Tuesday, March 31, 2015

sorrow and joy

When I first saw this video I figured I'd wait to post a link until Easter Sunday but it's too good and such a great reminder of all that happened during "Holy Week."

Makes me teary. So grateful for the Savior. I know we should be thinking of Him and trying to be like Him always, but I love a week like this to really focus in on what He did for us and feel such love and gratitude for it all.

A while back my mother gave me a beautiful print. She gave one to each of my sisters too with a tear in her eye as to why it meant so much to her.
(It is called "Agony in the Garden" and it's by Frans Schwartz.)

Christ's expression speaks volumes that there are no words for. I love the white against the black background, the encircling doom. I love the love the angel is exuding. You can see it in her posture and expression, in her glowing demeanor.

I contrast that painting to another favorite. You see it a lot in our church. Sometimes things you see a lot become mundane. But to me this one always speaks to me.  It is so glorious and bright.  It speaks joy to my heart.

He is risen.

It made my eyes well up a little bit as I thought of those two paintings and their stark contrast in church on Sunday.

An amazing girl in our church congregation passed away a couple weeks ago.  When I first heard the news I blocked it out.  I couldn't let my mind go there.  It just couldn't be true.  No way.

But is was true.

And it was horrible.

And that poor family has gone through more pain and agony than I can even fathom.  Their faces reminded me of Christ's in that beautiful painting my mom gave me.

But because of what Christ did, that family can be together again.

We all can.

Because of the glorious gift of the atonement.  The gift from Christ we celebrate this week.

Isn't that how life can be sometimes?  So much joy and brightness one moment and then gloom and confusion and sorrow the next.  It could be little things like how I reached the end of my rope and got stomping mad at Lucy about an art project she ruined for her art class and now she doesn't want to go to art any more (makes my heart ache), or it can be rip-your-heart-out things like a death in the family.  And sometimes the little things seem like the big things.  The worry in the waking hours about teenagers, the sleepless nights with newborn babies, children who ignore their mother time and time again, the best intentions falling to shreds, loneliness, pain...the list goes on and on.

But you know what?  That glorious painting comes after the dark one.

It always will.

There is always a light at the end of the tunnel.  Christ gave it to us.  It has been breathtaking to watch the family who lost their daughter "find" that light.  They shine with it.  They understand the gift.

May we all begin to understand it better this Easter season.

May we all "find him" as that clip above invites.

And may we know that to all those dark moments that come into our lives, there is light.  There is a "hand stretched out still" (Isaiah 41:10 & 13).  Forever and ever.

*** post edit, I got a few emails that the video wasn't working.  Here's another link in case you couldn't get it to link:  http://www.mormon.org/easter?cid=HP_FR_3-27-2015_dMIS_fMRMN_xLIDyL1-A_

The first painting is by Frans Schwartz and it is called "Agony in the Garden."  Purchasing information here:  https://store.moa.byu.edu/agony-in-the-garden.html

Also, check out the new Easter ap on my side-bar for more about Christ.

18 comments:

  1. Beautifully written. Easter is such a wonderful, hopeful time of year!

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  2. Thank you for sharing. What is the name of the first print (or the artist's name)? I have never seen it before and would love to someday add it to our home. Thanks!

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  3. Thank you. I really needed to hear this message today.

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  4. This has been my new quote since Womens Conference "after sorrow there is Joy."
    It spoke deeply to me and the last few days I have been quoting it to everyone who will listen; my good friend in school who just had her father die of a massive heart attack; to a friend whose son was born 4 years ago with Cerebral Palsy and told he would never walk and now you can't keep him from running, riding his scooter, or riding his bicycle! Heavenly Father is SOOO good! It has spoken to the pieces of my heart that I am continually putting back together.
    What a wonderful talk that I am so grateful for!!

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  5. what is the name of that first painting and it's artist!? it's so lovely and moving!

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  6. Tomorrow it will be 1 year since my husband died, leaving me a 35 year old widow, with 4 children. I have been through the lowest lows, and also felt the highest highs. I have felt the reality that after sorrow there is joy. I make a daily effort to choose joy; it is hard work, but well worth the time it takes. Thank you for this post, it was beautiful and timely for me. I anticipate an emotionally charged day tomorrow, with lots of free-flowing tears. But I also anticipate much joy and happiness too, as my heart is full of gratitude for my Savior, and His love and constant care for my family. He lives, I know it. I have seen too much to deny it.

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    1. I'm so very sorry for your loss. May God's love and peace be abundant in your life especially at this Easter season.

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  7. do you mind sharing the artist of the painting or where i can find one, as well as the other pictures of christ you posted awhile back? would love to put them in my kids rooms! So thankful for your post and the spirit it brought to my heart while reading it. can't wait to share with my family! so grateful for this knowledge of the greatest event that has blessed each one of us!

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  8. Shawni you are such an inspiration to me. Thank you so much for being a great example of what a mom can be. I never miss one of your blogs and look up to you sooo much! I have three little ones under 4 and life gets so crazy but whenever I read your blog I ready again to help my kids and my family center their lives around our Savior. Thank you for this reminder today. In love and appreciation - Nelda

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  10. A couple of years ago when I met you at TOFW, you asked me what advice I had for you. I told you I had none but was sure you had some, since you are about 2 years ahead of us. Our oldest is a boy and then he has 4 younger sisters; it is funny how each of your children remind me of mine in the same spots. At this point, I am struggling with our oldest daughter, comparing how her life has played out compared to mine which became quite sorrowful at the age she is now (my mom left us and then I lost an older brother to suicide that next year.) I have had to learn through those experiences (and others, since) what joy is and it is so hard to see her take for granted a much better family life than I had, surrounded by all that the world provides nowadays in the ways of artificial joy. I hope you continue to share your joys and sorrows (keeping it real as much as possible), what you're experiencing raising these teenagers because I've pulled my hair out several times just today.

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  11. A couple of years when I met you at TOFW, you asked me what advice I had for you. I told you I had none but was sure you had some, since you are about 2 years ahead of us. Our oldest is a boy and then he has 4 younger sisters; it is funny how each of your children remind me of mine in the same spots. At this point, I am struggling with our oldest daughter, comparing how her life has played out compared to mine which became quite sorrowful at the age she is now (my mom left us and then I lost an older brother to suicide that next year.) I have had to learn through those experiences (and others, since) what joy is and it is so hard to see her take for granted a much better family life than I had, surrounded by all that the world provides nowadays in the ways of artificial joy. I hope you continue to share your joys and sorrows (keeping it real as much as possible), what you're experiencing raising these teenagers because I've pulled my hair out several times just today.

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  13. That first painting has always touched me. I love the angel's gentle embrace. Did you know that the angel that comforted Christ was Michael? I read that in a conference talk.

    The second painting makes me feel so excited for His Second Coming.

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