The in between.
Between suffering and rejoicing.
I am constantly in a state of between suffering and rejoicing. At least that’s what it feels like. At least that’s the way it has been for the past few years.
It hasn’t been rejoicing, rejoicing, rejoicing. I can’t tell you the last time I made it a full week without crying and simply smiled my way through because I was genuinely happy enough to be smiling at all times. But it also hasn’t been suffering, suffering, suffering. It feels like it has been. But there are days when a kid makes a toot during circle time and doesn’t say a peep, so Royce and I just look at each other and start laughing.
There have been good days and there have been bad days.
And today I sit in between Jesus dying on the cross for my sins and Jesus defeating the grave and rising to life again. Absolute heartbreak and absolute amazement. Two events that illicit completely differing emotions but come hand in hand nonetheless.
So I guess it’s possible for sadness and joy to coexist. Not just in the movie Inside Out, but in life and in faith.
In feeling hurt and heartbroken and alone. Feeling like I’ll never make the cut and be someone’s first choice. Feeling like the past two years were a failure on my part, and nothing I do could ever be deserving of one’s love and commitment. But also, in feeling content and stronger. Which truthfully is less easy for me to pinpoint. I don’t quite have examples of joyous moments. But I know they’re there, and they’ve been making appearances more and more. My faith draws me in that direction.
I hold onto these two feelings that could not be more contradictory, but yet here they exist at the same time.
With time, Jesus needed three days. And I think God did this on purpose. To have a day between the two. It was not immediate pain and immediate celebration. There was quiet in the middle.
Now I sit in this quiet. The same way Mary Magdalene and Peter and those other people in the Bible did. I sit here not quite knowing what will happen next. Knowing that Jesus said something about coming back. Knowing there’s supposed to be a good outcome from this. But not really knowing what all of that means. I have no idea.
But also because I’ve read the Bible and I’ve gone to church since I was a small human and because I don’t actually live in the time of Jesus, I know that the most amazing thing is about to happen. The thing that exceeds even my wildest expectations. The thing that I could never have thought possible on my own. But because of God’s great love for me, it’s possible.
Sadness. Quiet. Joy.
They all work together, but God has already planned for joy to come out victorious.