I just got home from a women's conference with hundreds of beautiful women. It was broadcast to hundreds of thousands of women across the globe. The vision and unity were impressive; the musical numbers awesome; the talks inspired.
This meeting is held every fall, and in my neck of the woods we have a nice dinner beforehand. For years, I have asked, begged, my mother to come with me. In her poor health, she always told me that if she had to walk more than 30 steps, she would pass on the offer. So she never came, and I always missed her.
I knew I would miss her all the more today. I knew I would miss not only sitting with her and enjoying her company, but I would miss all the future times that we could have been together. Losing a loved one is not only in the now, but in the quashed future opportunities, as well. I had a picture in my head of arriving just a pinch late - enough so I wouldn't have to visit with anyone before the dinner started - sitting by myself and my memories, and wallowing in my grief.
Instead, a neighbor spotted me standing near the door. She pulled me in and we sat at a table together. She told me that she had been thinking of me, remembering that this conference was hard for her to attend after her own mother had passed away. After the dinner, another three neighbor ladies joined us for the meeting.
I think the Lord gently placed that sweet neighbor in my path to remind me that wallowing is not why we are here. It's hard to do much of anything when we are sad. And not that we shouldn't grieve, and miss our loved ones, but that His love can fill up the empty and broken parts of our hearts. He means for us to be happy.
And I am happy. My heart is full. In fact, I think I'll take on a writing challenge annually thrown down by the Nester (one of my favorite online writers) to write about something for 31 days - the whole month of October. I won't write on Sundays, so my writing will be for a mere 27 days.
And my topic? I choose happy.