Through Every Season

Thankful for Joy

I woke up this morning remembered that Joel was gone.

Holy Spirit graciously keeps reminding me gone means pushed ahead in the race.. happy in Heaven.. he is well.. I can smile and be joyful about where and how he is.

Not that I wouldn’t much rather have him here and want to get up and look in on him and make sure he got home safe from closing at Donatos (Joel, I still have to look up how to spell it.  Sorry.) or go greet him and ask him how things are going, hug him, kiss him… wish him a good morning.

I have to remember that he is gone every morning.  It’s not a nice thing to wake up to.  Most days I don’t know what to think.. how to feel.. what to do after remembering.  Be sad is the obvious choice.

I’ve been trying for days to choose to be thankful.. to find things to be thankful for.  Then yesterday, I tried to count it all as lost and seek to know Christ.  It’s been hard work… trying.. striving.. but I haven’t known what else to do.  I’ve felt lost and alone.. praying for grace and anointing.. for Jesus to pour in His anointing oil and bind up my broken heart.

This morning was different.  After I remembered that Joel was gone and what gone meant, there was a new grace.  The joy in knowing that all was well with Joel in Heaven flowed over into a choice that was available to me to make.  Joy was a choice and I had the grace to choose it and maybe Holy Spirit even gave me a little push in joy’s direction.

It wasn’t like the past couple of weeks where it was an exercise of my mind to find some other choice than being sad.. searching for things to be thankful for.. searching for some way to draw near to Jesus.. searching for the right choice.. for the right thing to do.

It was just there.. joy.. I could chose it if I wanted.  Thank you, Lord, for grace for today.

It’s not that I haven’t had any joy since Joel’s pushed ahead.. and it’s not that I am not still sad, or that I am over missing him.  It’s just that joy has been made available to me in the midst of it.. and I am thankful for it… for the rest in it today.




  1. Tara


    As I read your words it is so hard not to feel your pain and imagine going through all the myriad of experiences/moments before you. I think the suddenness of losing him has such a great impact on us mothers! We are used to having so much time, time to fix that breakfast before they're out the door, time to clean up their rooms before company comes, time to wait for a meal together on that rare occasion of eating out…it is only human to feel that the time for you to say goodbye was robbed from you, it's a thief in the night that cuts each time. I can only hope that through the gift of time that God will frame those precious memories when you did have time for the 'small stuff' to come back and flood those empty holes…I am praying that God shores up your losses with grace just as He has been doing…my heart will be praying for you today!

    • Jennifer Coleman

      Thank you for your payers, Tara, they mean so much.

  2. Wendy

    🙂 And there are days in my little plush life that I foolishly choose NOT to have joy. Inspired!

    • Jennifer Coleman

      Wendy, I want a bumper sticker that says "Life is Hard. God is Good." I think it's true for all of us.. we just have to remember where our strength comes from… the Joy of the Lord.

  3. Georgene G.

    Oh sweet friend.. someone (C.S.Lewis?) referred to grief as 'hard work'. I found that to be true. I'm learning so much about who God is vs. who I thought He was… and His character. I find myself seeking Him deeper and deeper.

    I like what you shared about your son being pushed forward in his journey.

    Bless you dear friend and may God continue to draw you close.

    • Jennifer Coleman

      Yes, Georgene, such hard work. Layers of shock fall away and I have to deal with more of the reality of it all… and find more grace for the journey in my dear Traveling Companion.

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