Mortality and Life

Open Your Bible

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

There is an Irish poet named John O’Donohue who writes blessings for many types of life experiences. In his piece “A Blessing for a Friend on the Arrival of Illness,” he says, “May you find in yourself a courageous hospitality towards what is difficult, painful, and unknown. May you use this illness as a lantern to illuminate the new qualities that will emerge in you.”

My friend Greg read this aloud at a songwriting retreat this spring, and the moment I heard it, I was moved. The poet’s words were at the same time deeply comforting and deeply provoking. Although Donohue was writing specifically of illness, his words spoke to the greater reality that each of our mortal bodies is slowly dying, yet there is wisdom and beauty to be harvested on the journey. We can use our mortality as a lantern. I don’t know about you, but I enjoy showing hospitality to others far more than I enjoy showing it to myself—especially to my fragile body.

In Psalm 103:15–16, the psalmist describes how our days are like the grass and flowers of the field that vanish. There is beauty in this fragility. But our modern culture is uncomfortable with our own mortality because we’re so removed from death—animal death, human death, even the death of our dreams. The American dream tells me I can have and do whatever my heart wants, but often what my heart wants is outside my control and slips through my fingers. It is like those grasses of the field. What endures is the life to come, our eternal inheritance that is sturdy and true and real enough to last.

Though it’s easy to admire the seemingly timeless endurance of human achievements like the great cathedrals or other wonders of the world, knowing that my own skin and bones are more susceptible to death than these is something of a paradox. How strange that these artifacts would outlive the humans who built them. But this past summer, we observed how even the grandeur of Notre Dame was not enough to protect it from being partially consumed by fire. Even what appears timeless isn’t always so.

We would be without hope if it weren’t for the promised redemption of all things. Christ is making all things new. Scripture says that “Death will be no more; grief, crying, and pain will be no more, because the previous things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4–5). The hope of new heavens and a new earth and new bodies doesn’t take away the sting of these current decaying ones, but it should relieve some of the despair attached to it.

May we show ourselves a courageous hospitality. May those deep, dark, dying places inside us reveal even deeper ways to enter into the love of Jesus, no matter what season we find ourselves in. Although the process is painful, it enlarges our understanding of God and what it means to be co-heirs with Christ and His coming, eternal kingdom. This is not all there is. Mourning will end in dancing, and death will end in life.

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174 thoughts on "Mortality and Life"

  1. Courtney Davenport says:

    “The process is painful but it enlarges our understanding of God”
    I am so thankful that God is always with us even more so during the painful moments of our lives.

  2. Ada McCloud says:

    I seem to be in a perpetual state of mourning and dancing at the same time. It is exhausting. The good news is Christ is near. I am learning.

  3. Haven Bruner says:

    I find myself very impatient during the mourning season. I want to move straight on to the dancing. Especially now that my family is in a mourning season with my husband’s job being very uncertain right now. My prayers this week will be centered on this season, and how the Lord will help me both with my impatience and to trust Him during this difficult season.

  4. Joy Rediger says:

    Let’s do it. I’m ready to be transformed.

  5. Beth Starkey says:

    All of these sections of Scripture were just perfect timing. Thank you

  6. Carol Thompson says:

    My momma passed away from cancer in July 2020. This plan has been so helpful and such a beautiful reminder that God uses illness to show us our intense need for him. Like Laura before me said, this is an encouraging devotional today because it Reminds me to lean on Jesus and his promises that this life is temporary. Praise God we will see our loved ones again and no more pain will afflict us!

  7. Taylor P says:

    Today’s reading was so timely. So blessed to know and look forward to the new heaven and new earth that awaits us. Where pain, sorrows and death will be no more! To be forever in God’s presence , Amen!

  8. Ashley Hoffman says:

    This devotional was so comforting to me today while I continue to grieve the loss of my friend in this world. How beautiful to know that this is only a moment in eternity, and that we will be with our Lord forever and ever.

  9. Victoria Bouchard says:

    Oh I love this today! “As for man, his days are like grass-he blooms like a flower of the field; when the wind passes over it, it vanishes, and it’s place is no longer known.” I think this is just breathtakingly beautiful imagery. I actually find it very comforting in relation to my miscarriage and the death of daughter. I also love Psalm 139! It might be one my favorites.

  10. Tamara Doyle says:

    So timely given the current situation, but also for me personally as I have dealt with chronic illness for years now. I used to resent it and feel sorry for myself. And not that I don’t still struggle from time to time, but thanking God for the lessons in and through the sickness has come more quickly lately, by His grace. And the fact that eternity awaits, promising the absence of pain, gives me such comfort and hope.

