The day began with the promise of joy and celebration; our youngest was graduating university! She had worked hard for the past four years to earn her degree in nursing (Bachelor of Science, Nursing from the University of British Columbia, Okanagan) and we left from Oliver to share in the graduation ceremony and celebrate with her. As we approached Peachland traffic came to a stand still and word came down the line of a fatal crash. An hour into our wait, we knew we'd miss the ceremony. Bob and Lia were ahead of in line; they too missed the ceremony, but were able to catch up with Bryenna on campus afterwards.
It's a moment in time, a wonderful moment that we can never re-capture. My mind kept telling me, there is nothing you can do, it was just 'one of those things'. I also realized in a heartbeat a life had ended unexpectedly; that today a family is in mourning--a truth that seemed only to add to the sense of sadness. I know what my theology teaches but in the moment each of has to wrestle through what it means to walk by faith in the face of disappointment. In life, our joy often comes in spite of disappointment and sadness. No wonder there is within us a longing for that day when God will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. (Revelation 21:4) No more disappointment!
The good news is we were able to connect with Andrea over lunch to celebrate her accomplishment. In the end, I held her close and reminded her of just how very proud we are of her. We shared the gift that friends at Valley had given her; I can't tell you how much that raised her spirits and blessed us as parents. In the midst of our disappointment we still found a way to celebrate and enter in the joy of the day. (In this I thought about our Lord who enters into our joy, even amidst our sadness and pain.) And, there is another gathering tomorrow for the nursing class; another opportunity to celebrate!
We all have stories of disappointment; may God meet you in those times and provide strength and grace to see you through the sense of sadness and loneliness and fear, and bring you to a place of rest and joy in Him.
The joy of the Lord is your strength. (Nehemiah 8:10)