About a month into our stay at the hospital, I said one night “it feels like we live two separate lives. 3/4 of our lives are spent at the hospital and the other 1/4 we spend at our house. Enough time to sleep and hopefully give the pups some love.”
Yesterday those 2 lives merged. HOME.
It is a day that is hard to put into words. It was emotional but in all the best ways. When I walked out of the hospital, knowing I wasn’t going back in because Scott was bringing Townes down, I saw Kyle. We literally embraced and I wept. I wept because the emotion of the last 2 months I couldn’t contain anymore, so it spilled out. And mostly, I wept because the Great Physician had answered our Big, Bold and sometimes what seemed impossible request – – to be home by EASTER!
We experienced many firsts yesterday – his first car ride, his first time to see the sun, his first quick venture outside, his first bottle at home, his first time meeting Tucker & Luna, our first time in the Rocker, and his first time HOME.
And then to top it all off, Kyle and Scott’s sister, Meg, planned an epic Homecoming Parade Surprise where over 25 cars gathered in a line and drove by our house with signs and balloons to Celebrate Townes. These are moments you simply cannot put into words but the memory is forever seared as a stamp on my heart because there was Joy.
I could see Joy on all our friends faces as they drove past. I could see the Joy on their children’s faces and they absolutely could see and feel the Joy on ours. Yesterday was unforgettable.
Joy and Happiness are not the same.
Happiness is fleeting – it focuses on the worldly pleasure while JOY is soul satisfying.
Years ago one of the things I most wanted to do was take our dogs, Tucker & Dallas, to the beach. We did and it’s the first time I remember being able to make the distinction between Happiness and Joy. This isn’t to say I had not experienced Joy before in my life, its that I had gained a new vantage point to understand Happiness and Joy were not the same…they are not equal.
What I felt while watching them swim in the ocean and fetch their balls sunk deep into my being and it took root there. I can still relive the moments of watching them and feel that same Joy, as if in an instant I am back on the beaches in South Carolina. And when Dallas unexpectedly passed away the following year after a short battle with Lymphoma, I would lean into this memory and relive the feeling of Joy I experienced to walk through the loss. This JOY became one of the things I clung too.
The bible teaches us a lot about Joy. When you read about Joy in the bible, you read about our Savior – Jesus. And while I could talk about many different verses on Joy, today on Good Friday, I want to reflect on one verse in particular.
Hebrews 12:2 “We look away from the natural realm and we fasten our gaze onto Jesus who birthed faith within us and who leads us forward into faith’s perfection. His example is this: Because his heart was focused on the JOY of knowing that you would be his, he endured the agony of the cross and conquered its humiliation, and now sits exalted at the right hand of the throne of God!”
Today is the day over 1,980 years ago that Jesus died on the Cross for you and for me. He bore all of our sin and our shame. He was tortured, stoned, and lashed not because of any wrong doing of his own but so he could offer redemption to all of God’s children. And Hebrews 12:2 is a beautiful illustration of how he was able to endure the agony of the Cross.
He was able to endure because of you and because of me. He was able to endure because his eyes were focused on you and me. He was able to endure because he was empowered by the very idea that we would be joined together with him in the heavenly places. Jesus was able to endure the CROSS because he finds JOY in you and in me.
So my challenge to you this weekend as we anticipate the celebration of his defeat of death and his Victory at the Cross is to find a moment of JOY.
Pursue it. Look for it. Pray for it. Find it. I know Joy is there.
And when you do, find Jesus there too – he gave up his life for you and for me to offer Hope and Forgiveness, to offer unconditional Love and Redemption, to give you Salvation and an everlasting life with him. To give us a positional place of VICTORY in all things and to give you JOY!
For other readings on Joy, here are some of my favorites: Romans 15:13, Romans 14:17, Nehemiah 8:10, Philemon 1:7,
In Joy –
Maleah, Scott & Townes from Home
Often over the years, I’ve found myself pondering God’s love, his grace. I’ve asked myself what does it look like to fully experience his love overflowing, to feel as though you are walking in his grace abounding? Have you? I know it happens, Townes’s miracles upon...