A Time to Laugh, a Time to Cry
If someone would have told me six months ago that I would have moved 2,000 miles away and adopted a baby girl in a very short time, I would have thought he or she was joking.
For the previous 10 years, my life was pretty consistent. We attended the same church and lived in the same house. I homeschooled my kids and volunteered at our crisis pregnancy center. I had the same friends, met in the same groups, and followed the same routine. Then two blessings came. First, my husband was offered his dream job, and second (and even more exciting!), we were chosen by birth parents to adopt a baby girl.
Alyssa Catherine Marie was born on March 16, 2010. We brought her home March 22. On March 25, we loaded up our U-Haul and headed to Arkansas for my husband’s new job. While we were excited about both of these blessings, it was also one of the hardest times of my life. We not only left behind our church, our home, and our friends, but our two oldest kids also chose to stay behind in Montana. Every moment of rejoicing over God’s goodness was followed by tears. I thanked God, but I have to admit I couldn’t help but look back and mourn over what we left behind.
And I discovered it’s okay to mourn.
When I first cried tears of missing and longing, I felt bad. I mean, God had given us what we’d asked for: a dream job and a baby!
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; … a time to weep, and a time to laugh;a time to mourn, and a time to dance.
Ecclesiastes 3:1–2, 4
And, if I can contribute my own addition, sometimes they can happen in the same week — or the same afternoon!
As a mom, each day brings both laughter and tears, and that’s okay! Just because we feel good when we laugh doesn’t mean we should feel bad when we cry. God has created us to experience all types of emotions, and it’s okay to express them. Through my first weeks in our new home, I wrote often in my journals. I wrote about what things I was excited about, and I also wrote about what I missed, especially who I missed. I poured out my emotions to God, turning them over to Him. I picture Him laughing with me. I also pictured Him holding me close in my tears.
If I look in the Gospel accounts, Jesus rejoiced with His friends. He also cried with them. Over the last six months, I was reminded of that. I also grew closer to Jesus, and through this journey, I discovered that His hand is gentle as He wipes away my tears.