Tuesday, December 9, 2008


i don't understand....i don't get this grief stuff at times. at one minute i hate that i am constantly counting 8 kids and then remembering 'nope, only 7'...and then wishing for the time i would stop doing that. that is - until it happens. it happened i think for the first time last night. i was doing some Christmas shopping and getting the kids some stocking stuffers...counted out 7 and went on to the next thing at hand. it wasn't until coming home when i realized that i didn't even blink at getting 7 things and not 8....it happened - and i fell apart at the thought of it. did i truly just forget about seth? did i forget that i have one less child to buy for? did i forget the empty whole in my heart? it happened - and i hated myself for it. i don't get it...first i want one thing, thinking that then my heart won't hurt so badly and then when i get it - i don't want it any longer and my pain is still there. i'm so confused!! what AM i suppose to be feeling!?!?! what IS the right thought process?!?!?! am i suppose to live the rest of my life feeling down and counting 8 minus 1? or do i go on and just thinking of ourselves as having 7 children?

i know of a mom who when asked after losing her child 3 years prior 'have you ever experienced joy since your child's death?' and the mom replied with 'no, i haven't'. honestly....that scared me to death! if you know me at all i think i would describe myself as a joyful person - to not be able and experience joy again after losing seth...well, that would be like a totally different person for me. i was scared at that possibility. people would say 'oh, jolynn, you'll experience joy again - it'll just be a bittersweet joy'. well, no offense to that ( i know that they were just trying to be helpful)...but i don't want bittersweet joy....i want the WHOLE package!!! (how selfish is THAT thought!). i think God has taught me something in the past year regarding joy. in my mind - joy is way up here....bittersweet joy is a couple of notches below that. i think God is teaching me that the joy that He has blessed me with is not a bittersweet joy....just a different joy - same level as the previous joy, but just different (does that make ANY sense???) it's like your love of your children - the love is not greater for one than the other, just a different kind becuz they are different kids. i think that God wants me to learn that i do have joy in my life....it just looks different than before seth died.

my devotion this morning was on this very subject - it said "joy sometimes needs pain to give it birth. fanny crosby was a wonderful american hymn writer who lived from 1820-1915 and who wrote more than 2,000 hyms. yet she could never have written the beautiful words 'i shall see Him face to face' if not for the fact that she had never gazed upon green fields, evening sunsets, nor even the twinkle in her mother's eye. it was the loss of her own vision that helped her to gain her remarkable spiritual discernment and insight. It's comforting to know that sorrow stays only for the night and then takes its leave in the morning. and a thunderstorm is very brief when compared to a long summer day. remember, 'weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning' "

joy sometimes needs pain to give it birth....hmmmm. i guess the joy that God has given me now wouldn't have been possible if not for the fact that seth is with Him now and not with us. i didn't think anything good could have come out of losing seth...i MAY just be getting some glimpses of it now. doesn't make the pain go away - i guess i'm just trying to live with this new kind of joy. thank you, Lord...for yet another gift this Christmas.


kim said...

jolynn! i received your christmas letter today and i had to look up your blog immediately. i had NO IDEA about seth and i am so terribly sorry to hear this. i had to read a long way down to figure out what happened. i am so very very sad for you all. my heart hurts for you. i wish i would have known earlier. you have a great testimony for the rest of us to learn by. your family is beautiful! would love to keep in touch. please email me. boshome@hotmail.com
take care and do your best to have a happy holiday season. with love, kim bos

Kristin said...

Jolynn: thank you for your wonderful thoughts on joy. God changes our perspectives through grief, but he is also contantly transforming us to bring him greater glory!

Jen said...

You are right... bittersweet isn't good enough. But there is Joy... different than anything we thought we would experience, yet JOY nonetheless. Thank goodness for different "shades" of JOY!

April said...

I just want to say Thank you Jolynn!! Your faith is such an inspiration for me. Recently I have been trying to become that "better christian", and yet I get down on myself for failing. Your faith in God is amazing and I can only wish that I too will be at that place someday. You are SO right God IS good ALL the time. Thank you for being part of my life and being such a beautiful person inside and out. Wishing you a VERY Merry CHRISTmas and a blessed New Year!!s

Sally Dalman said...

Hi Jolynn, I've been catching up on your blog and came across this article on JOY. I started collecting Brighton charms this Christmas and the one that says JOY on it has a cutout star on it. It is so neat and reminds me of Seth. I told one of the doctors I worked for 15 years ago after a loss I had that I didn't think that I would ever be the same after the loss. He said something I will never forget: "Maybe you will be better!" It took time but I see now that he was right. I hope that encourages you as you go into the New Year. May God Bless you and your wonderful family in 2009.
Sally Dalman