Mourning & Dancing: Day 4

Mortality and Life

by

Today's Text: Psalm 103:15-16, Psalm 90:12-17, 1 Corinthians 15:26, Psalm 139:1-24, John 15:9-11, Revelation 21:4-5

God created us as complex creatures, capable of feeling and sensing a whole garden of emotions. Made in the image of our Creator, we can both grieve the wrongs of this world, and celebrate the sweetness of this life.

This 2-week reading plan will lead us through a series of passages from Scripture that examine the seasons of mourning and dancing in the life of a believer. In the written responses here on the site, our writers will enter into this tension, articulating their personal experiences with grief and joy in hopes of freeing you to explore your own. By immersing our hearts and minds in God’s Word, and honestly presenting our laments to Him, may we remember that God is present with us, He is good, and He is faithful.

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Text:
Mortality Scriptures—Psalm 103:15-16, Psalm 90:12-17, 1 Corinthians 15:26
Life Scriptures—Psalm 139:1-24, John 15:9-11, Revelation 21:4-5

While our days sometimes feel long, life itself is indeed short. Though I don’t often live like I believe it, I am indeed mortal.

The Bible is quick to remind us of just how short life really is, that our days are numbered and our lives will fade like grass blown away by the wind (Psalm 90:12; 103:15-16). But Scripture is also quick to remind us of the richness and beauty of life here on earth. Psalm 139 tells us of a loving God who is intimately involved with our creation and our lives:

Lord, You have searched me and known me…You are aware of all my ways… For it was You who created my inward parts… I have been remarkably and wonderfully made.
-vv. 1, 3, 13-14

Creation and death. Each is as real and imminent as the other. Both ordained by God. It can be strange living in that tension, can’t it—living with the knowledge of our own mortality?

This past Christmas was my niece’s very first. She is the first grandchild in our family, so this was exciting for all of us—especially my mom, who has quickly become the epitome of a doting grandmother. But this Christmas also marked another first for us: the first Christmas without our Mimi, my mom’s mother.

I remember Christmas morning sitting in the living room celebrating and chatting and eating my second (okay, maybe third) cinnamon roll, when my mom walked in and quieted the room. She asked if we could take a minute to remember Mimi and thank God for her life. In that moment, my mom showed us what it looks like to live in the tension of life and death, what it looks like to celebrate and mourn simultaneously.

We celebrated my niece’s first Christmas. We mourned the first Christmas without our Mimi.

Sometimes life offers us seasons of mourning. Sometimes life offers us seasons of dancing. And sometimes, perhaps more often, life offers us both. This Christmas I learned that mourning and dancing are not mutually exclusive actions. We can experience deep joy and deep sadness at the very same time.

There is something beautiful about that reality, especially in light of what’s to come. When sorrow will meet joy for the last time, and “God will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will no longer exist; grief, crying, and pain will exist no longer, because the previous things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4).

Death will no longer exist.

When the reality of death is heavy, the promise of its defeat is powerful. Scripture says we have victory over death through Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:57), who abolished death on the cross (2 Timothy 1:10). Our Savior died so that we might live. He understands the tension of mourning and dancing more than anybody.

I like the end of Psalm 139, when David asks God to lead him in “the everlasting way”—a phrase that suggests there is more to this earthly life, more to live for than this moment. I want to be led in the everlasting way. I want to mourn, and I want to dance, cry, and laugh. And I want to do so with the knowledge that the best is yet to come.

Someday soon, all sorrow will be joy. And in the meantime, we get to experience the complex wonder that is living.

SRT-MAD-Instagram3s

  • I struggle often with the “complex wonder” that is life. Maybe everyone does. This was comforting to read this morning as I ache to simply rest – long to go Home. There is still wonder here. There is still God. I can rest in that even as I long so desperately for something better and more.

    • ACB

      I’m praying for you this evening Sarah—that you may know the peace and rest of our Jesus.

  • Lauren D

    Life right now is hard for me and my family- with multiple examples of joy and pain in the same breath. Relying on one income and me as the breadwinner has put pressures on me that I never imagined. But it’s for a good cause- my husband is getting another degree to better support our family. This devotional reminded me that I can do both at the same time and to not dwell on the sorrows/pain but also celebrate the little things or big things in life. Thank you for this study!

  • I am coming up on three months since I lost my first baby. This devotional this morning is so perfect. To be able to experience death, yet also a new beginning seems so difficult for me to handle. I needed these words this morning, so thank you ❤️

  • I came across this devotional recently. I was searching for this exact topic. We lost our first baby this year. I delivered him on March 1st. Exactly two months later, we learned we were pregnant again. I’m currently 23 weeks, and “mourning and dancing” seems to be the story of my life right now. I cannot thank you enough for this study. I have struggled to explain the feeling of having two very strong emotions collide like this. This is so beautifully written. thank you!