  11. Melissa Mcronney says:

    Amen.

  12. Tamara Robson says:

    May we show ourselves a courageous hospitality.

    That prayer will stay with me.

  13. Melissa Graves says:

    Churchmouse, I am in the same mode as you are: filters waning, awareness of my mortality expanding and longing for my eternal home increasing by the hour. I pray that my final days will be filled with Spirit inspired hope and joy and that I would bring sweetness and love to those around me, centered on the love of Christ. I am praying for you…please pray for me as well!

  14. Laura says:

    My youngest son, Luke, clung to Romans 8:18 during the two years he fought against cancer. “For I consider the sufferings of this present time not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed to us.”

    Luke was 17 years old when he passed from this earth on to Heaven and the glory that I have yet to see. The grief and pain of the separation from my son are intense as I am still living in this broken world. But I remind myself that that a time is coming when:

    “Death will no longer exist;
    grief, crying, and pain will exist no longer…”

    I am encouraged by the devotional today to look for ways to deepen my faith and serve others through my grief and pain. It’s been two years since Luke breathed his last breath, and I am slowly re-entering the world of the living. I am looking for God’s provision and goodness in all the pain. I am looking for God’s purpose through the suffering.

  15. Kristen says:

    Wendy, I’m sorry to hear about your friend. We lost a coworker to suicide too. This is a good message from Pastor Greg Laurie after one of their pastors also committed suicide. Here is a link: https://harvest.org/resources/webcast/hope-gets-the-last-word-091219/
    May you and all feel God’s comfort.

  16. Susan Merritt says:

    Gods love is the most joyous to the soul. However, in this dark world sometimes we forget it is there or where to look for it. I am reminded of the story of Hansel and Gretel when they had to look for crumbs to find their way back home. Likewise, we need to look for Gods love even when it sometimes feels like searching for crumbs in a hidden and lonely path. This is the way we will be able to feel joy during the darkest hours. I am suffering from depression brought by Dry eye Syndrome and SADS. Today I walked outside to look for signs of “ crumbs” or in other words Gods love. I was able to feel his love in nature and in the beauty of fall and the changing leaves. It was a wonderful experience.

  17. Wendy says:

    I loved this devotional today! This came in so close as my father is a few states away on an oncology floor, fighting cancer, and while we mourn the loss of a friend to suicide, and even as the seasons change and the days grow shorter making way for darker nights. We need to know that God is making all things new again and even in this season of letting go, we can cherish the new wisdom being revealed to us, if only we look inside our hearts and listen for the spirit. Thank you, Bailey!

  18. Isabella Lopez says:

    I love this!:

    “This is not all there is. Mourning will end in dancing, and death will end in life.”

  19. Emilee Mots says:

    I loved this devotional today. I am just so thankful that God,out of his rich mercy and grace, conquered death. He didn’t have to do that, we’re the ones that brought death into the world. But God is good, and he wipes our tears away. One day we’ll be in his presence and the overwhelming joy will surpass any earthly suffering. Thankful for the time he has given me here. It’s something that I often overlook, but I know that my days are numbered… yet I’m able to look joyfully ahead despite the temporary sting of mourning.

  20. Susan Crosby says:

    I am fearfully and wonderfully made. God knit me in my mother’s womb. He knows the number of my days. God is sovereign over life and death. I Thessalonians reminds us that Believers fall asleep when faced with death. This is so comforting to know when loved ones who are believers pass on.❤️

  21. Mari V says:

    Sometimes when I’m alone I have some dark thoughts. Thoughts of someone making me go back to the life that I got away from. I take a deep breath. I inhale. And I talk to God about it. I remember during those dark times thinking to myself, is this my life? Is this how it’s supposed to be? I begin to believe it. I began to believe that this was “ my thorn in my flesh”, but thankfully that was not so. God came and rescued my kids and I.
    I really like Bailey’s last two sentences this morning: This is not all there is. Morning will end in dancing, and death will end in life.

  22. Pam Karlberg says:

    I am in the process of watching my 90 yr old Mom approach death. We know the day is close as her body fails. Her mind is still clear and we have talked about what is ahead with the Lord. It has been painful yet good. In this last year of her declining health, I have learned more about her. She has shown such grace in accepting this stage of life. At times I have struggled with the loss of how she was, yet I am seeing God do a bigger work in both of us. I am more ready to let her go, as I want her to be at peace and without pain. As hard as it has been to watch, I am grateful for all of the days and lessons the Lord has brought.

