“…your sorrow shall be turned into joy.” John 16:20
This past Friday I shared in my Instagram stories that I lost my sweet Grandpa, my Mom’s father, very unexpectedly. This was and is extremely difficult for me, but I am truly trying to find joy amidst the sorrow.
Grandpa went by “Pops” and he lived right behind my house. I can see his home from my kitchen window, and we stopped by often to say hello, bring him meals or go fishing off his dock.
I watched him drive by almost every day to get the mail or visit the pharmacy. Oftentimes he was driving to my Mom’s house down the road for supper. If I was out in my yard, he would stop and roll his window down to see how I was doing, and we would chat back and forth from either side of our white picket fence.
He would always tell me how beautiful the house looked and what a great job Mike and I were doing. I will miss that encouragement so much.
My siblings all live in this same town, and we were all very close to him. While it is so painful to have lost my Grandpa, I think it’s even harder to watch my Mom grieve the loss of her father. We only cry because death is so final here on earth, but I’m so thankful for the hope we have in Christ.
We will see my Grandpa again one day, not because he was a good man or because he went to church. We will see him because we know that he put his faith and trust in Christ alone to save him.
The week before my Grandpa passed away, we lost a wonderful man that attends our church. He was faithful, dependent, full of joy and such an encourager. His name was Ron, and we loved him so much. We lost my Grandpa the day after Ron’s funeral, and needless to say, it all felt like too much.
Too much pain. Too much sorrow. Two amazing men that made such a difference in my life, gone just like that. So how do I find joy amidst the sorrow?
God in His sovereignty knew exactly what I would need during this time, and about a month ago I felt led to start reading the book of John.
What an encouragement this book has been during this very difficult season. Here are just a few of the verses I have written down in my journal –
“I will not leave you comfortless, I will come to you.” John 14:18
“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you, not as the world giveth, give I unto you: Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. “ John 14:27
“…your sorrow shall be turned into joy.” John 16:20
“…and your joy no man taketh from you.” John 16:21
“…ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.” John 16:24
“These things have I spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
I know that it’s okay to be sad. I’m going to miss my Grandpa very much. But even in the midst of my sadness, my inner joy will remain.
Grandpa is no longer experiencing pain. He is no longer experiencing loneliness. He is with my Grandma, but most importantly he is with the Lord.
I want to end by sharing a few of my favorite memories of Grandpa. When we were little and Grandma and Grandpa lived further away, my parents would let us go to their house all alone with no other siblings (I have three) and we would get spoiled for one whole week. They would make our favorite foods and take us places that interested us.
Well, Grandma and Grandpa were the ones that introduced me to Little Women (the 1994 version), and at 7 years old I fell in love with the movie. I asked my Grandpa if he would buy me the soundtrack, and I can remember sitting on their living room floor, right in front of the CD player, listening to it from start to finish.
That day feels like yesterday. What child sits and listens to nothing but music for an hour? I’ve always been an odd one. I can only imagine what Grandma and Grandpa were thinking, haha.
I was also very much into fairies at one point, and I can remember Grandpa helping me create the most amazing fairy house. We built it from sticks that I found in the woods behind his home, and we used moss, acorns, rocks, leaves…anything we could find to make the perfect dwelling place for the fairies. I just knew they used it every night. I was certain!
Grandpa also took me to a home improvement store once so that we could make a bird bath together. He pushed me in the cart down the aisles until we found a bag of concrete mix.
I remember bringing it back to his house, helping him pour it into a wheel barrow and watching him mix it up with water. We dug a whole in his yard, poured the concrete in and pressed our hands into the cement. Mike and I now have Grandpa’s wheel barrow, and I don’t think I could ever part with it. Such special memories with Grandpa.
One time I was trying to build a fort in his backyard, and I asked if I could use the tarp that was folded up behind his garage for my roof. He walked over with me and had me take one end as he took the other, and when we lifted the tarp we broke open a wasps’ nest that was inside. Four or five wasps stung my legs and I really don’t remember much after that…just lots of tears, and Grandpa carrying me inside for a cool washcloth to ease the pain.
I could go on and on, but isn’t it amazing the things we remember from our childhood? If you are a Grandparent reading this, take the time to do special things with your grandchildren. Build fairy houses and make bird baths. Your grandchildren will remember that for the rest of their lives.
And mammas, if you’re able to, make sure Grandma and Grandpa are involved in your kids’ lives. I know it’s not always possible, but try your best to make it happen. Life is so short, and we aren’t promised tomorrow. There is nothing like time with grandparents.
I hope to share my normal content here again very soon, but I really needed to share these thoughts and I’m so glad that I did. Thanks for reading today friends, and please keep my family and especially my Mom in your prayers.
Love you all so much