  • I’m caught in this space of mourning and dancing as well. I’m in the trenches of struggling with infertility, while my sister is due with her first baby in a few months. Today she goes in for an ultrasound, while I go in for a test to determine if I have a blockage in my fallopian tubes. I needed this scripture and message so much this morning. Thank you ♥️

    • She Reads Truth

      Praying for you, Audra. I can only imagine how difficult this must be. Asking the Lord to provide clarity and peace for you. So grateful for you.

      – Stormye

  • my grandmother died last night & this was the devo i woke up to do (at 4am nonetheless bc i can’t sleep bc reality is setting in). oh my how i needed this. this is the first death i’ve had to deal with in my family & as a 21 year old i’m thankful but also not sure how to go about “mourning & dancing.” this made me realize it’s okay to be happy she is walking hand in hand with our Father & for that i am oh so jealous!

  • “Someday soon, all sorrow will be joy. And in the meantime, we get to experience the complex wonder that is living.”

    This statement really spoke to me. If you’ve been following my comments, you know that in the course of 22 days I lost both my father and my brother. It’s been a difficult period, but today’s devotional reminded me of something absolutely beautiful. My sweet niece, who just lost her Daddy (my brother) on March 23, also has a beautiful baby girl who just turned one on April 10 — “Mortality and life” playing out their roles right there in her life. She’s struggling, but I see God’s hand molding and shaping her through this difficult season, and it is absolutely beautiful. I’m so thankful to be able to witness this, and I’m even more thankful that God has connected her and I for such a time as this. I welcome your prayers for my whole family as we work through this. It is a difficult season, but rest assured – even though there is mourning, there is also dancing!!

    • She Reads Truth

      Cheri, thank you so much for updating us. Continuing to pray for you and your family. Still so thankful to have you in the SRT community.

      – Stormye

  • Michael Williamson (youtube)

    Well written and poignant however, inerrant in some of your theological implications. “Death” as you stated in your piece can be defeated through Jesus Christ, where this is incorrect is that Death is still very much a reality for both the believer and unbeliever, there is no escaping that truth. What you are referring to when you incorporate the scripture from revelation is a futurist perspective, so although I appreciate your attempt in remaining positive God takes people away every single day, Christian or not.

    • I believe the Death that is spoken of here refers to eternal Death…. that Death has already been defeated through Jesus Christ. Yes, most of us will still die a physical Death, but we can know that it is NOT the Death that eternally separates from God.

  • I think one of the hardest things is allowing yourself to feel your emotions to their true depth. Often times, I want to stifle my pain and sorrow and try to create artificial joy. I try to play happy music and sing along, but inside I just want to cry. But I think finding that tension of understanding that there is a time to cry and a time to dance. They may be in the same span of time in a day, but it’s important to allow yourself to feel the depths of those emotions.

    • Natalyn

      Amen. Reminds me of Ted talk I watched where the woman talks about how we cannot selectively numb-by numbing the emotions we don’t want to feel we also numb emotions have happiness that we do want to feel

  • I love how she says she wants to mourn and she wants to dance with the mindset of the best is yet to come. My husband and I just experienced a miscarriage. It was our first baby. And as we hurt and grief privately we also cling on to hope. There are days where grief is the only thing I feel, some days dancing is all I want to do. Most days I’m in both scenes. But I’m praying that as we do walk through this season we do not forget, about the true living hope that is in our hearts.

    • She Reads Truth

      Josefina, thank you so much for sharing. Praying for you in this time of grieving and healing. Grateful for you.

      – Stormye

  • Love that challenge and your art!! So cool.

  • This past Christmas was a first for my family, as well – my aunt passed away in October, so it was our first Christmas without her and my second without my best friend, who passed away two years ago next month. Our house was full of laughter but there were glimpses of sorrow all through the day, and the complex nature of grief struck me. It’s a confusing place to be; somewhere between celebration and mourning, doing both and yet neither and all at the same time!

  • Natalie Thwaites

    this really hits home… my friend’s dad committed suicide last november and this was a clear realization to me that it is often that there are situations where there can be both mourning and dancing… i’m going to share this with her as an encouragement… thank you so much! god bless!

  • I’m in a season of mourning right now. I lost my daughter at birth and have been grieving. Many people have spoken to me of joy, told me they’ve seen joy in the midst and to have joy in suffering, but I’m trying to comprehend how the 2 exist at the same time? The passage says you can grieve and be filled with joy and people have said grief develops a deeper joy. I guess I’m trying to understand what joy is as I know it’s not a feeling. Any thoughts?