    1. Deanna Koffler says:

      Praying for you Pam! My grandma, 101 yrs old, stepped into heaven last week and how beautiful it was to be able to rejoice that there was a future for her, that she was freed from her frail, sick body to an unimaginable new life in eternity!

  23. Sarah D. says:

    Yesterday I was at our campus community (where we have worship and our pastor gives a message), and he talked about our passions, strengths, and God’s will for our lives is where those two intersect. It was such a God thing. And it made me think of how since the first day of this year, I’ve been thinking about God’s will for my life. My major in college, my future job, if I’ll be able to have a well-paying job. Different voices from my parents (my dad who is very money conscientious), my siblings (my sister and brother in law who hinted at looking at different schools at the very beginning of this year), and little things I’ve seen along the way. I’m a junior in college and my major is Zoo & Wildlife Biology. I love animals, but I am not that great at the science part of it, if I am truly honest. I have gotten Cs in all but one biology class so far. I want to do something with conservation, but I don’t know what that looks like. It’s hard because the academics of my major has not been a strength for me, but I still have a passion for animals and God’s creation. I don’t really know what else I would do…and it’s kind of too late to change since I’m halfway through my junior year. I’ve talked to my parents and siblings about this, but I’m kind of done talking with them about it because I already what they’ll say (the same things they’ve said before). I have a sweet friend that I talked and cried with last night about all this…and she prayed with me. It’s so hard because God basically keeps telling me to trust Him and follow where he leads, but when people keep asking you what you want to do, I need a clearer answer than that!! But, I know God is faithful. I know His promises are true. And I need to lean into that. He will work all things together for good. The things of this world will fade. They will not satisfy. And although God may have me working in some capacity, anything I do I can do to serve him and his people (and his creation). Praying that he would give me guidance, peace, and wisdom during this time. Excited for a fresh start next year. It’s a journey and I’m so thankful for all that Jesus has taught me along the way. Prayers appreciated friends, love you all.

    1. Jennifer Wing says:

      Following where God leads is the perfect answer. The college years are so tough because of the pressure to “know.” I’ve done the work in my career field and lots of detours in between. Currently doing work I never imagined and loving it — following where God leads day by day. And where he leads he also provides. (And in the actual work world, some of the best folks I’ve worked with are persistent, hard working C students — no illusions that work and life should be easy)

    2. Cady ❤️ says:

      You are not alone with this feeling. College was sooo stressful for me for those same reasons. Trust the Lord and pray. humans are very fallible. Trust in God, pass your classes and pray,pray,pray!!! Employers don’t care about grades. Volunteer, internships, or just plain experience in your area of interest is always a good idea. Its easier said than done especially when you’re in the thick of it, but with trust, the Lord will see you through. Trust, Prayer, and Experience. God Bless you girl.

    3. Shai Garcia says:

      I am in the same situation as you, where my grades are not what I want them to be. I feel like a total failure and sometimes anxiety comes because I feel I won’t get the job of my “dreams” but the other day I was listening to pastor Michael Todd and he explain that by God’s grace we are qualified in the area God called you to be at. We might not feel like a strong candidate for certain positions, but because we are God’s children he has given us those qualifications and it’s a matter of faith to believe we will succeed not because of our accomplishments but because of who God is and because we belong to him we qualify too.

    4. Gabriella Flores says:

      I was the same way. I got a few more c’s than I would like but I knew that I took way more away from the class than what it looks like on paper. My grades did not define me nor did it define my knowledge and passion for what I was studying and that brought a lot of comfort. My parents and the rest of my family never supported my decision to attend BIOLA university nor did they support me studying ministry and probably still don’t support me in pursing ministry. But I know for a fact that that is where God is calling me and what I am passionate about. So I have to dust of the dirt from my family and move forward to where God is moving. It’s hard but it’s definitely doable as God is with you, leading you, and for you!

  24. Susan says:

    “This World Is Not My Home” was my best friend’s favorite song. She praised the Lord until her dying breath. She was such an example to me. When I would go to visit her she would be so interested in my struggles and pray with me. I’m so thankful she is in heaven with no more crying or pain. She’s been gone 5 1/2 year and her faith still has such an impact on my life and will continue to do so. I pray I will continue to grow in Christ as I share God’s faithfulness with others.

  25. Becky CahlikZeinert says:

    The metaphor of darkness/light in Psalm 139 is what is sticking with me this morning. I’m thanking God for the reminder that even though I feel in the “dark” when grieving or suffering, He promises to be light.

