Monday, September 16, 2013

Can Joy and Pain Collide?

This past weekend, I had some extra time to think about and ponder all that I need to be grateful for. I even started a Pinterest Board on the subject of being thankful, called A Thousand Little(and Big)Things. Feel free to check it out!
I try to be thankful and live joyfully every day, for all that God blesses me with in my life, but many times I get caught up in the day's activities and miss the mark. So today I thought I would give God time in thanksgiving...

Then something tragic happened to some old high school classmates of mine that rocked my grateful world!! Their 20-year old son went missing! My heart dropped and I felt their awful pain and fear

My first thought was, "what if that would happen to my son?" (I texted my son today, just to make sure he was o.k.... and he was.)

Then, I prayed and prayed for this young man and his parents!

This is the heart-wrenching fear of every parent, no matter how old their child is!  I'm sure a million questions are running through their minds today! 
  • Where is he, Lord? Is he o.k.?
  • Why won't You bring him home to us?
  • How can You let us go through such pain and heartache? 
  • If he is o.k., why would he do this to us?
  • What are we supposed to do?
This is one of those times that being grateful, for these two parents, has to be nearly impossible. Even for me, today- my joy is hindered by the news. 

How do we find joy and gratefulness in times like this? 

Can true joy and pain collide, like a crazy roller-coaster ride- that makes you scream, but also makes you want to be sick?

Or even like a woman in labor, who suffers great pain, yet with joy and anticipation, awaits the birth of her newborn child.
Joy and pain are but two arteries of the one heart that pumps through those who don't number themselves to really living. 
Maybe it's not so much joy that I hope they find, but the midst of the chaos and heartbreak. Calming their hearts and trusting God to be with them and to help them find their son as soon as possible. 

I'm praying....praying for answers to the questions.
                   ....praying for protection for this young man.
                     ....praying for the Lord to bring peace and  
                                             comfort for these parents.  

So, today I am grateful for so many things! And yet, at the same time, I'm so very sad and my heart aches!! Will all my bloggy friends please hold them up in prayer, as well?   
Linking over at  "Multitude on Mondays".
1,479 - Even when I wasn't feeling well, finding solace in the Lord, who is my all-encompassing Healer!
1,480 - Having tea with fresh peppermint leaves, shared by a friend and neighbor.
1,481 - Some cooler weather, even though I am sad to see the warm summer nights become less and less.
1,482 - A sunny day, to sit out on my swing by the lake and read God's Word and journal.
1,483 - Having my weekly lunch with my dear friend and mentor, Marg!
1,484 - Even though I'm feeling a bit confused right now, trusting that God has a plan with the job situation that was offered to me a few weeks ago. (I thought I had made a decision, but the final decision hasn't been made, yet.)
1,485 - Finding things to be thankful for(joy) in the midst of pain.
1,486 - That they were able to find Alex's phone.
1,487 - Seeing how many friends, family, and caring people surrounded this family.
1,489 - Realizing this:
1,490 - The latest update, this friends received a text from a different cell phone, saying it was Alex, that he was o.k. and that he loved them, but that he just needed to be away from everyone for awhile.
1,491 - That my son is healthy and well!
1,492 - Love(God's love) produces all of these things in our hearts:
 #Love what is it? Pain joy weakness


  1. Another update on Alex today. He sent a message on his Facebook page that he is fine. He had just lost his phone in the city and is still there with friends, What a relief and answer to prayer! As a parent, I would be torn between total joy and frustration. Why some kids do something like this, I will never understand!
    Thanks for any of you who took time to say a prayer!
    Blessings, Ann

  2. Wow - what a story. Trusting in God in the midst of trial - torn - good word... but thanking God for Alex being safe.

    1. Yes, Janis! God is so very good! We are still praying, since, for whatever reason, he didn't want to return home. This is a very confused and searching young man.

  3. I do lift up this young man with you, Ann... and his family. My growing up years were filled with some very hard situations with an older sibling, and my heart goes out to this family too... and to peace for you in your prayers.

    Father, Wherever this young man is, thank you that you are with him. Make our prayers a hedge of protection around him right now... You yourself, a firewall around him (Zec 2:5). Pour your Holy Spirit out upon his mind, heart and spirit. If there is any confusion, bring clarity to him. If he needs wisdom or direction, lead him by your spirit. If there is a stronghold of some kind, I declare your word that you break every chain, you surround him with songs of delivery and victory. Send your people to him, to help him in whatever way he needs. I thank you for the promises of Psalm 91... keep him in the shadow of your wings, O Lord and bring him home safely. I pray your circle of peace that passes our understanding over him and over his family and all who are praying. Thank you that you are his hedge of protection. You are his strength. You go before him and behind him. If he has gone of his own free will, pour it out on his heart to get in touch with his family. Be his pillar of light by night and his cloud by day... In Jesus' Name, I pray. ~ Pam, apples of gold

  4. I didn't see your update message till after I commented, but I still lift him up into that prayer in whatever way he may need that we don't know... Blessings to you, Ann. ~ Pam

    1. Thank you, Pam, for the amazing prayer! Your words have such power and pure love!- definitely of God!! He still does need our prayers, along with his parents, I am sure!

  5. Thanks for being the only person to comment on my Sunday Stillness entry, Ann. I am so glad that this story has a happy ending. It could have been so much different if it weren't for prayers answered by our loving God.

    1. I agree, Betty! Prayer warriors were at work and God heard us!

  6. Praying for Alex.I have a 20 year old daughter, and can imagine the emotions his parents are going through.

    1. Thanks, Lori! The same for me...actually my 21-yr. old son knows Alex, as they both are talented musicians, involved in different bands. They met and became acquainted to one another at local band shows a few years back. My son was totally shocked at the news of Alex's disappearance.

  7. Sorry I got over here to comment (and pray) so late (from sharing His Beauty). This grabbed the mother heart in me, too! So glad all turned out well.


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