    • Cat

      I am so sorry for your loss. I know that God is grieving with you. I’m praying for him to comfort you. I do not know the answer but I know that as time goes on and you spend more time with God praying and spending time in His word he will being to mend your heart back together. I pray that the joy you have will be dependent on the goodness and faithfulness of God even in the midst of this horrible pain.

    • Shanna

      Jenny, I don’t know if you will see this comment, or if you are in a different place since you posted your comment a month ago…. But, I am so sorry for your loss. No mother should have to go through that kind of loss, should have to feel the depth of your sadness. God holds those tears and he holds tight those who mourn in a grief like that. His compassion towards you and his presence with you is so strong. I think there is a season for grief, and that’s okay. I also don’t think grief and joy will always go hand in hand. The joy you may find might be down the road. And maybe it’s more a joy in the discovery of your strength and endurance, or in the grace and love Jesus gives. There is not a set amount of time for the seasons God gives, and I think that’s because it depends on each situation. You don’t have to feel joy when you feel grief, or gladness when you feel sorrow. Maybe one day, looking back, you will see the faithfulness of God through the darker times, and you will see His favor and blessing on the path your life has taken. The loss of your daughter is not something that should happen on this side of Eden, but if you cling to God, seek his wisdom and understanding, allow in his mercy and compassion, seek Jesus and abide in him, He will walk you through a path of healing, and take you into dancing as you discover a deeper love and trust in him. I’ll be praying for you, Jenny, I hope you find nothing but encouragement from this!

    • Virginia

      Jenny, I also lost my daughter, my first child, in November; she lived for 26 days. She also had a twin that I miscarried at 10 weeks. This is THE most difficult experience I hope to ever endure here on earth. It’s been such a interesting journey of feeling hopeless to feeling all the hope God has to offer. I have ups and downs constantly and it’s been so hard. But God has proven his faithfulness over and over to me, and I pray he has done and is doing the same for you. I’m so sorry for the loss of your precious daughter. I believe it is true that because we have walked in Christ’s sufferings by losing our children, joy is and will be much deeper. I encourage you to be comforted by Christ’s suffering, he has been where we are, he has been alone, he was truly a man of sorrows. I have been really comforted by knowing that Christ has felt similar feelings that I’ve felt and go through every day.

  • I so often regret the way I have lived or should I say existed the last 16 years of my life. I am grateful that my God knows me so intimately and loves me. I am in a new stage of my life and He is showing me ( one way through this devotion) what He wants my life to look like.

  • littlecountryme

    Wow, this Christmas will also be the first without my grandma. In fact, she is the reason I’m going through this devotional.

  • CodyLane

    Wow I can’t believe how much this spoke to me and gave me comfort. I lost my dad in November almost 1 year ago and it has been the hardest year of my life. But I also got the job that I had been working for 2 years to get to at the same time. I was so excited for my new position and yet so hurt losing my daddy. The only comfort I get is when I turn to God!!

  • I relate to this at this very moment. I gave birth to a precious healthy baby girl and lost one of my closest friends to cancer suddenly in the same week. Joy and pain intertwined. Thankful Christ is life giving here in earth and in death. Needed this devotional today!

  • Cherish

    Wow, incredible. Mahalo Nui loa for such a beautiful & clear passage!

  • Charissa

    This reading plan has been so rich. I have been art journaling along with this reading plan and writing my personal reflections on my blog. Thanks for all the work you ladies do. It’s truly a blessing. Here is a link to this day’s art journaling for Mortality and Life: https://thegraceupongrace.wordpress.com/2016/07/31/day-4-challenged-by-death-inspired-by-life-prompted-to-live/

  • I so need Jesus to make everything new in my life. My time of mourning seems to be so much more than I can take at the moment.

  • Jess Lee

    So timely. So powerful

  • Truly encouraging devotional! I loved how the author reviewed the Bible verses because it helped me dig a little deeper and better understand some of them.

  • Love it ! So many wonderful things here :)

  • Amber Rhodes

    The Scripture here is God-breathed and trustworthy. Our understanding of it is not always as reliable. Is it ok to hate the things that God hates? God hates sin. That’s the main thing. Hating God’s enemies isn’t as much about hating the people themselves…it’s about hating sin.

  • Samantha

    I think David’s flesh is coming into play at that point of scripture. David was a wonderful man after God’s own heart, but he did make many mistakes. I would most definitely strive after Jesus’ teachings over David’s thoughts.

  • I’m struggling with a contradiction in verses. In Psalm it says, “Lord, don’t I hate those who hate You, and detest those who rebel against You? I hate them with extreme hatred; I consider them my enemies.” But doesn’t the Bible also say to love your enemies?

    • Lauren

      Debbie, I wondered the exact thing when I read this! I’ve read this verse many times. I never actually stopped to think about it until now!

      • Monica

        There is a difference in “our” enemies and God’s enemies. At least that is my thinking, hope it helps.

