Monday, January 02, 2006


sometimes i wish the words of God would just bounce off me like so many racketballs flying by, but then i don't really. don potter warns, don't pray talk to me God. because then you are stuck with what to do with what He says.

yes, that's it.

i've had resolution anxiety because last year's nigh unbeatable rez was able to be kept (laugh more). this year, i was baffled about how to carry on something like a rez that means something. so i punted it up to God and waited for the return.

it came new year's day. i awoke with the words joy and embrace and ultimately find circulating through my brain. so i listened. i lay there and listened to let the words firm up and tell me what they wanted to say. they said clearly, find joy.

i knew that was it. this year is about me finding joy. holding it close to and not turning from it even when i want to. not that i enjoy being joyless, but it is kind of a rut that pulls your tires in and you keep driving in that groove. yes, i've been stuck in a dark groove for a long time. time to let that go and move on. toward joy.

it strikes me that the Lord didn't leave it at embrace joy, which is what i thought it was at first. because i got that word after about a year of grieving for my grams. when she died, i mourned unihibited. i grieved the loss of a precious soul. a friend. a prayer warrior. i grieved the loss of a life essentially. perhaps mostly mine. my strength seemed suddenly undermined, and i was left danging without the mighty prayer covering i once (unwittingly) relied upon.

but i have since come to realize, she hasn't stopped praying. she is just doing it face to face. over a cup of joe. she is laughing and dancing, and cooking. doing all the wonderful things she did so well here, just without pain and grief. which she knew well enough in her years here.

it took her dying for me to understand the grief she held close to. never letting the children know, but always managing to give an encouraging word and the comfort of her presence. yes, i miss her even now.

so embrace joy came to me when i was in the throes of grief and now, a different kind of grief has beset me. i have come to understand that i may never be free of these things, but i can find joy in the midst of the trials. i can find joy and search for it, then hold it close to.

i admit, it is kind of a scary word for me, because i've seen joy equated so closely with happiness that i fear i will have to fake it. that i will have to surrender honesty and embrace some kind of mamby pamby smiley faced facade that i've tried so hard to avoid until now. but i do not think that is it.

one night as i lay in bed i felt this bubbling joy inside. i'd never felt it before and knew it was joy. so foreign it was to me, like spotting a pineapple in the road. i knew it was, in fact, joy. unexpected.

so i have to look for that again. it is my mandate.


Deborah said...

Awesome post, Suz. May joy be your dance in 2006 this year and evermore. I love the sound of your Gran, and I love the Church teaching of the Communion of the Saints. God is a God of the living, not the dead, and thus Gran is truly alive in Him.

Anonymous said...

Suz, have you read "Surprised By Joy" by C.S. Lewis? If not, please read it---a writer writing to writers. If you have, and it's been awhile, you might want to review it.

c. van gorkom