Butterfly Sparks Designs

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Messy Joy.

Joy is messy.

That’s a weird thing to say, isn’t it? But I think it’s true. 

Joy always celebrates.  But sometimes joy comes with aches.  Sometimes, it weeps.  Sometimes, it dances. Sometimes, it belly-laughs with anticipation. 

And sometimes... like tonight ... joy does all of that at the same time.  It's messy.

I got some news tonight (Wednesday).

My sweet friend whom I’ve never met is on her way to meet Jesus as I write this. While some would discount a friendship with someone you’ve never met, I would disagree. Sara Frankl has deeply impacted my journey with God through the words she has shared on her blog for the past 3 years. Her story is profound. Her pain is chronic and unyielding. But her joy … oh, her joy … it is made of something that celebrates and awakens the hearts of others to hope. 

Not long from now, Sara will leave her tiny apartment for the first time in three years.  For three years, her rare, mysterious illness has forbidden her from going outside.  But soon and very soon, she will leave her home here and run into the arms of Jesus. 

Sara often described her deepest passion that her life, her story, would not bring people to tears but would fill them with hope. In Sara’s words:

“Mostly, if you met me… if you came here to the condo I affectionately term "Gitzapalooza"… I would want to make sure you came feeling welcomed and loved. And that you left feeling more filled up than when you came. How that happens doesn't matter so much to me. What we talk about or do to make that happen doesn't matter so much to me. It just matters that you're filled.”

She did that. For so many, she did just that. Well done, Sara. Well done.

It’s hard to write this through a downpour of tears. My heart aches that her words, baked with messages of hope and grace, will no longer reach my eyes or fill our hearts. Her legacy spans to countless others who never met her, and a very, very lucky few who did. Yet I find joy through the weeping and in the ache.  Joy dances in the blessed assurance that the one day Sara lived her whole life for is coming soon. Joy celebrates that she will no longer be in pain and will again be able to lift her beautiful voice in song to her Prince. And joy belly-laughs in anticipation of the delight in her Father's voice as He whispers, “Well done, my faithful, sweet daughter. Well done.” 

With joyful tears, I celebrate for sweet Sara.

Blessed assurance. Oh, the entry into heaven that awaits her. The promise that on that day of her welcoming, the angels will sing. Sara’s faith on that day will become her eyes. What a party it will be!

As I sat down to collect myself and to pray, I received an email from another one of my dearest friends.

My friend Julie’s son Aaron, the sweetest 9 year old you’ll ever meet, accepted Christ today. He sweetly asked Jesus into his heart. I had a treasured opportunity to spend time with little Aaron this past weekend. His heart is tender and deep and generous and so loving.  Joy dances in the promise of God's amazing plans for Aaron.  Joy weeps in gratitude to a God that sent His son for our sin.  Joy belly-laughs in anticipation of how God will continue to reveal Himself to little Aaron's heart. 

With joyful tears, I celebrate for little Aaron. 

Blessed assurance. Oh, the entry to heaven that awaits him. The promise that on that day of his welcoming, the angels will sing. Aaron’s faith will on that day become his eyes. What a party it will be!

Two people whom I love are celebrating eternal life today. Two people whom I love are dreaming of heaven today.   My joy aches, weeps, dances, and belly-laughs in anticipation. 

Joy. It’s beautiful.

And messy.


Anonymous said...

Celebrating joy with you. Thank you for sharing Sara's story and how much she means to you and to so many others whose life she has touched and continues to do so. My prayers remain with her and family.
Praising God for Aaron's acceptance of Christ into his heart. I remember the utter joy I felt at the age of 12 when I accepted Christ into my heart. Loving this "messy joy"

Anonymous said...

Her story has impacted so many. She is a grace-bearer and is celebrating her heavenly dwelling. Those of us still weeping grief are part of an unfinished story. Joy and grief mingle - messy.