  26. Jennifer Nease says:

    Hannah, I will pray for you as God brings you to mind. What a hard time. I will for joy even as you grieve. And for God’s providence in every aspect of you and your son’s lives.

  27. Avalon Negrette says:

    This message reminds me of the song “This World Is Not My Home”. Just being reminded that we have a home in heaven and that all thing will be restored to order. It reminds me that my life here on earth means so much more than going through the motions of just work and church and sleep. Sometimes it can seem pretty mundane and I can forget that I have a job to do. That I have a calling here on earth. God wants us to help others love Him and show and teach them that morning routines and work schedules is not all there is to life. The pain of this world will pass away and there will be a celebration!

  28. Julie Jackson says:

    This devotion helped me to examine my attitude toward life. I realize I am so frivolous with this remarkable gift of life I have been given. My prayer is to seek God’s understanding, and to be delivered from taking advantage of the time I am given. There are times I wish the days would pass by quickly instead of appreciating them, no matter how hard they may be.

  29. Churchmouse says:

    I do not want to be a grumpy old Christian. I notice that lately my filter is thin and my opinions less charitable. It seems I don’t have the patience to play word games and fake niceties anymore. It’s not attractive. The closer I get to going to my heavenly home the less this life appeals. I see it for what it is – temporary and troubled and yet at times tremendously joyful and blessed. Mourning and dancing. I have spent years doing what good people do and not nearly enough time on deeply cultivating my soul, a soul pleasing to God. Thus my frustration and impatience. I’m living Romans 7:21-25. I long for my final days, however many they are, to be controlled by the Holy Spirit, dominated by kindness in both words and actions. I have such a ways to go to reach that goal. I stumble more than I succeed. Pray for me please.

    1. Cynthia Johnston says:

      Praying for you, Churchmouse. I’m with you. I’m wanting to age well and be more of the fragrance of Christ than a grumpy old Christian. We need mature godly women to show us the way to let go of youth and embrace our inner beauty as we are sanctified into the image of Christ.
      I appreciate your thoughts!

    2. Mari V says:

      Praying for you dear sweet Churchmouse!

    3. Kristal D says:

      Praying for you Churchmouse…and thanking God for your words here as you just articulated how I feel. May this be the prayer of my heart for the change needed in my life as well.

    4. Karen J says:

      I don’t know you, but I cannot wait to meet you someday in Heaven. I identify with your words so often. You are used by my Savior mightily on this app. Thank you for your real and transparent commentary.

    5. Deanna Koffler says:

      Cynthia and Churchmouse, your words struck a chord and I am with you! I want the love of Jesus to be what is beautiful about me, to be the sweet fragrance of his presence to those around me. Praying with and for all of us!

    6. Becky Ryden says:

      I love this. And cannot imagine that it doesn’t strike a common cord among many. Praying we can all be strong to the end. Imaging God and growing in peace as we get closer to eternity with Him.

    7. Samantha Miller says:

      You are not alone, sister.

    8. Ariel Martinez says:

      This inspires me!

    9. Mary AlysFoutz says:

      Thank you for you honesty! God is working within you that is evident. Praying you find peace.

    10. Lauren Lozano says:

      Just said a prayer for you! Keep your head up and keep your eyes on Christ. May all the troubles of this world begin to fade as you lock eyes with Him.

  30. Michelle Turner says:

    The heaviness that I’ve been experiencing had me blinded for a while from the fact that dark seasons WILL approach you, no matter what. It is our choice whether we are going to submit to and celebrate Jesus and his everlasting joy that exists even through the tension. Praise God we can do both! Our joy is even sweeter after experiencing pain!

  31. Caroline Yepsen says:

    This is so important

  32. Aries Wang says:

    I’m also reminded of John 16:33 where Jesus said, “I told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have troubles. But take heart! I have overcome the world!” With this my tears and sighs become a praise to God just like my laughters and rejoicings are. Times of mourning can be an opportunity for redirecting our focus and hopes back to God.

  33. Sarah says:

    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.

    1. ACB says:

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

  34. Lauren D says:

    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!

  35. Kayla says:

    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 ❤️

  36. Savannah says:

    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!

  37. audra says:

    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 ♥️

    1. She Reads Truth says:

      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

  38. caroline says:

    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!

    1. She Reads Truth says:

      Praying for you in this time of heartache. So sorry for your loss, Caroline.

      – Stormye

      1. caroline says:

        truly that means more than you know! thank you so much (:

    2. Claire says:

      Praying for you and your family Caroline!

      1. caroline says:

        thank you, claire! it’s been a rough couple of weeks & that means so much! ((hugs))

  39. Cheri says:

    “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!!

