Sorrow is Good for the Soul


If there ever was a day that could be the exact definition of the word bittersweet, this is that day.

Sweet because 19 years ago today my dreams came true when I gave birth to one of my life’s greatest gifts and joys, a baby girl.

Bitter because I had to bury my Mom and Dad on the day that I turned 19.

So today while I see my 19 year old baby girl flourishing in her first year of college, dreaming big dreams, and taking big steps on the path God has prepared for her, I also remember me at 19, living through the hardest days of my life as everything about who I was and who I thought I would be unraveled in the blink of an eye.

It’s true that the consequence of tragedy never ends. I knew this chapter of parenthood would be hard for me to navigate and it is. I took preventative measures and started counseling long before the waves of this new season would start crashing. I’m so glad I did. I feel prepared and equipped to handle days like today. But that doesn’t keep the tears away, and maybe that’s not the point.

I’m grieving. Of course I am. And I must.


But that grief in no way negates from my gratefulness. I cry tears of sadness, yes I do, but deeper still is a sense of wonder and gratitude for all that God has provided for me, His daughter. I was orphaned, but never alone. He held me then and holds me now. I look at my life today and stand in awe of a life He planned, prepared, and provided for me. I see how He built up a new life from scratch, one I surely didn’t plan and didn’t see coming. It’s been hard. I wouldn’t have chosen “hard” for myself, but I’m grateful He chose it for me. I can’t help but believe that the hard has actually made everything that is good in my life even better. My heart and soul have grown larger through suffering, making room to experience greater joy, strength, peace, and love.

So while I still wrestle with all the “what’s” and the “why’s” that come alongside me on days like today, I am deeply and profoundly grateful that I get to be TO BE HERE FOR MY GIRL on her 19th birthday. This is no ordinary birthday. This is a beautiful second chance. The roles are different, but the love is the same. I get to BE the Mom I didn’t have, and it’s a precious, precious privilege that I do not take for granted. I get to love my kids, celebrate them, support them, encourage them, help them, and Lord willing, continue to watch them become the beautiful adults that I know they will be.

But IF I can’t, if God were to suddenly and unexpectedly call me home, I know firsthand that they are always in good hands–God’s hands.

He’s the one thing they can never lose and the only thing they’ll ever need.



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  1. Oh Kristi! Thanks for sharing so openly about this day – about the sorrow and gratitude all rolled together.
    Sitting with you in your questions and gratefulness. I love your heart and what your life story teaches us.

  2. Mary Henry says:

    Oh Kristi I did not know that story but am deeply touched my your words and your faith! Thank you for sharing who you are through God’s Power and Grace!

  3. Beautiful, Kristi. You are well acquainted with the truth that joy and pain can coexist. xo

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