Joy and Pain
“There’s only one address anyone lives at and it’s always a duplex: Joy and pain always co-habit every season of life. Accept them both and keep company with the joy while the pain does its necessary renovations.” Ann Voskamp
Thank goodness somebody said it. And in her New Year’s post, no less! With all the joyous optimism surrounding this new year, I can’t help but feel even more isolated in the singular thought that’s been hounding me since midnight on Sunday: 2012 will be the year that I likely have to bury a child. All the good feelings and hopeful resolutions that usually accompany the ringing in of a new year have been overshadowed by this reality, especially since it’s fast approaching. In the four months since we’ve received Elizabeth’s diagnosis, I’ve been telling myself that we’d deal with all of that “sad stuff” after the holidays. I just wanted to get through a normal, happy Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years before having to really think about such things as picking out a newborn casket, locating a cemetery, planning a memorial service.
I knew that when I got out a new calendar, I’d have to mark January 28th as my due date, schedule in each of my now weekly OB visits and have a constant, visual reminder that this is the month. One of my mom’s token Christmas presents is always a big, pretty brand new calendar. The one she gave me this year has scripture at the top of each page. The verse for this month that I have opened on my fridge displaying my due date and all those OB appointments? “For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you.'” Isaiah 41:13. He always provides the grace. The grace that leads to joy, even in the midst of pain. For they can exist together. So, I go boldly into 2012, into the “sad stuff” that awaits. He’s holding my hand.