a time to dance

I drafted two full blog posts for our pregnancy announcement before drafting the third and final one that I ended up posting. Both of them included bits and pieces about both our journey leading to this pregnancy and a scare we had at the beginning of it.

After drafting the second one, I decided to let Clay read it to see what he thought since this was our shared announcement after all. And he told me he really wanted this announcement post to just be happy and a celebration.

I completely agreed. But as I returned to then draft the post, I almost didn’t even know what to say.

You see, we’ve been through so much and I truly find it difficult to write about the happy parts of life without mentioning the difficulties. I think part of it is that for me they are so intertwined. And I think another part is that I almost feel guilty just posting the happy stuff as I want to be sensitive to those going through difficult times.

I have seen in regard to pregnancy especially just how difficult the journey can be for so many couples, and so to just announce that we were pregnant and thrilled seemed difficult.

I had to stop for a moment to pray, to release it into God’s hands, and to ask Him to guide me with the right words to say. And that’s when He led my mind to a vision of Clay and I dancing on the beach that day Sarah took our announcement photos, and I heard him say, “This is a time to dance.” He led me to the very passage I ended up posting with our announcement:

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,

a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance.
– Ecclesiastes 3:1-4

This, indeed, is a time to dance.

We have been through an awful lot, quite a long road of grief and loss and pain. And life has its time and its place for those moments. But this, this is a time to dance! Clay and I are so overwhelmed with joy that we get to be parents to a baby girl come August. When I think of getting to hold her in my arms, my heart nearly bursts.

Of course there are still difficult moments. Of course my heart still grieves at times. But God has delivered us to a beautiful season and one for which I am so very grateful.

I’m also so grateful for the ways in which God has shown up for me so vibrantly and clearly throughout this journey of motherhood. One of the ways He has done that is through Scripture. As I have continued reading through the Bible, the passages I have just “happened” to come across and the chapters that I have just “happened” to be reading have truly spoken to me and touched my heart in the most incredible ways.

Our God is good.

One morning as I was processing all of this, I came to the end of my reading in Jeremiah and began to read the intro to Lamentations. What I found filled my heart with so much awe and wonder for this God who has given us this Book full of truth to which we can relate–in all times and in all circumstances. How perfectly I felt it paralleled my life in this season…

A City in Ruins
There was nothing left to do but weep…

Though the grief of Lamentations is as deep and heavy as any ever written, hope lies at the bottom. The author does not say, “Cheer up!” to himself or anyone else. He mourns passionately and fully. But in mourning he looks to recovery. Lamentations ends with a prayer to God, asking him to restore his people…

The author of Lamentations doesn’t soften his words to God for fear of offending him. He expresses the full and dreaded horror of what he has seen, and he gives God full responsibility. But, remembering that the Lord is a loving God, he counts on God to heal Israel’s wounds. This time of mourning will be followed by another time: a time to dance.

{Phillip Yancey + Tim Stafford, The Student Bible, NIV, 1996, The Zondervan Corporation, pg. 839}

Praise be to God who heals our hearts and restores our wounds and brings us to a place of not only recovery, but to a place of deep and abounding joy. Praise be to the One who brings to us a time to dance.

Photo: Apple Rose Photography.

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