She’s tired of faking the pain.
She explained to me that she used to think life had its ups and downs. High seasons and low seasons. Good days and bad days.
But she doesn’t think that anymore.
Instead, she sees life as two parallel train tracks: Joy and Pain.
Sometimes, Pain is so strong and is running so fast that she can barely see Joy – it is miles and miles away. Other times, Joy is charging full speed ahead and Pain trails behind. She relishes these rare moments – when she is overwhelmed with Joy and goodness and it feels like Pain is defeated.
But it doesn’t last.
Most of the time, Joy and Pain run in tandem. She can feel them both. Side by side. Which means that she experiences great Pain and immense Joy at the same time. It actually works well. She doesn’t have to fake it – or feel like a hypocrite – when someone asks her how she is doing at breakfast as she says, “Fine.”
And 30 minutes later she is a mess.
That’s how Joy and Pain are. In fact, she even believes that they are supposed to run parallel. That life works best and grace multiplies when Joy and Pain are in balance. Pain allows us to experience Joy. And Joy allows us to experience Pain.
This irony became clear to me last week when I celebrated my daughter’s 8th birthday. I was in so much Pain that my insides were crying. Like I could collapse at any moment.
But 10 young girls arrived on my doorstep for a sleepover. And they brought me the sweetest Joy I have known in days. Popcorn. Movies. Dancing. Looking at stars. Telling stories late into the evening. Magical moments that brought me back to simpler days.
And the Pain in my stomach made the Joy even stronger. Clearer. Richer
Have you ever experienced the great irony of these two friends: Joy and Pain?