And She Laughed
"She is clothed with strength and dignity,
and she laughs without fear of the future."
~ Proverbs 31:25 ~
Her joy filled the room like confetti. Her laughter was contagious. I actually felt a tear slip down my cheek, overwhelmed with the privilege to be a part of her wide-open laughter. I wondered how long it had been since she let loose and felt life fill her lungs again. Beauty filled the room and I would even call it worship that came through her laughter. It was the sound of…resurrection...life rising from months on end of grieving.
I remembered my own grief of past years when I wondered if I would ever laugh again. I dug through the photo box searching for a picture I longed to live. It was a picture of me leaning around the doorway of my family home. My head was thrown back and my face was warped by a wide-open laughter. This was what I longed to feel again and had grave doubts that it was ever possible.
I have walked through the death of a husband with several friends, sharing hope that she will laugh again. Death of many kinds can lead you to believe laugher will never erupt from deep sorrow. But my friend is proving that to be a lie. She is living the key verse. She is clothed with strength and dignity and she is able to laugh without fear of the future because her heart trusts in her God. He is her refuge, her strength. He is her joy and hope. She is inspiring others to join in without even knowing it.
After receiving the news of her husband’s cancer, all of life changed. The days that had been filled with ordinary life duties were quickly filled with doctor’s appointments, insurance calls, treatment schedules and miles of driving to get help.
This time last year they spent many days in the hospital...another surgery, another treatment. Days and months of praying and hoping to turn a new corner. They did turn a quick corner; but one that held the devastating news of pending death. Days before Christmas they were saying their final goodbyes and shopping for death clothes instead of tinsel and bows.
Tamara knows that God was in the turn of that corner. With all of the twist and turns, she found Him faithful. A. W. Tozer said it well in “The Attributes of God”:
“God never gets astonished, astounded or surprised, because He
already knows. You can walk down the street, turn the corner and
get the surprise of your life. But God never turned the corner and
got surprised, and for the simple reason that God was already
around that corner before He turned it. God already knew before
He found out! God knows all things."
There is laughter to be pursued in the midst of dark clouded days. When you can’t seem to find a deep breath, pursue laughter. It will surprise you as you live out your faith in full surrender.
My friend teaches us all how. You are invited to join in.
She never abandoned her worship. It is air to her soul. Songs of praise fill her heart and home. Choose to press play and worship through the pain.
She never abandoned the Word. There it sat on her table where she clung to His words of hope and promise on the scariest days, and today it sits on the lake house table where she continues to choose to cling.
She pushed herself by giving her life away. She didn’t hide out in her secret pain but served others in spite of her own pain.
She got up and went when she really wanted to stay.
She testified of the goodness of the Lord. Every chance that she has, she makes Him known.
She believes in the sovereignty of God. She doesn’t have to like it and would never have chosen this, but she embraces her belief that God is still sovereign.
She looks expectantly at the future knowing that God works all things together for good to those who love Him and are called according to his purpose.
“Happy, smiling, laughing are those who find themselves securely resting in the arms of Him who has the power to sustain and protect you
even in the midst of all kind of trials.”