amidst grief, loss, and heartache.
Do not let loss and grief make you bitter.
Do not let them make you forget your Joy … your standing in Christ.
If you are a daughter of the King, you know more joy than all this world can offer.
Let grief push you to Christ and live in joy because God is good and He is with you.