I realized something about myself this weekend. When bad things happen, I tend to feel like I need to sit with my pain and grief for a long time, as if to pay homage to it. As if to move on from it would mean I accepted it, or approved of it, or even welcomed it. And to be joyful in the midst would mean that it didn’t hurt as bad as it did. I’d be “fake.”
Yet, as I watched my cousin this weekend react to yet another terrible cancer diagnosis, I realized that those deep feelings I’m getting caught up in are robbing me. Don’t get me wrong, she felt her pain. She shed tears, gave and received big hugs, slept in from emotional exhaustion, and had a few margaritas. She didn’t act as if it wasn’t happening and her pain wasn’t there, but she allowed herself to be open. She was open to God’s presence, even looking for it. This takes strength. It takes work, mindfulness, intentionality, and a perspective shift in faith. Instead of staying sad and looking for someone to blame like I’ve done, she chose to fight for joy, to look for the good in the midst of difficulty. She chose hope. Because of the hope that lives in her, she still came to Round Top for the girl’s weekend anyway. She soaked in the sunsets, she sat with me and told me all the times God showed up for her on the day she got the call and since, she drank the margaritas and made new friends, she bought the new headbands, and she laughed at all the funnies. I’m learning from Kellison.
Today I’m choosing joy, too. I’m thankful for the gift of time and the memories made this past weekend.