Somewhere within the recesses of my heart I know joy exists, is firmly rooted in the hope of Christ, eternity with Him. But, if I’m honest, most days I don’t feel it. I just feel loss. Is that a feeling? That’s the only way I can explain it. I haven’t written in a while because 1. I’ve had no words and 2. I’ve wanted to write about what was and not what is, because what is right now is messy. Sophie’s story is so very powerful and I loved writing when she was with us… physically. Yes, I know she will always be with us but it’s different now and I’m struggling to figure out what to do with that, how to embrace this new reality of our lives without her physically here. It is a daily battle as Kevin shared in his entry on Grief, to be okay with being not okay. Embracing His grace for today and celebrating the little victories, when sometimes all I can see are the things I haven’t been able to step into quite yet, the ways I’m not quite “myself”. The Lord keeps reminding me of these little victories along the way, the little reminders that yes, I’m moving forward, yes I’m stepping back into life, yes I’m growing and no it won’t be the way it was but I will discover more of who I am now in the process, the new version of “myself” and always He is with me. These little reminders of victory came in the week I decided to take more than just a couple of showers (I know gross… but when you’re sad and tired and in pain sometimes it’s just easier to stay in your pajamas). They came in the time I decided to start cooking, and actually found myself enjoying it again. They came in the moment I went to church and wanted to talk with people and not just make a quick escape. They came in the moment I engaged in conversation, though short and sweet, with the woman at the cash register deciding I wouldn’t be afraid of what she asked me and whether or not I just might lose it in the grocery store. They came in the moment I was able to run for 1 minute (yes, I said 1 minute… now I’m up to 15!). They came in the moments I found myself excited about different ministry opportunities. They came in the moment I went to my first work meeting and trusted the Lord for His grace to sustain me when I find myself often like a little child stomping their feet before His feet saying “I was supposed to be a stay-at-home mom not stepping back into work!” And the disappointment of it all grips my heart. I was on the verge of tears the entire meeting. And they come in the moments each day when I open God’s word and usually manage to make it through one verse, if that, and find the Lord meeting me in the midst of the little emotional capacity I have to meet with Him. My daily bread, His Word, even if it’s just a nugget never returns void, I’ll let Him decide how to nourish my soul with it. I know that joy is coming; it always does just like the sun always shines. “Weeping may last for the night, but joy comes with the morning.” (Psalm 30:5b) There are days that feel like the morning, but more days that feel like the night. I’m looking forward to when the morning sticks around for a while.