Where Joy & Pain Collide

emotional health Sep 20, 2016

Have you ever noticed the fine line between a joyful moment and a sorrowful one? Do you ever find yourself ping-ponging between the two at lightening speed? I just lived that kind of day.

September 18th, 2016 was a day I'd anticipated for a year. It marked the completion of a year long mentorship with Precision Nutrition and the completion of my level 2 nutrition certification. For the past 365 days I studied, practiced, and honed my skills as a nutrition coach. Sunday was my 'graduation day." I awoke celebrating this accomplishment.

Joy.

Making it even better was finding that a new business partnership had been formalized overnight. I was on the threshhold of collaborating with a great team of people. The timing seemed providential. 

Joy.

Shortly thereafter, still before noon, we headed to the hockey rink... a setting that has epitomized both joy and sorrow for me. This time, it brought the latter.

In what will likely be a blog post for another day, Kevin (my husband) and I were both ejected from the rink in the first period of my son's game. A first for me... at least in the hockey rink! Though I could attempt to justify what happened, the reality is I let uncontrolled anger and frustration get the best of me. 

Sorrow.

At the same time, in another state over a thousand miles away, my grandma passed away expectedly and peacefully. No matter how anticipated this was, however, I was unexpectedly not ready when the end came. No matter how much I knew she proclaimed she was ready to go home to her Lord and Savior to begin her eternal life, I still grieve her passing along with the rest of my family.

Sorrow.

Ironically, she died in the same hospital in which I welcomed my three sons to life. 

Sorrow and joy. Death and life. 

And there lies the ulltimate collision. 

In the passage to eternity, we experience the space mutually inhabited by these seemingly opposing emotions. They become enmeshed. Entwined. Messy.

We feel the sorrow of loss alongside the joy of eternal life. We grieve while celebrating. We mourn death while welcoming new life. We cry while laughing. 

The Bible talks about these fuzzy boundaries and the common space for which they clamor in Proverbs 14:13:

Even in laughter the heart may ache,
and rejoicing may end in grief. 

For me, this one day simply highlighted the ever shifting ownership these emotions have in life. They are rarely exclusive of one another, but instead amplify the other. Sometimes when you expect it. 

More often when you don't.

I love these words that have carried our family through other difficult losses:

"Those we love are with the Lord, and the Lord has promised to be with us. If they are with Him, and He is with us, they can not be far away." - Peter Marshall

Sorrow and joy.

May you live each day with heightened awareness of both so that you may fully live where joy and pain collide.  

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