  • The stories here of life and death are so touching. I am so happy to be a part of this community that shares what we’re going through! May God strengthen and encourage all of us as we go about our lives in the delicate balance of life & death, knowing our Father promises a future free from pain in heaven and THAT is ultimately what we look forward to! Give us strength here on earth. Make us see life in situations where death surrounds us.

  • This series could not have come a more perfect time. I just started this series on Monday morning and on Monday afternoon, I found out that my 13-year-old golden retriever has a mass on her spleen and has internal bleeding. The news came so unexpectedly. Since Monday, her health has greatly deteriorated. Dogs have such a way of making their way into our hearts that it is never easy to let them go. As I’ve been mourning what is to come and celebrating what time I have been given with her, it is so peaceful to know that soon a day will come where we no longer feel sorrow or the pain of death.

    • Phylicia

      I understand your pain yet joy with your golden. I had a sweet golden growing up and I’ll never forget her. The joy she brought into my life reflects onto my golden now. What a beautiful gift of life God has given you! Praying for you and your ‘golden’ heart :)

  • LesleyRyden

    It’s ALWAYS a beautiful season…. I wrote about this very tension in this recent post:
    https://awordthatmatters.wordpress.com/2016/05/31/its-always-a-beautiful-season/

  • Larissa

    I missed this day due to surgery that morning, the ultimate test of mortality. Praise the Lord that we learned the dance of joy and mourning in the same day. It was a successful surgery and hopefully the end of a season of infertility. Praying for Gods hand in the recovery and next steps in our journey.

  • Thank you for sharing. My family and I are currently facing mourning and dancing. I have faith that all things work together for those who love the Lord!

  • Melinda

    This is so beautiful….this tension…this design…it’s hard and yet it’s so right. Thank you for this lesson, it is such a good reminder that it’s ok to mourn and dance in the same setting. I just experienced this very thing last weekend at my sister’s wedding. It’s been 2 1/2 months since my youngest sister went home to be with Jesus after a head-on collision. She was to be the maid of honor at my other sister’s wedding. It was such a hard day and such a wonderful day all at the same time! We laughed and cried and celebrated and mourned and danced and grieved all day long and it was good! But it was so hard! I am really enjoying this study and am very thankful to have found it at just the right time in my life! I am looking forward to continuing this study!

    • Kristi

      I’m so sorry for you me loss, Melinda. What a great illustration of the tension between mourning and dancing in real life. My heart goes out to your family. Thank you for sharing.

  • This is the tension I’m living in as my sister {and several friends} are expecting sweet babies soon… and I celebrate this new life with them, while grieving my own miscarriage and infertility. It’s the tension of being happy for them, but sad for me. These devotions capture that mix of feelings so well.

  • Christa

    I am struggling through a mourning and dancing period in life. Our precious little girl is now 12 and the inevitable, slow, separation has begun. She’s growing up. I mourn that she doesn’t need me or want to be with me like she used to. On the other hand, I am so excited for her. She is independent and self disciplined. She manages to have nothing less than a 98% in all her classes, cheers for her school and a competitive team, for which she spends at least 10 hours a week at practice, not to mention games and competition that we travel to all over the county. She has an empathetic heart, always defending the underdog. I could go on bragging on her, but I won’t! She is stretching her wings. It is so hard to let go, even just a little. I think to myself, if this is tough, what’s it going to be like when she goes to college? I know I will be so happy for her, but will also miss her so much! For now, I mourn the little girl she used to be, but dance as I watch her growing into a beautiful, talented young woman. God give me the strength to not hold on too tight, and spend more time dancing than mourning. Help me remember that she truly belongs to you, not me. Thank you for trusting me with your little girl!

    • Kylee

      “Help me remember that she truly belongs to you, not me. Thank you for trusting me with your little girl!” Yes to this. I have an 8 year old strong independent woman for a daughter, & while she still needs me now, I’ll be clinging to this prayer now to prepare for the near future when she won’t need me as much. It would be heartbreaking if not for God, who she really belongs to anyway! Thank you for sharing your heart!

  • ohmeowsers

    All the shares here are really so touching. I lost my Dad two years ago and one place of tension (sadness and joy) is that I look a lot like him. Face, fingers, legs, etc. Sometimes when I look at myself (my hands, for example) I will be moved to tears because I miss him so desperately. But simultaneously I feel so grateful because he also feels so close. He is a part of me, always with me, and that will never change. I will always be my father’s daughter, even if he is no longer physically here, and for that I feel so blessed.

  • This past Christmas was my daughter’s first and our first without my grandmother (whose birthday was Christmas Eve). She went to heaven just 23 days before our daughter was born. It took 8+ weeks for the grief to hit me and postpartum depression set in. It all washed over me at once and has taken months to work through the tandem joy and sorrow. It’s that strange tension between earthly mortality and God’s eternity.