    1. She Reads Truth says:

      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

  40. Michael Williamson (youtube) says:

    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.

    1. Cheri says:

      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.

  41. Allison says:

    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.

    1. Natalyn says:

      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

  42. Josefina says:

    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.

    1. She Reads Truth says:

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

      – Stormye

  43. Jenny says:

    Love that challenge and your art!! So cool.

  44. Molly says:

    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!

  45. Natalie Thwaites says:

    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!

  46. Jenny says:

    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?

    1. Cat says:

      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.

    2. Shanna says:

      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!

    3. Virginia says:

      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.

  47. Beth says:

    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.

  48. littlecountryme says:

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

    1. Victoria says:

      me too!!!

      1. Lauren says:

        Me too! Without both grandparents.

  49. CodyLane says:

    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!!

  50. Andrea says:

    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!

  51. Cherish says:

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

  52. Charissa says:

    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/

    1. Lauren says:

      Beautiful!

  53. Bobbi says:

    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.

    1. Phylicia says:

      Praying for you Bobbi!

  54. Jess Lee says:

    So timely. So powerful

  55. Kate says:

    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.

  56. Katie says:

    Love it ! So many wonderful things here :)

  57. Amber Rhodes says:

    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.

    1. Lauren says:

      Very true.

    2. Morgan L says:

      Such a great way to explain that part. I was confused but looking at it like that helps! Thank you.

  58. Samantha says:

    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.

  59. Debbie says:

    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?

    1. Lauren says:

      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!

      1. Monica says:

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

  60. Kylee says:

    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.

  61. Alexis says:

    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.

    1. Phylicia says:

      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 :)

  62. LesleyRyden says:

    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/

  63. Larissa says:

    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.

    1. Kylee says:

      Prayers, Larissa!

  64. Ashley says:

    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!

  65. Melinda says:

    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!

    1. Kristi says:

      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.

  66. Ash says:

    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.

    1. Laura says:

      That’s a painful tension. Saying a prayer for you!

    2. Jenny says:

      I’m going through the exact same thing! It’s hard.

  67. Christa says:

    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!

    1. Kylee says:

      “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!

  68. ohmeowsers says:

    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.

  69. Emily says:

    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.

  70. Erika says:

    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.

    1. Becky says:

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

    2. Stacy says:

      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.

  71. Katie Holland says:

    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.

    1. Abby Pierce says:

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

  72. Abby Pierce says:

    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.

    1. Rutz says:

      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. :)

      1. Abby Pierce says:

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

    2. Lauren says:

      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.

  73. Chelsea says:

    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.

  74. Rachelle says:

    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.

    1. Taylor says:

      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!

      1. Rachelle says:

        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. :)

  75. Kate says:

    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!!

  76. Megan Craig says:

    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.”

  77. Courtney Raphael says:

    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!

  78. Hannah says:

    “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.

  79. Ceci frost says:

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

  80. Mikaela says:

    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.

    1. Candy says:

      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!

    2. Christina D. says:

      “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.

      1. Mikaela says:

        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.

  81. Jenny says:

    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…..

    1. She Reads Truth says:

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

      xoxo-Kaitlin

  82. Rhonda says:

    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.

  83. Liv says:

    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.

    1. She Reads Truth says:

      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

  84. Hayley says:

    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.

    1. Hannah says:

      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.

    2. Rachelle says:

      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.

  85. Keri Underwood says:

    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

  86. Casie says:

    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!!!!

  87. Jess says:

    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.

    1. Casie says:

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

      1. chidinma says:

        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.

    2. Sarah Jenik says:

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

    3. TIFFANI says:

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

    4. Candy says:

      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.

    5. Jen says:

      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.

    6. Bukky A. says:

      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!

    7. 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.

  88. Caroline says:

    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

  89. Katie says:

    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.

  90. Sarah_Joy says:

    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.

  91. Becky says:

    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!!

  92. Hailey says:

    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!

  93. K says:

    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

  94. missycm says:

    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!)

    1. Sandy says:

      Wonderful book!

    2. Donna says:

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

    3. Mama N says:

      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

  95. Ashley says:

    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

    1. Marie says:

      “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!

    2. She Reads Truth says:

      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

  96. Sarah says:

    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.

    1. janasaidthat says:

      “like one night in a bad motel” – that’s gold!

  97. Joy says:

    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!

    1. She Reads Truth says:

      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

  98. Evangeline says:

    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.

    1. She Reads Truth says:

      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

  99. Hillary says:

    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!