Recently, my son and I were talking and sharing our thoughts and feelings about how life feels since our Joyia went to heaven. One of the things we both expressed is how it has ALREADY been 60 days, and simultaneously we were feeling the reality that IT HAS ONLY been 60 days.
You see, there are moments when it feels like time is rushing by, and then there are those times when the clock seems to have stopped. One such moment was the day after Joyia died.
It was very early Sunday morning and I was sitting out on my front porch with a dear friend from Pennsylvania who had driven in the wee hours of the morning to be with me once she’d heard the news. (I will forever treasure that moment because she showed up. Knowing that there wasn’t a thing she could do to ever make anything better, she did what she could and delivered a hug. God is so good like that. Over and over He sends people my way for no other reason than to offer a warm embrace.)
Anyway, in the midst of that, there we were sitting on the porch together and I turned my gaze to the sky. At that moment, I saw something I don’t remember ever seeing before, except in the movies. I saw the clouds moving across the sky in a fast forward speed. Not as fast as in the movies, but faster than I’d ever seen. Observing them at that moment caused so much emotion that I could hardly swallow. I thought, “What does this mean, Lord?”
Then, clear as day, in my mind I heard, “There is healing in the passage of time. It may not feel like it today, but it’s true.”
Sisters, in that moment, I received that as a hug from God, and a sign—if you will—that I would survive through this extreme sorrow. I would be okay! I would live on without my daughter. There is healing in the, “already and it has only.” There is healing in the passage of time.
As much as I want things to stop, and as quickly as I would love time to pass so that I can feel better NOW, time must be as time is—one second at a time . . .day-by-day, until the day that sorrow transforms into joy again. There is simply no way around it or over it. I must go through it. Period!
For a variety of reasons Scripture speaks about mourning turning to joy. In that I have much hope for a brighter tomorrow than today.
“Truly, truly, I say to you, that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; you will grieve, but your grief will be turned into joy.” John 16:20
“…For I will turn their mourning into joy and will comfort them and give them joy for their sorrow.” Jeremiah 31:13
“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, Because the LORD has anointed me To bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to captives And freedom to prisoners; To proclaim the favorable year of the LORD And the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn, To grant those who mourn in Zion, Giving them a garland instead of ashes, The oil of gladness instead of mourning, The mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting So they will be called oaks of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.” Isaiah 61:1-3
Stephanie Dale Paul
Stephanie serves as part of the Addiction Recovery Team at America’s Keswick as Director of Women of Character. She has been married for over 30 years to Sesky Paul who is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy. They have two grown children.
Her single focus in ministry at Keswick is to image Christ in grace and truth to wounded and hurting women, encouraging them to make Jesus the truest Lover of their soul and the One in whom all hope lies.