  • 10 weeks and 1 day ago my husband confessed to me an 8 month long affair as well as a 10 year long marriage filled with lies. Death immediately filled my life and has been my constant companion every day. Death to what I thought my marriage was. Death to where I thought by it was going. Death to dreams and hopes and expectations. It is often overwhelming. But I’ve come to discover that life is also available to be my constant companion. Life is not quite as loud or overwhelming or demanding as death, but it is always there. Hope of a new future. Life that begins where death ends. Mourning and laughter in the same day… in the same breath. It is a strange and often very heavy place to live. Giving mourning its proper and necessary place in my heart and mind. But then allowing life to take place too and spring up in small but sweet ways. Yes these seasons seem so opposite but they are indeed partners in drawing me into the heart and presence of my God.

    • Becky

      I’m so sorry to hear of what has happened in your life. I will be praying for you!

    • Stacy

      Erika, thank you for sharing your story. I am in the middle of a divorce now and my husband has moved in with the woman he had an affair with. I can relate entirely to seeing death and loss everywhere I turn. Thank you for the reminder that life is also here with me. I just have to look for it. I’m so sorry for the pain you are experiencing. I’ll be praying for you.

  • Katie Holland

    About 9 years ago my dad passed away from cancer. I thought my life was over, I was a senior in high school about to start college. He tried so hard to see me walk across that stage at graduation but the lord called him before that moment. He was there that day and with me everyday. I remember the day he passed away like it was yesterday, what I wore, the weather, the smell, what I ate for breakfast but can’t believe it’s already been 9 years. God has truly wiped away my tears. I can’t wait to dance with my dad again.

    • Abby Pierce

      I will start praying for you Katie. Remembering parts of that terrible day is hard. I appreciate you sharing your story.

  • Abby Pierce

    SRT family, please pray for me and my mom. My dad passed away in his sleep a few weeks ago. He was just 56. I’m about to start my senior year of college and I’m having a hard time coping. I miss him so much. I’m so grateful God inspired you all to publish this study when you did. It was perfect timing.

    • Rutz

      Hi Abby! The most painful way of dealing loss is missing that loved-ones presence and knowing for a fact that we can’t feel that presence anymore. My mom passed away 2 years ago and I’m still deeply hurt by her passing. But here I am, facing everyday full of hope that I’ll be seeing her someday, in God’s time. Prayer. That’s the most effective way of coping over death. God’s grace will sustain you. :)

      • Abby Pierce

        Thank you so much for your encouragement! Praying for you!

    • Lauren

      Abby, I will pray for you now. My dad had a heart attack 4 years ago and he was 56 as well. Today is his birthday. The pain never goes away, but it does change with time and by God’s grace, the blending of mourning and dancing becomes more bearable. I still wish I’d wake up and see him here and wonder if maybe it’s all been a dream, but I can say that God has used his death to develop an empathy in me and allowed me to walk alongside others who experience similar things. He can redeem even the worst things. I’m so sorry for your loss and for your Mom’s loss.

  • Chelsea

    Gods word is true and he is so faithful. I praise him for my salvation! I thank him that he knows my name and calls me his own. I’m so grateful for this ministry. It has helped me develop a closer relationship with the lord.

  • Rachelle

    This study has been amazing so far. Writing the laments is by far my favorite thing I have ever done in a study. I think we all live in the tension between grief and joy and it is beautiful to think about how God is working it all out.

    • Taylor

      I love writing the laments too! I’m not very creative or have never enjoyed writing or journaling too much, so I thought about skipping this part, but I am so glad I haven’t so far. And what I expected to write about God has brought up something entirely different for me!

      • Rachelle

        I agree! I am not a journalier either so it has come as a surprise how much I am enjoying this. Maybe we have some journaling tendencies buried deep down. :)

  • I have been so blessed and touched by this plan! It’s my favorite thus far. As a nurse that sees death, suffering, life, and victory all on a daily basis and struggles to make sense of it all, these are the lessons that bring my heart and mind peace. Thank you!!

  • Megan Craig

    Love this. Jesus is our hope in life, death, sorrow, and joy: “When the reality of death is heavy, the promise of its defeat is powerful. Scripture says we have victory over death through Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:57), who abolished death on the cross (2 Timothy 1:10). Our Savior died so that we might live. He understands the tension of mourning and dancing more than anybody.”

  • Courtney Raphael

    really beautiful. Thank you for sharing this! I’m feeling this as I’m getting married to a wonderful man but the absence of my father. I love that I do feel joy and sorrow, but it’s okay.

    Thanks for this!

