This post is written by Sam but was originally shared on hopemommies.org as part of the Reflections Blog Series. To read more from Reflections: Psalm 16, visit hopemommies.org/tag/psalm-16.
Rejoice. Be glad. Delight.
Friend, do these words describe you in the midst of your grief? Or does the mere mention of the word rejoice cause you to scoff? Perhaps, sad, downcast, and burdened feels more accurate. It is entirely natural, perhaps even normal, if rejoicing seems like the last thing of which you’re capable. The loss of our children is certainly not a thing in which we rejoice. And the pain of that loss can create a fog of sadness so deep we often can’t see through it. The things in which we once found joy now seem hollow; joy and happiness seem elusive.
But even in our grief, there is a place in which we can rejoice. A place where we can find delight. In the arms of our Lord – our Lord who sustains us (vs. 5) and in whom we have an invaluable inheritance (vs. 6); our Lord who instructs our hearts (vs. 7); our Lord and firm foundation (vs. 8).
“Therefore, my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure.”
Is your heart glad, sister? I know it seems silly to ask that of someone who is grieving the loss of a child. Since losing Max, I have found that many of the things in which I once delighted now seem dull and lackluster. But I cannot say the same of my God. His glory looks brighter than ever in contrast to this broken world. I find now that spending time in the presence of the Lord brings me true joy, especially when I think that my boy is basking in the light of his glory at this very moment. At the same time that my heart feels heavy and longs to hold my son, it dances for joy at the thought of God’s fullness.
But this rejoicing goes deeper than our hearts. It permeates our entire being. The joy of the Lord radiates throughout the woman who knows him, who trusts him, and who believes his promises are true.
This whole being includes even our physical bodies; our flesh. I don’t know about you, but losing my first child to miscarriage and then losing Max at his birth has caused me to doubt my body. I question whether or not it will ever carry a child correctly and safely. I distrust my body now, and it often feels foreign to me. The physicality of miscarriage, stillbirth, and infant loss is often overlooked, and I know, that, perhaps more than anything, has taken me by surprise. But the Lord is Lord of all, even our earthly bodies, and in him, my physical, earthly body dwells securely.
My prayer for you today, dear sister, and for myself, comes from the mouth of David in Psalm 51: “Make me to hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have broken rejoice.”
Sister, our bones may be broken, but they can still rejoice. The ability to rejoice in the Lord in the midst of such great loss will seem foreign to the world; it’s not natural. But it is holy and it is right.
I can rejoice because like David, “I remain confident that [we] will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of living”(Psalm 27:13). And until that day, I will rejoice. I hope you’ll join me here, dear friend, for in the presence of God, there is much to rejoice.