Sunday, November 30, 2008

My Joy

This has been a weekend of reconnecting with my joy.

As one who is overcoming depression and anxiety, joy is a scary, wonderful, elusive gift. When I find it, I hold it, pat it and call it George (sorry, references to classic cartoons often don't fit...when they gotta go for it!)

This weekend, as I said, I reconnected with not one, but two joys.

12 years ago we were privileged to serve a small faith community as their youth ministers. We were young, my husband and I, full of zeal and only a little wisdom. We didn't understand how not to give our full hearts, our full spirits and our full selves to those entrusted to our care. And so it was to this little, quirky, beautiful, creative bunch of young people that we became the 'youth group leaders'.
They were all unique. Each was a strong individual, finding their way. They were all principled young people, in no small part due to the strong, prayer soaked parenting they received. They were beautiful. No, really, they were all beautiful in their own ways. (Names are indicated by letters as I didn't ask their permission to blog about them.)
D, who was not only my youth group kid, but one of my students (and in reality my first 'daughter'), had eyes and a soul as deep as a river.
L, was a quiet, intense young man who had so much to share, but not yet the bravery to share it.
L and her sister A were two sides of the same coin, each unique in their own ways, yet inextricably linked.
S, D's sister, was bright and bubbly, learning how to be her bigger than life self.
M, the pastor's daughter, was finding her way under her parents wings, ready to fly on her own.
There were more. They were ours.

We saw them again this weekend. As I walked into the room, I was speechless. They were the same. They looked exactly as we had left them. Oh, some were a little rounder, as they were mommies and married now. Yet, they were still themselves underneath it all.
D's daughter, with the stunningly beautiful name Felicity, shared her mother's eyes, deep and dark with a sparkle and wisdom at only 4 months.
Sadie, spirited and always moving, was as scrumptious little elf with the perfect blend of her mom M and dad B.
I met the husbands. The long suffering ones, the quiet ones. The ones learning how to hold a baby and hold onto their wives and hold onto themselves.
I lost my breath at them.
I reconnected with the joy of knowing these young people. I reconnected with the joy of watching them take their own memorable journies. I reconnected with the joy of the sheer privilege God gave us to have a moment of these wonderful young people.
Some are local. We'll see them again. What a joy it will be to meet them as wives, husbands and parents. However, I will never cease to see them as the wonderful, awkward and uniquely funny teens I knew so long ago.
Glenn Beck is a conservative radio talk show host. He is also one of the most profound example of faith in the public square I have ever been privileged to hear, see and meet.
This weekend we went to see his show, "The Christmas Sweater". The story is too much to write, and besides, you should get the book, it will change your life.
One of the many themes was joy. In the midst of tragedy, and he experienced much, was understanding it wasn't stuff that brings joy. His mother said to him, "Son, you are my joy."
So much of my own parenting has been clouded. (You can read about it in the older posts...too much to write here.) Last night, as my five year old snored his way through the finale, I reconnected with him, who is my joy.
My sons have been both a blessing and a challenge. They have made me who I am today. They will play a role in who I will be tomorrow.
When they are challenging, screaming in a tantrum, kicking and banging, they are my joy.
When they are arguing and refusing to wear corduroy pants because they feel funny, they are my joy.
When I don't know how we will afford school, food and clothes, they are my joy.
When they are sick, on me, they are my joy.
When they eat dog food with a grin and a crunch, they are my joy.
When they crawl into my lap, exhausted by play and needing to reconnect, they are my joy.
They are my joy. It is that simple. They are my joy.

1 comment:

  1. Kim, I just started reading your blog...This most recent entry touched me deeply. As I missed the "reunion" this weekend. I so wanted to be there. And hearing you talk of your boys. Being my two (soon to be 3 boys) I had to chuckle with a slight tear in my eye going through some of the same crazies. Thanks for helping me to realize to take things in stride and embrace my joys. P.S. Give Ron a hug from me. Miss you guys.


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