When my husband died five years ago, I remember sitting in the counselor's office and telling her that I was praying, asking God to turn my weeping to laughing and my mourning to dancing. She said, "Natalie, those are two extremes. Maybe you should hope for something in the middle."
After living with Michael's bipolar disorder, I understood what it meant to live in the "extremes." However, I truly believed that God wanted me to pray Psalm 126:5-6 which says, "Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy. Those who go out weeping...will return with songs of joy."
I didn't just want to survive Michael's suicide; I wanted to thrive again. I'll never forget the moment I realized that God had answered my prayer.
It was the one year anniversary of Michael's death. Many of my friends had gathered with me to take me out so that I wouldn't face such a tough day alone. We decided to go to a community contradance (For those of you who don't know what this is it is way cool! Click here to watch it in action). I figured that this would make me focus on the dance moves instead of on my grief.
At the break, the caller announced that a group of first timers had come and that we were having so much fun that we must be celebrating something. My stomach dropped. Celebrating? Oh how could I? It was the anniversary of Michael's death and I was dancing! I realized how horrible this must seem -- I must be horrible. It was in that moment that the Holy Spirit gently spoke to my heart.
"My daughter, did you not ask me to turn your weeping to laughing and your mourning to dancing? Tonight is evidence of my answer."
Wow! I hadn't even realized it, but God had been in the process of transforming me and healing my wounds. I won't say that everything was peachy after that because there were and are still difficult days. I will say that that was a turning point for me. It was then that I realized that God was truly changing my tears to joy.
I have written our story and I am currently seeking publication. Join me in prayer as I move forward to share with others how God wants to turn their tears into joy.