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Monday, January 10, 2011

Nostalgic for the "What-Ifs"

My husband was gone with the high school students for the weekend. Every year in January we have our district conference and all the Evangelical Free churches from Iowa (some from neighboring states) meet in Des Moines with their staff and students to worship, pray and learn more about God and His Son. It's a great time and I really miss being a part of that. It's hard to find a free sitter for a weekend. :)

The boys and I decided to meet the group for free time at the mall and enjoy dinner with the staff. It was really nice to see everyone. And then we went to the first part of the session Downtown Des Moines. My oldest got to ride the bus from the mall to the hotel with Dad and his "students." Our younger one was pretty upset until I bought him a gumball at one of those wonderful candy kiosks in the mall. We stayed until the speaker got up and I knew we would just be a distraction so we went to the "green room," put their jammies on, and walked through the skywalk to our car. Our oldest cried almost the whole way home because he wanted to stay with his Dad because "I really love him." Sweet...but annoying at the same time when you hear it screamed for the first 20 minutes of the trip home.

They got to bed late, it was cold, and I rarely skip church so that's what we did on Sunday morning. We are usually at church from 8:45a-12:30p on Sundays so I thought it would be nice to have a weekend of nothing. And it was a beautiful morning. We listened to Christian radio, I read my book, the boys played cars, shared, talked, made up stories together, taught each other how to work the different parts of the race track. It was wonderful. I had to text my husband and let him know what a blessing it was to my heart to have skipped out on church. I told him that my heart was so full of joy watching the two of them together...but then there was a twitch of pain. Something was missing. Someone was missing. Elihu. He would've been 3 months old this past weekend. What would we be doing if he were around? Would things be the same except I'd be rocking a sweet baby boy? And that's when it hit me, I'm nostalgic for the what-ifs. I wondered if that could be possible: to be nostalgic for something that's not real. And it is. It is.

It's weird to have that moment of joy when you're heart is full...and then...and then it hurts. The thing is, I need to not focus on that hurt. I need to focus on the blessings that God has given me. I need to relish in the joy that God gives me. I need to feel that fullness in my heart. But I think that even in our happiest moments, it will feel like something's missing. And that's ok, because there is. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength (Nehemiah 8:10b). That joy, that strength, is what allows me to feel that hurt and still be filled with joy.

1 comment:

Angie said...

Jess, this post makes perfect sense to me. I just thought you should know.