Dec 27 2017

Treasured

Psalm 30:2, 4-5, 11-12
O Lord my God, I cried to You for help, and You have healed me.
Sing praises to the Lord, O you His saints,
and give thanks to His holy name.
For His anger is but for a moment,
and His favor is for a lifetime.
Weeping may tarry for the night
but joy comes with the morning.
You have turned for me my mourning into dancing,
You have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness,
that my glory may sing Your praise and not be silent,
O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever.

There are few things God has entrusted to me which I treasure more than my children.
In fact, I can not think of a single tangible thing more treasured.
Even my husband, because the children God used us to create are part of him.
So in my treasuring and cherishing of them, he is included at least in a large part & portion.
I guess you could say they are, in fact, my treasured possession (in the vein of Deut 7:6).

Perhaps the largest struggle of my life is contained in my pursuit of motherhood.
Those who know me well, or even those who know me much at all past the truly superficial, know this.
But it isn’t easily contained in something like a sentiment or photograph.

It is such a big part of me that it takes a lot of time, conversation, and heart to deeply know this part of me. I realize and recognize that. I have grown enough through this that I now understand that not everybody is equipped or desirous to take part in that. And that is okay. In fact, that’s probably good and healthy. It is a huge part of who I am and what my life has included, but it is not all there is.

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All of this notwithstanding, I’ve long yearned for an opportunity to capture an aspect of all thirteen of my children in a family photograph. And recently, a friend of mine from church offered to take family portraits for us, and asked what kind of creative aspects we could bring to the table (or the field, as it so happened). I mentioned wanting to do something in honor of my babies in heaven, and Sarah embraced the idea. She so kindly and gently photographed my family with nine white balloons to represent our nine children beyond the veil. My treasures in heaven (Matt 6:20-21).

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And she also photographed me with my nine treasure boxes cradled on my lap. Little wooden boxes my father devotedly created for nine of his grandchildren, most of them cradling the wee bodies left behind from the souls that were escorted by angels to the heavens; all of them waiting to be buried with their mama so we can burst forth from our graves together at the final trumpet sound when our King returns.

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These are sacred moments which perhaps only my own heart could treasure in such a tangible, tactile way. But here I share them with you, because so many of you have watched me walk these roads of tears and terror. It is my honor and my joy to share with you that there are treasures for me along this journey as well.

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Revelation 21:3-4

“Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be His people, and God Himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

5 responses so far

5 Responses to “Treasured”

  1. Grandpapaon 01 Jan 2018 at 10:11 am

    Melissa,

    I’m not sure that I’ve ever given this to you before, but I sang it into existence through tears many times down in my shop, in times of your deepest distresses. Here it is, for you and yours.

    Papa
    *************

    Beds and Boxes

    by Grandpapa, while building boxes for grandbabies

    A E A A7
    D A
    E A
    B7 E

    I would rather build beds, Lord, than boxes,
    I don’t like building boxes, dear God;
    You call us to boldly approach You in prayer,
    So, I call You to covenant faithfulness, Lord.

    I would much rather kiss my grandbabies,
    When they lay down to sleep for the night;
    I should teach them to pray to their Father and mine,
    If You’d grow them up bigger and stronger, dear Lord.

    I would rather build beds, Lord, than boxes,
    I don’t like building boxes, dear God;
    You call us to boldly approach You in prayer,
    So, I call You to covenant faithfulness, Lord.

    How can the babies You take when so young,
    Sing Your praises out loud on the earth;
    I should teach them to sing out Your praises, dear Lord,
    I should teach them to love You with all of their hearts.

    I would rather build beds, Lord, than boxes,
    I don’t like building boxes, dear God;
    Building boxes with topses for my sweet grandbabies,
    Is not what I’d like to be doing, dear Lord,

    You have promised to be God to my seed and me,
    And to be God to their seed, and theirs;
    So I look to the day when in heaven we’ll sing,
    With these wee little saints who now rest in Your arms.

    Dear Father in heaven, I give You my trust,
    If I’ve got to build boxes, I must;
    Your ways are not my ways, Your thoughts not my thoughts,
    If they were, all the boxes I’ve built, would be beds.

    For, I’d rather build beds, Lord, than boxes,
    I don’t like building boxes, dear God;
    You call us to boldly approach You in prayer,
    So, I call You to covenant faithfulness, Lord.
    “Dear Lord, please let me build beds!” [DEA]
    “Dear Lord, please let me build beds!” [EA]

  2. JMon 02 Jan 2018 at 2:28 pm

    Reading this post with tears in my eyes!!!! When I received your Christmas card a few days ago I was so moved to see the photos on it! How beautiful and precious they are!!!! Thank you for sharing them!!!!

  3. Melissa Joyon 02 Jan 2018 at 6:56 pm

    Oh Papa, with all the tears, I’m telling you my kids have the best grandfather in the world.

  4. Melissa Joyon 02 Jan 2018 at 6:57 pm

    Joanna… I know you know… and I’m so sorry you do. Tears for you too. Buckets.

  5. Samanthaon 02 Jan 2018 at 9:27 pm

    I was holding it together until I read what your Papa wrote… I hope to meet him someday soon.
    I’m thankful that you were able to take these photos together that honor ALL of your sweet blessings. I’m sure they are something you will cherish the rest of your days.
    ((Hugs))

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