  • “If I say ‘surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,’ even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you” (Psalm 139: 11-12). Thank you for exposing me to this verse this morning and speaking so beautifully about the dichotomy of life and death.

  • Ceci frost

    Wow I love how your mom did that, what a beautiful visual and example of how to process joy and grief.

  • Mikaela

    This study’s timing is perfect. I’m amazed by the Lord and His faithfulness! I recently moved back to the US after serving overseas in Southeast Asia for over three years. This transition has been so hard for me. Saying goodbye to those I care about so much, leaving all the places and people I love, without any guarantee of ever being able to meet them again breaks my heart. I’ve been back for one month now and I still miss it so much. But I’ve been so torn inside because the reason I came back is to marry the most amazing man and love of my life in just two weeks! I’ve felt guilty because of my sadness and this pressure to choose the joy of getting married over the sadness of leaving behind such an important piece of who I am. The Lord is showing me that this is the life of a believer, to mourn and dance, to be sorrowful yet to rejoice, all at the same time. I don’t have to choose one or the other, but the Lord is working both out simultaneously. Please keep praying for strength as I mourn leaving Southeast Asia and rejoice for the exciting future I have ahead of me.

    • Candy

      Mikaela, isn’t it exciting that God chose this man for you and soon you will get to walk thru life together!! God has a plan for your life together. Who knows-maybe you both will get to go back some day. I find that it can be so frustrating to “wait on the Lord” but I know He has a plan for each of us if we will just be patient as He unveils it. May God bless your marriage always!

    • Christina D.

      “The Lord is showing me that this is the life of a believer, to mourn and dance, to be sorrowful yet to rejoice, all at the same time.” What a great truth! Thank you for sharing your thoughts today Mikaela! I too went through a time of difficulty around my wedding (both before and after). Praying that you will also have grace with yourself for mourning what you’ve left behind and joy for your upcoming marriage. Loved reading your thoughts today.

      • Mikaela

        Thank you Christina for the prayers and encouragement. It’s always reassuring to hear other people have been through similar things and seen God’s faithfulness work despite trials they faced.

  • Just beautiful!!! I am SOOO very humbled that my Lord is leading me to read this devo with ALL you ladies…. Such sweet moments and words I have been enveloped in today (along with the past few days)…. Sooo many nuggets to chew on and savior…..

    • She Reads Truth

      Hi Jenny! We’re so glad you’re here! Grateful for the opportunity to mourn and dance together.

      xoxo-Kaitlin

  • Grief over my grandmother’s death 4 days before Christmas and what I view as neglect and abandonment from my “church family” has caused so much brokenness. So much hurt. That year, it seemed we were the only ones to lose a family member while others were celebrating. I didn’t share this like I could have– I didn’t want to dampen the spirit of celebration for others. I realize now I should have given others the opportunity to share my time of mourning while they were dancing. I personally had experienced the tension of mourning and dancing throughout my grandmother’s illness, but had not realized this tension is reality and everyone experiences it at some point. This Christmas, many lost family members and they did not withhold from sharing and receiving support. I have learned from this and it still hurts. I’m dancing and mourning again as our daughter has graduated and is moving to college in less than a month. God is faithful. Given our season of life, I will likely mourn and dance increasingly until eternity.

  • I was a bit hesitant about this study on mourning and dancing but must share that God has spoken to me every single day. I have past hurts, disappointments and loss of people (though not by death) that I’ve never let go of. These last days have been a wonderful time of reflection and letting go of shackles that keep me from the having a deeper relationship with my Lord.

    • She Reads Truth

      Liv, I’m so glad you’re joining us for this study. Grateful to hear God had been drawing you closer to Himself.

      xoxo-Kaitlin

  • While I’m not in mourning in the traditional sense, I was recently diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. So I am grieving for my life before my diagnosis. I woke up this morning with an onslaught of new symptoms and they might not seem big to someone else but to me, they are terrifying. Today’s reading was really something I needed to be able to get me through my day.

    • Hannah

      Hayley,
      God sees you and knows you and you are not alone. Praying for you friend. Your courage to remain in the word during this scary time is inspiring. May you have the indescribable peace of God today, even amidst these circumstances.

    • Rachelle

      I understand grieving life as it was before. It is real grief and I think acknowledging that does help. I am praying for you to feel God’s presence with you through this difficult time.

  • Keri Underwood

    Today’s devotional is so beautiful. So gentle yet so powerful. Today I am feeling the emotions of both mourning and joy. Today I feel those conflicting emotions. While I have been struggling for a few weeks, today I realize the truth of Psalm 139, especially verses 1-6. I’ve been seeing the words of this passage over and over for a few days but today, they really sunk in.

    http://www.littlelightonahill.com

  • 23 Search me, O God, and know my heart!
    Try me and know my thoughts!
    24 And see if there be any grievous way in me,
    and lead me in the way everlasting!

