Charlie’s speech trajectory hasn’t quite followed the norm. He’s starting to say more words, and sometimes out of the blue will come out with a word we haven’t been practicing or saying often. The other week, he randomly started saying the word “both.” I’m not sure why, but it’s as though his sweet new word was meant for me, in this exact season.
This season has been full of emotions and stressors. We have celebrated birthdays, Easter, and now Mother’s Day with a deep sense that things are not as they should be. Our daughter is across the world in India, and our road to her feels more full of roadblocks than ever before.
I’m starting to think that maybe sorrow and joy aren’t mutually exclusive. Maybe I’m not crazy for weeping for our daughter and laughing and enjoying my boys in the same day. Maybe there’s something to be said for living in both. My joy points me to my God, the giver of all incredible gifts, my redeemer, my Savior, the one who has dealt with my deepest problem. My sorrow points me to my God, my comforter, my Shepherd, my refuge, the collector of my tears, my near and present help, the one who is redeeming all that is broken. Maybe we experience both sorrow and joy because we are in the middle of an epic and unrivaled story of redemption. The end of the story has been written, but we aren’t living there yet. We are still in a desperately broken world, yet we have unmatched hope of full and eternal joy when the story of redemption is complete. Perhaps the interweaving of joy and sorrow in our lives is a taste of our eternal hope to come.
Mother’s Day was really sad and also really sweet. I cried and I laughed. I gave thanks to the Lord for my precious boys and I begged like never before for Him to bring Ella home. I grieved for my adopted kids’ birth moms and rejoiced that they are mine. I worshiped through praise and through lament.
Whatever mother's day held and whatever the weeks and months to come will be, embrace the joy and embrace the sorrow. God is present in both. God is working in both. Let the joy and the sorrow meet.