Tuesday, March 27

(R)Ode to Joy

I’m not afraid to admit it.
I am a bit overly emotional right now.
It’s not like I can’t function in life. I’m not in that place.
It’s just that it hurts. It hurts a lot.
I made the statement on Facebook the other day that “Joy is a choice, forever and always.” And I mean that with every fiber of my being.
That doesn’t mean, however, that choosing joy is easy. Sometimes it’s the hardest decision you can make.
This afternoon, I was having a small pity party. I invited me, myself, and I. Which is more than enough for this type of shindig. After having an ultrasound this morning, talking to the doctor, and having to come home and process all the information I got, my heart felt like it was going to explode. Oh sure, I was pleasant enough at the appointment. But after coming home, I felt the finality of it all.
I sat on the couch, folding laundry and watching House Hunters International. Every couple minutes I would get lost in this zone of pain. Where your mind feels like you are swimming in sorrow. Just knowing that I’m emptying out my heart, soul and womb at the same time leaves a woman feeling broken. I’m sure everyone reading this has experienced this type of hurt at some point or another in their lives. I know you all can relate to this place I was finding myself.
The problem with pain is that the more you think about it and give into it, the harder it hurts. That goes for emotional pain as well as physical. I knew that I needed to get off the couch and just do something different.
So I went outside to pick up trash in our yard.
It’s not that it’s OUR trash in the yard… the corner we live on has this weird wind vortex that blows all the neighborhood trash onto my sidewalk. Plus people are idiots and throw litter on the ground like the world is their dumpster.
Anyhoo, the wind vortex was blowing like mad today, and after I noticed candy wrappers, a shoebox and some empty cups had blown into our yard, it kinda got me frustrated. So I went out and started picking up OPT (Other People’s Trash). Meanwhile, I was having a conversation with God that sounded really whiney and annoying. Something like this.
“God, people are so stupid. Why don’t they realize how what they toss aside ends up as somebody else’s problem? And people don’t only do it with trash. They do it with other people’s feelings. Speaking of feelings, I know that people know what is going on in our world, and I know folks are praying for us. But right now, I just feel alone. Which I know that I am not alone. But in this singular moment of my day, I feel alone. I feel like all this hurt is welling up inside me and there’s not a trash vortex for me to dump it. I can’t process anything because THIS HURTS TOO MUCH.”
At which point in my very one sided conversation, I was almost to the point of starting the ugly cry.
And that happened to be when I looked at the particular piece of trash in my hand.

Dang it.
Because in that desperate moment of frantic grasping for understanding, I WASN’T CHOOSING JOY.
In fact, I was squelching it. Squashing it like a bug.
The tricky thing about joy is that it’s not always obvious. Sometimes you have to search for it. Sometimes it’s a needle in a haystack. Sometimes it’s a gosh darn speck of dust in the universe.
I’m gonna be honest kids. I don’t know today how to be joyful about my current situation. Specifically, I know this means we “can” get pregnant again, and I know God has a plan, and I “know” that this stuff happens when there might be something really wrong with the embryo and it’s for your own good. I got that stuff covered.
Yet I think I’m being too hard on myself. I’m trying to be specific with my joy, when it simply needs to be general.
God doesn’t ask me to be “OK” when things are going all wonky in my life, but to trust that HE is ok and can be trusted to see me through. I can be hurt and cry and mourn during this season. It’s ok for me to be vulnerable with my heart for a little bit. It’s ok for me to admit that I am struggling, or that I could really use a long drive with sad music playing and have myself a good cleansing cry.
What God does ask me to do is to be joyful that not every season of my life will feel like this. To know without a doubt that this hurt is temporary. To take Him at His word that He’s gonna catch me if I fall down. To trust Him that He will pick me up and be the lifter of my head.
I love that phrase. “He is the lifter of our head.” It makes me imagine that I am sitting on the floor crying, and He kneels down to where I am, puts a finger under my chin, and gently lifts up my tear soaked face so I am looking right into His eyes.
And in that moment He says something like “It’s all going to be OK. Because I have overcome the world.”
For this moment, that is my general joy. God, somehow, has got this covered. I don’t understand it, and I certainly don’t enjoy going through it, but He’s got this.
Nobody ever said the road to joy was an easy one to choose. Nor is it an easy one to walk. But if we can choose it, and if we continue walking it, we will eventually walk ourselves to a better place than we ever dreamed we could be. All of those road blocks we face today will be distant memories tomorrow.
So to the best of my human ability, I’m going to continue choosing joy. Even when it hurts, even when it doesn’t make sense.
This is my rODE to joy.


    Tanya said...

    Great post Charlie. Praying for joy to find you :)

    Tracy said...

    Charlie, I can't pretend to know what you're going through, but I have experienced loss, and I do know this.... giving it to Him is all we can do. It's like the Footprints poem...." it was then that I carried you"... also, a big cathartic cleansing cry is exactly what you need. Feeling the pain is necessary, but give yourself a time limit. I usually
    allow myself one day of self pity. I feel it fully. I wallow in it,and then life goes on. (I'm not saying you should only take a day,but a mental deadline really helps me get back on track)
    Just know you're not alone. We're praying for your family. Hugs,Tracy

    Untypically Jia said...

    I really hope that joy finds you, because I know you will welcome it with open arms. Love you chica.

    KCLAnderson (Karen) said...

    I think you've basically already said this, but I am going to put it into different words:

    The harder we try to feel joy (or anything, really), the more slippery it becomes and the harder it is to grasp. You're right...joy is always there, waiting for you. I am reminded of what Elizabeth Gilbert said in her book, Eat Pray Love, after she spent a moment sitting the palm of God's hand (her words). She said that God said to her: "You may return here once you have fully come to understand that you are always here."

    You get that. Deeeeeeeeep belly breaths.

    Leanne said...

    I'm a new reader.

    Girl, I feel your pain deeply.

    I'm so sorry this is happening to you.

    You're a beautiful person. You look fabulous. congratulations on losing SO much weight and really, mostly, on opening your heart and letting God work in you during this horribly hard time.

    He is SO faithful.

    Come visit me. Get to know me. I love new friends.

    You can find me at

    mamaduck27 said...

    Charlie, you don't know me, but I just want to tell you you are not alone.

    I have seven children that I have birthed, but also five that were miscarried. It is hard for people to understand, because no one has seen or held that baby... but that baby was your child in your heart from the moment you found out you were pregnant. There is no grave, so there is no place to go and mourn. There are no photos (except for maybe a sonogram), so people forget. But you never do.

    HOWEVER... Thank God for the hope that we have in Christ! For the vision of your child in his arms! The depth of our mourning reveals to us the source of our joy.

    Much empathetic love, you lovely person, you.

    This Really, Really, Ridiculously Good Looking Blog Was Designed by April Showers Blog Design