You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks to you forever!
I know that those words were written centuries ago. I know that they are not from my mouth and that the original author had no idea who I would be one day. But those words were written for me. Those words have my DNA all over them. What a great God. I cannot fully express the comfort I have found in the psalms over the last several months. There is so much emotion. So much pain countered with gladness and rejoicing. It has been as if I were writing each of them verbatim from my own experience. My own journey through grief is literally poured out across the pages of the Psalms and yet those words were written long before anyone even conceptualized me as a person; except for God. He knew me from the beginning of time. He knew that one day I was going to need those words. I was going to cherish those words. “You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;” I cannot wait until the day that is true. I cannot wait until the moment when I realize that God’s faithfulness in my life has lead to a point of gladness and dancing!
I was thinking about George Mason the other day when Audrey and I were out running errands. The simple fact that I’m running errands at all is because he is with Jesus instead of in the NICU like we had planned. Every time I buckle Audrey into her carseat and head out of the house, it isn’t lost on me that there are supposed to be two carseats. That I am supposed to be counting down the days til my sweet boy can come home in that second carseat we have in the middle row beside big sister. So as I was out running errands with my independent two year old, I got a little sad. Not ugly cry sad, just a reminder that yes, I am grieving. That yes, there is a missing piece in this puzzle we call our family. The moment was brief as I moved on through the store; decisions need to be made, Audrey needs attention, the car in front of me cut me off. Whatever it may be, there is always something that pulls me back to reality.
I guess its progress in the journey that I’ve reached a point where I need to be reminded that I’m grieving? Or maybe its just that I’m feeling good enough to keep myself busy? To occupy my mind during my waking hours with projects and dreams in order to be exhausted enough come night fall that I can actually sleep. Regardless of the reason, I’m thankful that my days are getting less sad. I’m thankful that while tears are a part of my day, they aren’t my whole existence. I have no idea how long this grief journey is going to take. I know that all of the “firsts” without my son will be hard, so there’s at least a year of this ahead… but I also know that as I grow older, as Audrey grows up, there will be things that George Mason never got to do and I think those things will sting a little bit. So I’m going to recognize that there are hurdles still ahead. I’m going to acknowledge that this grief doesn’t have an expiration date and I’m going to sink into the promise of Psalm 30. God is going to turn this mourning into dancing. He is going to clothe me in gladness.