Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Seeds Sown with Tears are Reaped with Joy

A friend of mine once told me, "You seem to have learned the secret to being happy. " I'm not exactly sure everything she meant by that, but I have taken it as a high compliment. I have always considered myself an optimist, and I have always thought that I would be able to remain faithful to the Lord in times of trial, and get my strength from Him. But you never know until you are tested. I have come to realize that my optimistic outlook is just part of the temperament that God has gifted me with. I used to think that I had just had an easy life, but when I look at the reality of my circumstances, I certainly have had times of trial. Within the span of 6 months, I lost a baby early in my second trimester. My husband lost his job and started a new one. I injured myself and was physically disabled (on crutches) for several weeks after the injury and then later for a month following surgery. If you want to fast forward two years, I can also include Kyle's life threatening birth by C-section, and three months after that, yet another job change which involved a pretty sudden cross-country move with a newborn and a child starting school for the first time.

Psalm 126
When the Lord brought back the captives from Zion,
we were like men who dreamed.

Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy.
Then it was said among the nations,
"The Lord has done great things for them."

The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.

Restore our fortunes O Lord, like streams in the Negev.
Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy.
He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow,
will return with songs of joy carrying sheaves with him.

The captives were now free to dream and laugh. What is it that you have been freed from? Perhaps you have experienced healing of a particular sin that has held you captive--in one fell swoop, or gradually over a period of years. Maybe God is freeing you from yourself--your pride, your self-sufficiency, your superiority.

For me, losing that baby somehow made Kyle's arrival two years later even sweeter. Sown in tears. Reaped with great joy. There was also joy in the reaping of the harvest of righteousness, a greater acknowledgment of God's sovereignty. I could say, "Although things might not now be going according to my plan, they were still going to be okay." This lesson was sown in me, and so when we did decide to accept the promptings of the Lord and circumstance and move from Texas to Connecticut, I knew that even though it seemed crazy from the outside looking in, it would be okay. It has been okay. We are feeling quite at home here. We enjoy our new surroundings and new challenges. We enjoy being able to see my in-laws more and cultivate a closer relationship with them. But of course along with that, we have mourned the loss of my family in Texas and close friendships that we left behind. Perhaps that which we left behind makes us more appreciative of what we have.

I don't want people to think that I know how to be happy. I want it to be said that "The Lord has done great things for her."

The Lord has done great things for me, and I am filled with joy.

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Please go see the other entries in the Carnival of the Psalms at MZEllen and Co. on Wednesday.


Dianne said...

Carnival of the Psalms, huh? Neat idea. This post really ministered to my heart today. Thanks for letting the Lord speak to and through you.

(Oh and do I have you to thank for the BoB nomination? I think so)

Lindsey @ Enjoythejourney said...

I have suffered the loss of a child before and it really does make you appreciate your children all the more. Life is fleeting---you need to celebrate every moment.

Beautiful post dear.

Jennifer said...

It's really the Beauty of the Psalms at the Carnival of Beauty. With taking Amanda to soccer camp and then going to the grocery store, unloading groceries, playing with Kyle outside, and picking Amanda back up from soccer camp, and getting them lunch, I was a bit rushed to meet my 3pm deadline.

Malissa said...

great post!
Thanks for the comments on my blog!

The Lord has done great things for them."
The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy

See! another Psalm I should have listed in my post!;)

Tammy said...

It spoke to me, too...
I know I need to be more grateful, to look on the positive side more often. My nature actually tends to be more bent towards negative...not so much in a complaining way but just not in an optimistic outlook. I know it's something that with God's help, I can begin practicing. Thank you for the gentle reminder.

I lost a pregnancy between my two children, and it sure did make the birth of my last one overflowing with joy and gratitude. Especially since I was 39 and worried it might be too late for me to have a healthy baby. God blessed me richly! And God blesses all of us, whether we always see it or not.
Wonderful post...Blessings,

Crystal Breeze said...

Jennifer I really appreciated your blog today.. I needed much of what you typed and said. Thank you...

I wish we could talk to each other directly.. I need someone to listen to some of my problems I am having with my mom and dad. I don't know how to deal with their problems and take care of myself and my family too. I am a young mom and I feel like I am abandoning them

Laura said...

I so needed to hear these words this week as we face more change in our life. I can feel myself starting to "clam up", fearful to live in the moment for some reason, but your post brought some life back to me...and some courage too.

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