Sunday, April 18, 2010

You Changed My Mourning into Dancing

Ps 30:2, 4, 5-6, 11-12, 13  
"R. I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.
I will extol you, O LORD, for you drew me clear
and did not let my enemies rejoice over me.
O LORD, you brought me up from the netherworld;
you preserved me from among those going down into the pit.
R. I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me...

"Hear, O LORD, and have pity on me;
O LORD, be my helper.
You changed my mourning into dancing;
O LORD, my God, forever will I give you thanks.
R. I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me."

This morning, when I got up to read the day's devotional passages, this one jumped out at me: "I will extol you, O LORD, for you drew me clear and did not let my enemies rejoice over me."

Who are "my enemies?" Wasn't my biggest enemy the cancer that invaded Katie's body? Katie wasn't "drawn clear," so neither was I. Since she died, didn't that enemy triumph over her, over me, over us?

Or is my enemy despair, bitterness, hopelessness, selfishness, aimlessness, darkness, lovelessness? If those are my enemies, then God is drawing me clear every day, as long as I choose to walk with Him, and turn to him for help. God, Christ, the Holy Spirit are available to me for help, every day. And to you.

Last night, our family attended a 50th birthday party for a neighbor and friend. It was a big 1960s-themed costume party, held in our town's Norwegian Hall. Zoe went with us. We made scrapbook pages for the honoree. Stories were told, and many photo memories shared; there was fabulous fashion (lots of tall, white go-go boots, psychedelic fabrics, Austin-powers-lookalikes), a buffet, an open bar, a huge cake (complete with a firefighter, in case the many candles got out of control), loud music and dancing.

The birthday girl is in the pink tights and white go-go boots.
David and Zoe.
I got out on the dance floor with friends, and ended up doing a little "jitterbug" with Paul. It's been years since I was flipped in the air and thrown over someone's shoulder, but it happened again last night. I was laughing - a lot. And this morning, I read, "O LORD, be my helper. You changed my mourning into dancing; O LORD, my God, forever will I give you thanks."

I will always miss Katie; I wish she had been with us last night! But I was blessed to dance and celebrate with friends and family, so this morning, I thank God that he has kept His promise. I pray that you will also find this to be true in your own life.


Sheri said...

You are right - gaining those kinds of moments back again are a particular blessing. I hope you enjoy the memory of it and I hope you know...Katie was undoubtedly thrilled to see her cool Mom have an evening of joy.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this. Such hope.

Karen said...

I was caught today by the title of your post. That scripture that I know so well seems beyond the realm of possibility right now for me. But I read your words and loved reading how much you laughed and enjoyed yourself last night. I know the laughter has crept back into my heart and I am thankful for that. I feel a duty to survive and live fully again, I'm just not sure how it will happen. I guess it will unfold just day by day. Your words are always an encouragement to trust God.

Busy Bee Suz said...

This is beautiful Karen...I am so happy that you feel joy. I am so happy that you 'flipped' last night. Katie would also enjoy your flipping....this verse has so much meaning.

Anonymous said...

Gosh, I love parties like that. I'm glad you had so much fun! I love your outlook on life and how you find Bible verses that give a message relating to what you've discovered. I adore the picture of your husband and Katie dancing. Pure joy! xo L. in AK

Allegra Smith said...

I always believe that regardless of your faith, what you believe in or about, by whatever name you call God, there ought to be a God that would rather hear the sound of laughter than the ones of tears.

There is a place for everything and every season under the heavens and to laugh and to dance is to honor that rhythm of life, to honor what we suspect those gone before us would want for us to feel and to act upon. You wouldn't in your heart - if instead of Katie you would have gone first - wished that she kept from laughing and from dancing because you were no longer here. Love is expressed in so many ways, and to laugh and to dance is a celebration of her life, of the continuity of that love that will not end, not because it is watered by tears but because it is nursed by laughter and dancing.

I am so happy you are finding the way back to yourself and taking her along with you knowing she will be happy because you are.