    God knows our every thought so by inviting him to search us, are we confessing our sins and weaknesses?
    Loving this study so much!!!!

  • Today is the due date of my first baby, whom I waited over four long years to conceive, only to lose mere days after he was created. God has used Psalm 139 in my life over and over again since I was first saved, so it’s fitting that He’s bringing it back to me on this day of mourning and remembering my lost child. I’ve felt utterly cursed and forsaken by God since this loss, and since the second loss that happened a few short months later. My prayer request is that as I set aside time to remember and mourn today, that God would soften my hardened heart and help me regain the faith that has been slowly draining away from my soul.

    • Casie

      Prayers Jess for healing and God to wrap his loving arms around you!

      • chidinma

        He is the healer of all hearts that belong to Him not one will be lost. May the King of your heart remind you of how much His love is manifested in your life.

    • Sarah Jenik

      Praying for you today Jess that you feel God’s arms wrapped around you

    • TIFFANI

      Praying for God’s Peace to Overwhelm and Comfort You during this time of Grief so that your Faith may be renewed!

    • Candy

      I was praying for you Jess and these words came to me-“in God’s perfect time”. Hoping that God gave me those words to help you.
      Much love and prayers as you go through this dark valley in your life. Jesus is walking it with you.

    • Jen

      Jess, my heart aches for and with you today. I also walked through infertility and wouldn’t wish it’s suffering on anyone. Praise God that in the midst of your grief – in the valley – God has drawn you to himself through his Word. Praying for you now and will continue to do so throughout the day. He loves you DEEPLY and has not forgotten you. A friend gifted me a book called “Hearing Jesus Speak Into Your Sorrow” by Nancy Guthrie – it’s truths had an immense impact on my walk with Christ as I navigated my grief with infertility. If you’re interested, it’s definitely worth reading.

    • Bukky A.

      Praying for you Jess that Jehovah Rapha (The Healer),will heal your heart and bring you back to Him in un-movable faith. I have had that feeling of abandonment several times by God, but I when I see His other works in my life. I know that He lives and He is faithful to pull you thru this period of mourning. Shalom!

    • Eva-Karin Cheng

      My grandma recently died and my (pretty young dad) has recently been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. Your prayer that God would restore your heart resonates so clearly with my prayers this morning. It’s hard to desire your heart to be in a place that it just isn’t.

  • Caroline

    Amen! I love thinking of all the new things he is making each and every day. And the thought that my future babies are wonderfully and fearfully made is just amazing!

    http://www.in-due-time.com

  • Today’s reading is heavy, but good. I hate thinking about death… I have almost had anxiety attacks thinking about it yet there are days when I feel enough at peace that if that day was my last well then I’d be OK… I’m scared of pain, off the unknown of how it will happen… God’s been showing me though that I will not be alone. Jesus, because of our sin, was left alone to die, God turned from him. Jesus died alone so we wouldn’t have to, so I wouldn’t have to…. that gives me peace, even if it’s a small amount.

  • Sarah_Joy

    Our church has experienced a tragic loss along with one of our leaders. We have heard often of the tension of this life – joy and sorrow coexisting. He refers to this tension as two rails like train rails. These rails are how we live this life – mourning and rejoicing – many times in the same moment. Just as SRT shared this morning we live this tension until we pass from this life. So thankful that God does not leave us alone no matter what season we are experiencing.

  • About a month ago, my boyfriend of 3 years broke up with me. It came as an absolute shock to me and shook me to my core. I am not close to my own family and recently moved to a new city, away from my friends. He and his family felt like all I had and I was terrified that if he were gone, I would truly be alone…forever. Thankfully, we ended up getting back together soon after. However, the things that he said to me stick with me and make me not trust him the way I used to. The whole situation has given me this crazy mix of misery and sorrow for the relationship I’ve lost and joy for what has been restored. It has been a great picture of what it looks like to mourn and dance at the same time. I am so grateful that God has promised to wipe away my tears and to NEVER leave me. Though I might fear being physically alone here on earth for a season, I know that in my real Home, I will never be lonely, will never cry, will never worry. I am so grateful for that promise!!

  • I am learning to live this life. It is not always easy and most times I fail. This study is clearly about mourning and dancing and most people will relate this to death and life! However, I am relating the scripture this morning to when I fail (mourning) and when I can feel my heart being filled with the love The Lord has given to me (dancing). We all have those moments when we just don’t feel Jesus in our lives. It could be a moment, a week, or for some people years! Today Psalms 139 is such a clear message for me. That regardless if I am struggling to feel Jesus He is always always there. “For he created my inmost being…when I was woven together in the depths of the earth,your eye saw my unformed body.” He knows you and because of that we should always learn to dance!

