I finished a book a couple weeks ago called "Bittersweet." I thought a lot about it as I read and finished it though because it made me more aware of the fact that we need both the 'bitter' and the 'sweet' in life to make us whole.
You know when you eat too much cake and you need to wash it down with something a little more sour, bitter, salty? Okay, maybe you're a frosting kind of gal/guy. Frosting basically makes me sick anyway, but the point is, we know something is a little off-kilter when a whole diet is made up of Coke and ice cream sandwiches. It's too much.
The reality of our heartbeat as humans is that there is a broken, beautiful mixture going on all around us reminding us to soak it all up and not forget either part. We've known for awhile something is wrong. Sorrow and hurt this side of heaven is real. Pain and loss has a face in nearly everyone's life at some point.
However, there is redemption happening too. We see that in the sweet, celebratory parts of life, too. Births and the rebirth of our souls. Friendships and parties and kids growing up. Author Shauna Niequist talks about what happens when we let ourselves in on the experience of these parts of life and being thankful in both.
I don't know where you are tonight but the idea that God's mercy is a flood washing over it all, giving us what we need and meeting us during our 'bitter' or 'sweet' times, gives me hope and fills me with joy that God knows us and sees us right where we are.
Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
*Have you ever felt like God met you at a time of need? What did that look like?
(Side note: this is a great book.
I'm entirely biased because I'm all about the topics she talks about..
"Change: it's good, in the way that childbirth is good, and heartbreak is good, and failure is good."
-you don't have to always get things right. -dreams are good. -creating is wonderful.
-grace is more than you thought it was. -being in community is life-giving. -we need to know who our people are. -pain is a part of life but difficult.
I would recommend the book. If you get it and like it, it couldn't hurt to underline parts that stand out to you. I do this sometimes.
More than half of any of Shauna's books are underlined).