Your precious little girl is celebrating her third birthday today with a Minnie Mouse party (she comes by her love of all things Disney quite honestly). She has been talking about it for weeks. She uses one hand to fold the thumb and pinkie of the other and then proudly holds up three fingers to announce that she will be “fwee on Juwy 11th.” Excited toddlers and preschoolers will gather around tables adorned with pink and white and sparkles, their smiles highlighted with pink icing mustaches as they anxiously await the birthday princess to open the gift they brought. All the while, Poppins will entertain all the adults who agree that she is “practically perfect in every way.” Her charm will gladden the hearts of many as her personality bubbles out in animation that even Disney would have a hard time illustrating. Poppa will try to capture all the moments on camera so all can relive the experience for years to come. There is just one thing missing – you.
Once again, I find myself struggling as the emotions collide within me. I want to lose myself in the infectious joy of the celebration, but find it difficult because my condition is defiled with grief. My mind plays its own fantasy film of the fun Taylor would have with his daughter and she with him. My happiness is tainted with anger because the vision will always remain a dream. My anger is laced with guilt because I don’t want to be mad at him. The emotions all call for attention and swirl in a powerful cyclone that threatens to pull me into its vortex.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 says there is a time for everything –
“a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance.”
What do I do when these times come in a discordant concert and the clash sends me spinning? I focus on the Creator of emotions and ride the familiar waves that come with grief. I don’t have to sequester one emotion for the sake of another. I realize that it is possible for the emotions to coexist. I stand in the middle and let the emotions collide. I choose to let the turbulence push me farther down this road of sorrow. I don’t have to close my ears when conflicting emotions vie for my attention with a cacophony of chaos. Instead, I choose to listen to the song of Hope, Who combines my dissonant chords with others to produce a harmony that endures until I get to Heaven and have the chance to sing it with a chorus of angels. For today, I choose to sing, “Happy Birthday!”