  • I love that Scripture is clear that our days are numbered. Psalm 139 said the number of our days were written before they came to be. And while that seems a little depressing or morbid, I celebrate it!! It means I don’t have to feel a false sense of control or guilt about my kids lives ( not that I get to be lazy or slack off, of course), but it means God is in control of their lives! It means I can have peace in my miscarriage, because although I loooong to have had more days, God is in control. That alone gives me peace in my sorrow

  • missycm

    I love looking at death through the lens of Jim Elliot and the 4 men who died with him in Ecuador during their attempt to share the gospel with unreached tribes in 1956. When they were asked why they didn´t take guns for protection, they responded that they knew where they were going when they died. The people they were trying to reach didn´t know their Savior. Why would they shoot them?

    “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” -Jim Elliot

    This is confidence in the Word. Truth we can lean on.

    (Full story in Elisabeth Elliot´s “Through Gates of Splendor”… read it!)

    • Sandy

      Wonderful book!

    • Donna

      Agree!!! Amazed you have remembered a quote from him–such a great real life story!!! Mourning and dancing!!!

    • Mama N

      It is beautiful that we can lean on the truth that He is making new the relationships within our
      families that need healing, trust-building, transparency and celebration while we are still living on this Earth. We can celebrate death, acknowledging the beauty of relationships made possible through Him.
      Proverbs 3:5

  • This past year has been a year of so many “firsts” for my family. In this past year alone, we have lost four close family members. Two of them, my paternal and maternal grandmothers. It’s a joy and peace that surpasses all understanding; this sense of mourning and dancing…a heart that is full of such joy and such profound sadness. It almost doesn’t make a ton of sense that we could be able to feel these things simultaneously. But I choose to believe that when something defies all reason and logic, that is where Jesus resides and is doing some of his greatest work.

    Ashley
    messymilestones.com

    • Marie

      “When something defies all reason and logic, that is where Jesus resides and is doing some of his greatest work.” Appreciate that thought, Ashley-I needed that reminder. Thank you!

    • She Reads Truth

      Ashley, your comment really resonated with me. I’m so thankful for this line: “When something defies all reason and logic, that is where Jesus resides and is doing some of His greatest work.” Thank you, friend.

      xoxo-Kaitlin

  • I try to never think of my own mortality. Death is sad and scary. I hate thinking about death. I am a person who likes to be in control and it’s really scary to me that it’s an unknown and a certainty that death comes for us all. I can’t imagine walking through life without Jesus as my hope because I can’t imagine facing death without knowing I will see his face and that we will see our brothers and sisters in Christ again. We walk in joy and sorrow at the same time, so true. The recognition that he has us here and we have purpose but also that our purpose will end in his timing and he will give us something better. Someone said that this life will be like one night in a bad motel (LOL) in light of eternity with him.

  • This year will be our first Christmas without momma. There’s something about her not being here for birthdays and holidays that seems especially hard. It’s almost like days that used to mark how far we’ve come now are reminders of how long she’s been gone. But the thing about Christmas is that it also gives us so much hope. Christ came into the world to die. And by his dying, put an end to death. The scripture that stood out for me today was the one from revelation: “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” Amen!

    • She Reads Truth

      Joy, thank you so much for sharing with us. You’re not alone in the ache you described so well—”Days that used to mark how far we’ve come are now reminders of how long she’s been gone.” Grateful for the opportunity to mourn and dance together.

      xoxo-Kaitlin

  • Evangeline

    We just did the first birthday with out dad. I am a minister”s wife. I had talked to my mom a couple of times when I get a phone call announcing that a sweet couple in the church were on their way to the hospital for the birth of their first. Several hours later “Ben” was born. It rocked me but at the very same time I was in awe of His sweetness. See my dad”s name was Ben and he was a faithful minister of the Gospel. So I spent the rest of the day…one that had started with mourning, dancing…praying for “little Ben” to be used of Him and more so than my precious father. His Sovereign hand I cling to leads in such sweet, perfectly timed ways.

    • She Reads Truth

      Wow, Evangeline. What an image of the thin lines between mourning and dancing. Thank you so much for sharing this with us, friend. Praying for you in both your sorrow and joy.

      xoxo-Kaitlin

  • Hillary

    This hit home with me; especially since this coming Christmas will also be my first without my mom’s mom, who we also call Meme, and it will be my nephew’s first Christmas. It’s also our family tradition to eat cinnamon rolls Christmas morning too :-)
    There is a bittersweet balance to this season of my life where sorrow and joy are mingled together. It’s uncomfortable to go through this, but it’s amazing to comprehend that one day soon death and sorrow will pass away forever. This hard and difficult season of my life will be the shortest thing I experience in light of eternity! Maranatha!

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