The Dance of Sorrow and Joy
By Amanda Detweiler
“Weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning.” Psalm 30:5
Recently the Lord gave me a new perspective on joy and sorrow in life, through a shared experience with a dear friend where both collided.
I am currently 24 weeks pregnant with our fourth child. Every one of the children our family has been blessed with, I have prayed and asked the Lord for. My prayer for this little one, however, was a bit different and heavier.
You see, our first child, a daughter, went to be with the Lord during my twelfth week of pregnancy. After she went to her home in Heaven, we were blessed with two incredible little boys.
My husband and I planned to have one more child and as we began to talk more seriously about when we would like to add this final member to our family, it brought up a deep longing I had since our first.
I was so thankful for my sons, but when I dreamt of becoming a mother, I had hoped to get to raise both sons and daughters. Knowing that this baby would be our last I longed for this to be a daughter that I could raise here on the earth. Our boys had even begun to ask and pray for a sister of their own accord which only made the longing heavier.
A little over a year ago, a prophetic word was given over my girl in Heaven and in the same word it was spoken that as much as our family longed for a daughter and sister, God not only wanted us to have one, but He would give us one.
From that moment, my heart clung to that promise and never let go.
I became pregnant in January of this year and the countdown was on to find out if this was the little girl God had promised to us. My heart at times was so sure this baby would be her and in other moments I feared that with this being our last and my desire being so strong it wouldn’t be.
During the months of terrible morning sickness, I spent a lot of time praying and laying my desires down at the feet of Jesus. I surrendered my fears of how it would impact my sons if it wasn’t the sister they had hoped and prayed for. I sat and talked to this little one in my womb reassuring him or her that no matter what I was already in love and couldn’t wait to have him or her complete our family.
The day arrived for our mid-pregnancy sonogram and we went to the appointment with great anticipation. More than anything I was excited to get a glimpse of the little life that had been growing inside me. The ultrasound tech walked us through all of the measurements, pointing out baby’s legs, arms, spine, head, and beautiful little face. After about 40 minutes she had completed the measurements and she began to search for the image that would reveal to us whether we would be welcoming a little boy or little girl. My heart pounded so hard I could hear it as she searched for what felt like forever. And then, faster than my heart was prepared for, she spoke the words I longed to hear and never thought I would, “You have yourselves a little girl.”
My entire being; heart, soul, and mind, flooded with overwhelming joy because my Daddy had not only seen my heart, but was faithful to His word to me revealing a deeper level of His great and intimate love for us.
On the way home, we called our families to share the news and join in the celebration. We began to plan how we were going to tell our boys, knowing that they were going to be beside themselves.
I had promised one of my best friends that I would come over that afternoon to tell her the news. She knew about the pain we had gone through losing our first daughter and she had been with me when the prophetic word was given for this little girl. She journeyed with me through the doubt, fear, and puking. To say she was excited to know, is an understatement. Getting to tell her was something I anticipated for months, but as I drove over to her house I was nervous and questioning sharing with her that day.
Just the day before, I had gotten a call from her in the middle of the afternoon. Before she even spoke a word, I could tell she was sobbing on the other end of the phone. She shared with me the heartbreaking news that two people, who were like family to her, had passed away suddenly. One, her friend’s husband, had committed suicide, and the other, another friend’s brother, had overdosed on drugs. Both left behind families and children. I remember her asking if this kind of thing was happening all the time and it had just now touched her life. I felt a wave of grief begin to wash over me knowing that this is a far too frequent occurrence in the world. She was experiencing such a deep sorrow, one that would not quickly pass.
As I drove to her house I prayed in my spirit and asked the Lord how I could go to her during a time of great sorrow and mourning to share with her one of the greatest moments of joy in my life. Would she feel like I was rubbing in my happiness during her pain? Would she know that I still cared about what she was going through?
I continued to pray, and I began to see a vision of two dances that looked like the Tango and the Waltz taking place simultaneously. There were moments where the aggressive Tango was more prominent against a dark backdrop and other moments where the light and airy Waltz took center stage among the clouds.
As the vision progressed eventually the two dances merged into one with joy and sorrow taking turns leading the other.
I then felt the Lord revealing to my spirit that joy and sorrow can appear to be two opposing forces that look nothing alike. In reality, though, they are equal in passion and as you live life with others, more often than not they occur side-by-side.
When I arrived at her house, she looked at me with anticipating eyes. I told her that my promised daughter was on the way and she began to weep tears of joy as passionately as the tears of sorrow she had wept the day before. It became clear in that moment what this dance of joy and sorrow looked like in living life with others.
During this experience I was reminded of this verse in Psalm 30 which says, “Weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning.”
In this dance of joy and sorrow there will be times that the sorrow feels aggressive, but it is promised that joy will take the lead over it time and time again.
Joy and sorrow are meant to be shared among one another. Sharing this great joy didn’t undermine or belittle the grief that my friend was experiencing. But in her sharing that sorrow with me and in my sharing this joy with her, it made the burden of sorrow feel lighter and the joy feel greater for both of us.
I want to encourage you today to embrace this dance of joy and sorrow in your own life and to share it with others. When sorrow takes the lead in your life, invite someone to come and bear the burden with you so that it doesn’t feel so heavy. When joy dances center stage, share it with others that they may find hope in knowing that sorrow will only last for a night, because joy is coming in the morning.
About the Author
Amanda is happily married to her wonderful husband, Josh, and is a mother to two amazing little boys. Together, Josh and she pastor a campus of Morningstar Fellowship in Pottstown, Pennsylvania and love being a part of that community.
This is Amanda’s first venture in writing, but it has been a desire of her heart for a long time so, she is thrilled to have this opportunity. When she’s not writing, Amanda enjoys listening to various messages to grow her relationship with the Lord and spending time with her family and friends.
You can read Amanda’s “Sunday Inspiration” column on the 1st Sunday each month here at Pandora’s Box Gazette.